Sometimes you start feeling like the fellow in the picture above after listening to your partner snore all night! Sleep deprivation is a serious matter!
Snoring is a widespread problem across both genders and all ages. In simple terms, it is referred to as breathing noisily during sleep. You may be an occasional snorer or a habitual snorer. The former is nothing to worry about; apart from being a nuisance to your partner. However, if the snoring is habitual, there may be cause to worry. The noise is either a rattling noise or a snorting one.
Our goal in this article is to educate you on the causes of snoring, symptoms, medical alternatives and some of the best stop snoring products on the market.
As you sleep, your throat muscles relax and your tongue falls backward. This causes your throat to become narrow. The walls of your throat vibrate as you breathe. These vibrations cause the snorting sound produced while snoring. As your airway grows narrower, the sound grows louder.
Sometimes the walls of the throat collapse completely causing total obstruction. This is a serious condition referred to as apnea that requires medical attention.
The levels of a person’s snoring are classified into three; Grade one, two, and three. Grade one represents simple, infrequent, and not so loud snoring. This will not affect your breathing in any way. However, this may irritate your bed partner.
Grade two represents snoring on a regular basis; about three times a week. It may slightly affect your breathing and sleep quality making you tired and sluggish during the day.
Grade three refers to snoring every other night. This kind of snoring is loud and can be heard outside of your room. Most people with grade three snoring are likely to have apnea or obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where for about 10 seconds or so, your airways become partially blocked.
The lack of oxygen will then trigger your brain to wake you up and restore the normal breathing.
Statistics show that it affects about 90 million American adults with 37 million being habitual snorers. It is a common problem with men as opposed to women and normally worsens with age.
There is also a higher probability of children with tonsils or adenoids to suffer from snoring. It is important to seek solutions or medical advice to ensure good quality sleep for yourself and your bed partner.
Snoring will occur when the airflow through the mouth and nose is obstructed.
As you age, the throat and tongue muscles relax and collapse back into the airway.
• Functional abnormalities
These include colds that lead to partially blocked airways. When this happens, the air pressure in the airways is affected causing the tissues to vibrate. Some people have allergies in some seasons or sinus infections that cause snoring.
• Anatomical abnormalities
Sometimes the nose and throat may have abnormalities such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, deviated nasal septum, or nasal polyps which cause snoring.
• Sleeping position
Sleeping on your back is said to cause snoring. Therefore, doctors recommend that you sleep on your side instead.
Being overweight/obese leads to a bulky throat tissue. This is likely to cause narrow airways that in turn leads to snoring.
Excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking is a likely reason for snoring. Alcohol works as a potent muscle relaxant and therefore if ingested a few hours before bedtime will cause you to snore.
• Frequent sleep interruptions
• Higher risk of vascular diseases e.g. high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack
• Poor quality of sleep
• Breathing interruptions
• Morning headaches
• Recent weight gain
• Low sex drive
• Excessive sleepiness during the day
The various products that you will find in the market today to stop snoring are divided into three categories; lifestyle/behavioral remedies, surgical solutions, and anti-snoring products and devices.
These remedies are most suitable for someone with mild snoring.Snoring mouth guards Mouthguards/pieces are a top choice for snorers. They use an established technology and have proven to be very effective with minimal to no side effects. Some of them pass clinical trials before their release to the market. However, others have been restricted by the FDA.
Mouthpieces provide instant relief if you choose high-quality products. There are two types of mouthpieces; Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) or Jaw Retaining, and a Tongue Retaining Device
Examples of the commonly purchased mouth guards include;
• PRO Adjustable Bruxism Mouthpiece The PRO adjustable bruxism mouthpiece is an advanced product in the market that works designed to offer you comfortability and efficiency at a go. Not only does it position your mouth, but it is also adjusted to one’s personal measurements or requirements.
It has an impressive lock technology that prevents you from grinding and clenching your teeth. The usage is pretty easy; boil it in water and bite down the mouthpiece so that you get one customized from your bite.
• Anti-Snore Tongue Retainer This product is designed to give you back quality sleep for more productive and energetic days. It is a one size fits all (no molding or trimming required) which works to eliminate or reduce snoring, tooth grinding and clenching. It suctions your tongue to keep it in place and prevent it from falling backward. Make sure to read and follow the instructions of use for 100% effectiveness.
They are somewhat similar to mouthpieces in terms of how they work. They are generally made of neoprene, nylon, or similar related materials. The comfort will depend on the material used so some may be more comfortable than others.
They are worn under your chin and round to the back or over your head. Some concerns, however, of this product is having the mouth completely closed which does not go well with a blocked nose.
Some of them are not fitted well and so not suitable for restless sleepers as the strap is bound to slip off with movements during the night.• Adjustable Anti-Snoring Chin Strap Support is an example of a chin strap. It has been developed by Dr. Flick as an adjustable strap to stay put throughout the night. It has been manufactured with soft fabric designed for comfort to prevent itchiness and discomfort as you sleep.
It works by holding your jaw firmly in place and preventing the tongue or throat from falling backward. The chin strap has no side effects and will give you relief from snoring for good quality sleep, for you and your bed partner.There is a wide assortment of nasal devices available in the market today. All nasal devices are aimed at improving airflow through the nose. They open nasal passages by acting as inflammatory medicines.
They work great to provide relief for snorers and people with blocked noses from colds or allergies. They may not address the underlying issue as they only work for nose snores.
The nose is made up of cartilage.
Cartilage is flexible (not as hard as the bone), and therefore is bound to slightly collapse when you are breathing deeply. Aging also makes the cartilage more flexible and hence more susceptible to collapse. When this happens, the airways become partially or completely blocked causing snoring. They work by preventing the collapse of the airways by keeping the nostrils open.Nasal strips are an example of nasal devices. These are adhesive strips with a lot of spring in them. They are stuck to the center of the bride of the nose to keep the nostrils open and apart. One such product is the BreatheRight Nasal Strips.
If you are allergic to adhesive, you might have to stay away from this product. They are flexible bands designed to make airflow and breathing easier. The adhesive is strong enough to last for at least eight hours without falling off.The medications available in the market today have not been extensively studied and tested. As a result, their effectiveness is still in question. These work to reduce inflammation in the throat and nose, reduce mucus, or both. They are efficient for someone with a cold or an allergy. However, they do not address the underlying cause of snoring.
This is a simple yet effective method that will give you get a good night’s sleep. It coats the uvula and the upper airways with the oily lubricant to prevent the vibration that occurs as you breathe. The lubrication is therefore intended to relieve you of snoring as that’s the source of the snores. The product has been clinically tested and found safe for use and very effective.Pillows
Pillows supposedly work to reposition your head and body to prevent any obstructions. The goal is to keep the airway open through certain sleeping positions. The anti-snoring pillow has not received much confidence from consumers; probably the reason why they appear and disappear in the market.This pillow works great by keeping your mouth and jaw closed. That way, they don’t fall back into the airways which stop snoring. It contains an adjustable Velcro for a comfortable fit and dry mesh fabric which is gentle to your head and neck. They have both a standard and a large size fit. You will definitely wake up energized and refreshed.
Although not a favorite for many, it is necessary for those diagnosed with sleep apnea, sometimes referred to as OSA. The appliance works by blowing room air into the throat’s back which prevents its collapse.
It is absolutely effective although sleeping in a complete CPAP setup is nothing to be excited about. The setup may look complicated but is very easy to use. The therapy involves a sleep test to determine your level of snoring. For this, you may have to sleep at the clinic overnight for monitoring.
Once you take home a CPAP machine with you, the best thing to do for your health is to use it regularly. This is a therapy, not a cure. Therefore, discontinuation may mean that your snoring is likely to return.
The good thing is that you will notice positive improvements almost instantly. Some of the effects may be an improvement in your quality of sleep, a decrease in daytime drowsiness, elimination of breathing obstructions and snoring, and much more.
If you are sleeping with a snorer, your sleeping patterns will definitely be affected. Ear plugs are the best bet to save you from frustration and a lot of sleepless nights.• Quiet Sound Earplugs These earplugs have been manufactured with an advanced technology to allow for comfort and effective buffering of loud noises. They are made of silicone for protection and comfort of your ears and are a one size fits all for all ear canals. They also come with a convenient hygiene storage for when they are not in use. With Quiet Sound earplugs, you are guaranteed of a good night’s sleep.
This should be your last resort as there are risks involved with any surgery. At this point, the sleep apnea is a high risk of serious health problems. Surgical procedures are meant to eliminate or reduce the problem. They aim to reduce and correct any abnormalities in and around the airway. Depending on the severity of your problem, the doctor will suggest the best treatment method suitable for you. The surgical cures involve;
This surgical procedure is referred to as a uvulopalatoplasty. The uvula is the dangling thing you see at the back of your mouth. It is an outpatient procedure which removes parts or all of the uvula. It is performed under local anesthesia and lasts for about 30 minutes. About three to five visits will be required.
There is a soft palate near the back of your mouth. The tonsils and the uvula are located there as well. This surgical procedure removes a bit of the soft palate expanding the airway to relieve or cure snoring symptoms.
Most of these solutions are available at local chemists without a prescription. Lifestyle changes and anti-snoring solutions will likely alleviate snoring or cure it completely depending on the severity of the snoring. However, if the condition worsens and has adverse effects on your daily life, consult a doctor for available treatment options to remedy the situation.
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