How to Combat Snoring
If you suffer the irritation of a partner who snores loudly, you may think that the best answer to this is a regular sharp kick to the ankles or poke in the side until they turn over and quieten down. Persistent snoring can put enormous strain on relationships and cause sleep problems for those who have to listen to it as well as sleep and health issues for the snorer themselves.
Anxiety and depression can be exacerbated by the anticipation of a disrupted night of sleep while couples who drift into sleeping separately in order to avoid disturbing one another, may experience a lack of intimacy and closeness as a result.
Snoring is caused by turbulence anywhere in the upper respiratory area, between the tip of the nose and the vocal chords. Restrictions and partial blockages or even poor muscle tone around the tongue can affect breathing at night when our muscles are more relaxed and we are not aware enough to self-correct the noise. In a desperate attempt to ‘cure’ snoring, sufferers can spend a great deal of money on cures and gadgets, often with limited success. It’s important to find the cause for the snoring in order to find a suitable control that will ease the problem. A range of simple tests from British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association can help diagnose the type of snoring, whether it is caused by mouth breathing or a nasal blockage; different self-help techniques can then be used to control the problem.
- Being overweight can aggravate snoring issues; even a small weight reduction can improve the condition significantly.
- Reducing or stopping smoking has overwhelming health benefits, one of which can be an improvement in snoring.
- Alcohol consumption has a number of effects on snoring, from increasing muscle relaxation to irritating nasal tissue. Some drugs and sedatives can cause similar issues.
- Sleep position can also increase snoring, particularly sleeping on the back, which encourages an open mouth or ‘tongue back’ sleep position. Additional pillows can help if sleeping on your back is your preferred position.
Snoring can cause enormous resentment and tension in relationships and has potentially devastating knock on side-effects. Sleep deprivation can cause day time sleepiness and lead to poor driving or even falling asleep at the wheel and the impact on the personal relationship side should not be underestimated. Find ways to communicate kindly but firmly about the difficulties it causes you if you are regularly disturbed by a snorer and try to structure discussions towards finding solutions rather than criticising the person. Snoring is a physical affliction, rather than something done intentionally to cause annoyance and it important to temper conversation with understanding.