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Snoring: The noise that keeps everybody awake but you…
According to WebMD, approximately 45% of the adult population snores, and studies suggest that men make up the majority of this group. While this might seem trivial, snoring can have grave repercussions both directly and indirectly. Not only does snoring cause spouses and other family members to have interrupted sleep cycles, but failure to seek treatment can cause marital/relationship issues, including couples sleeping in separate bedrooms. Furthermore, snoring can also be a warning sign for more serious health issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and more.
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So, when should you seek treatment for your (or your spouse’s) snoring? Well, that depends. (However, seeking professional medical advice is almost always the best answer). But, if you’re in relatively good health and you suspect your snoring may be habit related, there are a few subtle changes that you can make to help eliminate snoring.
These changes include the following:
- Change your pillows – No really, we’re not just saying that. Over time, dust mites can accumulate in pillows causing allergic reactions that sometimes lead to snoring.
- Don’t allow pets on your bed – We know this is a tough pill to swallow, but pets, particularly those with long hair, frequently shed and inhaling these particles can heighten symptoms of snoring.
- Drink Water – Hydration is a key requirement to help avoid snoring. When your nasal passages are dehydrated, secretions in the nose become stickier. This stickiness can lead to closed nasal passages ultimately causing you to snore.
- Use a humidifier – Much like drinking water and staying hydrated, using a humidifier can put more moisture in the air allowing for less dryness in the nose leading to snore-free sleep.
- Sleep on your side – If you normally sleep on your back, sleeping on your side can help reduce snoring as it decreases the chances of obstructing the airway.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking – Although some people find alcohol helps to induce sleep, rarely is this REM sleep, the deepest stage of sleep. Furthermore, alcohol consumption before bed causes throat muscles to relax which can obstruct breathing passages. Smoking can cause inflammation leading to blocked nasal and throat passages, also leading to snoring.
- Develop consistent sleep schedules – While it might seem being “too tired” would help you sleep better. Extreme fatigue can cause you to sleep heavy. Heavy sleep is associated with snoring. Thus, going to bed and getting up around the same time every day is ideal to combat snoring.
Following these tips can greatly improve your sleep as well as help combat snoring. And, while these tips may work for some, we can’t stress enough the importance of seeking advice from a medical professional to help ensure your case of the “snores” isn’t something much more serious.