Common Causes for Snoring and 11 Easy Remedies for its Prevention

One morning, you have woken up fresh because you’ve had a good night’s sleep. However, your partner wakes up and she’s all grumpy. Something isn’t right. You do not have the slightest clue as to what’s the reason behind it. She explains her plight – as to how difficult it was for her to sleep, because you snored away – loudly! At one instance, it was long, loud and a severe form of snoring.

Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, is a snoring and otolaryngologist expert at Capital Otolaryngology – based in Austin, Texas. He clearly mentions that snoring can create real problems in a marriage.

When your friends and family come together at the weekend – you may be a good reason for a hearty laugh. Sure, it is a lot of fun.

However, on a serious note – it is a clear sign that you need to come up with practical solutions and incorporate relevant changes to improve your overall health and beat your snoring problem.

Take prompt and necessary steps – in order to prevent this condition from developing into a chronic disease. The earlier the better! If one approach doesn’t help you, try out a new method or another form of medication to treat this problem.

But, what are the common causes and why do we snore?

Causes of Snoring

1. Sleeping position

While sleeping, some of us lay on our back – also known as the supine position. At this point, your throat muscles and tongue begin to relax.
It is more likely – your tongue will fall back and constrict the airway. This leads to snoring and in certain cases the snoring gets louder.

2. Watch your weight - overweight and obesity

It is paramount that one should watch their weight and stay healthy. This can be achieved by regularly exercising and having control over their diet. Maintaining your weight will help you counter the problem of snoring. However, bear in mind that individuals who are thin, snore as well.
If you weren't snoring before you put on weight, then it is a clear sign you need to have a fitness regime paired with a healthy diet. In certain cases, individuals who are overweight or obese tend to have a lot of weight around their neck. This adds pressure and the internal diameter of the throat begins to squeeze. This affects the flow of air while sleeping.

3. Allergy

At home, your flaking skin invites dust mites and they feed on the organic skin waste. They later defecate – which is one of the major reasons for allergies, such as wheezing. Dust mites are also a common cause for asthma and other allergic symptoms throughout the globe.
Furthermore, if you are sensitive to these kinds of allergens – breathing through the nose becomes a difficult task. Subsequently, this leads to snoring while you sleep.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol is a relaxant. It also resembles a substance known as GABA (naturally present in the brain). GABA functions by creating a soothing effect and also helps eliminate anxiety.
When an individual consumes alcohol, the brain tends to confuse it with GABA. Therefore, the human brain begins to enhance the calming and soothing effect. Additionally, this effect also relaxes all of the other muscles in the body. It includes those in the mouth and the back of the throat. Later, during your sleep, these muscles are responsible for the noises – linked to snoring.

5. Sleeping pattern

Not getting enough hours of sleep – has a similar effect on your brain just like alcohol. Spending long hours at your work and involving yourself in strenuous activities can get you overtired.
When you finally go to bed, it leads you to a hard and deep sleep. Your muscles tend to get floppier and relaxed. Eventually, this causes you to snore.

6. Nasal passages

It is essential that your nasal passages are free and clean. There needs to be no form of congestion. This way the air will flow – at a slow and relaxed pace.
If your nasal passages are blocked due to a cold – in this scenario, the airflow is interrupted, preventing you from breathing freely and comfortably. This causes you to snore while you sleep at night. Alternatively, to help you relax – take a hot shower before you go to bed.

7. Your pillows

Allergens are present in your pillows. It leads to allergic reactions and causes you to snore. It is one of those things that never cross your mind. It is important that you clean and change your pillows and pillow covers on a regular basis.
Additionally, get a good fix to this problem by ensuring your living space is tidy, well-lit and cleaned regularly. It is an absolutely easy solution!

8. Pregnancy and genetic factors

With female patients (pregnant women), they tend to have extra bulky throat tissue that causes snoring. In addition, snoring is also caused by genetic factors such as – enlarged tonsils, long uvula or long soft palate, and large adenoids.

9. OSA - obstructive sleep apnea

With OSA, the throat tissues completely or partially block the air passage. This prevents you from breathing freely. It is often distinguished by loud snoring. Later, it is followed by periods of silence.
At this point, breathing ceases or nearly comes to a stop. Subsequently, this reduction or pause in breathing signals your brain and you abruptly, wake up. In some cases, you may awaken with a loud snort or a gasping sound.

10. Physical conditions like

• Deformity of the nose
• Swelling in the muscular part – roof of the mouth
• In children - tonsils or swollen adenoids What are the remedies or cures available – to help you overcome the problem of snoring?

There are numerous ways to treating and stopping this condition.

Here are 11 remedies

1. Cutting down on your weight

Choose to regularly exercise and maintain a healthy diet. This will help you lose weight. On the other hand, it will give a boost to your self-image.

The severity of snoring will generally decrease with weight loss. Let's bear in mind, that even thin people snore. However, gaining weight makes the problem of snoring even worse.

When you start reducing weight you have a good chance of reducing the fatty tissue in the back of your throat. This will help you decrease your snoring problem.

With certain patients, at a particular stage of weight loss – it may not completely cure snoring. However, this form of remedy will aid in reducing the loudness.

It may come to a point – keeping in mind that the patient is consistent with his fitness regime and diet – he or she may no longer require any further treatments. This is a clear sign that weight loss has positive effects.

2. Quit smoking

The smoke from tobacco leads to a condition known as oedema. It is characterised by excess of watery fluid building up in the cavities or tissues of the human body.

So, when it comes to the respiratory system, the airway begins to narrow. Therefore, it results in snoring and also leads to sleep apnoea. Smokers are at a big risk – because they are 4-5 times more prone to be affected by snoring or OSA.

In addition, it causes cancer and leads to major health problems like – poor sleeping and insomnia. If you are a smoker, getting rid of this habit can be hard. However, it is a crucial step to help you get better sleep and lead a healthy life.

3. Adhesive strips

An effective anti-snoring aid presented in the form of an adhesive strip – Theravent Advanced Nightly Snore Therapy. It revolves around a microvalve technology and will comfortably fit over your nostrils. The adhesive strip is designed to create expiratory positive airway pressure or EPAP. It will assist you by gently opening the throat airway – by employing the force of your own breath.

The product is easy to use and comfortable. Secondly, it is clinically proven – to relieve throat vibrations which can be described as snoring.

Presently, Theravent is available in Australia. It helps light, moderate and heavy snorers. When it is combined with other conservative snoring treatments like lateral sleep and weight-loss, patients begin to notice a phenomenal difference.

4. Lateral Sleep

At the back of your throat is the pharynx also known as the airway. It is a soft and collapsible tube. While we are awake, the muscles help in keeping the airway open, making it easier for us to breathe.

But while sleeping, these muscles relax and the airway narrows. Structures in this relaxed airway begin to vibrate because of the air that travels in and out. This results in snoring.

It is very natural for many of us to sleep on our back. However, it is highly recommended that individuals who snore – to develop the habit of sleeping on one of their sides.

How do you make certain that you are laterally sleeping?

The whole idea is to make sure that you do not roll onto your back while sleeping. Make sure you sleep with one or two pillows behind your back. You could also have one between the legs.

In a different scenario, you could select a t-shirt or any other garment, and sew tennis or ping–pong balls to it. If you unintentionally roll onto your back while sleeping, it will cause a certain kind of discomfort. It will be natural of you to return to the lateral sleeping position.

You could also use children's squeaky toys. Rolled-up towels and large items such as plastic boxes are equally effective. Lateral sleeping is one of the best and natural practices to reduce your snoring condition.

5. Night Shift Device

It is a clinically proven treatment and a revolutionary technology that helps you stay off your back while sleeping. It features the vibro-tactile positional therapy to tackle the problem of obstructive sleep apnea. This device will help you snore less and sleep better.

On the other hand, it is an intelligent device that monitors and stores data. It will help you track your sleep quality and the frequency of unhealthy loud snoring.

6. CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Currently, CPAP is the most effective treatment when it comes to obstructive sleep apnoea. An individual's airway will receive continuous flow of pressurised air via a mask. This method utilises a compact air pump.
The pressurised air works as a pneumatic splint. It avoids the airway from collapsing. Subsequently, the snoring ceases. Depending on different factors – like the weight and severity of snoring – the air pressure requirements will differ from one individual to another.

7. Nasal Steroids to combat allergens

Allergies affect the narrowing of the airway and cause nasopharyngeal congestion. In this situation, while an individual is asleep – nasal congestion restricts the amount and flow of air.

The existence of an allergen, in the individual’s immediate environment could be the leading cause. This results in mucosal swelling and an inflammatory response, and the outcome – a blocked nose. The only single option available – for sufficient oxygen to be delivered to the entire body – is through the mouth.

Nasal steroids are an effective approach to fighting allergic reactions. Currently, pharmacies carry over-the-counter nasal steroids such as Nasonex.

8. Nasal strips or aids, over-the-counter nasal sprays and anti-allergy treatments

Breathe Right Nasal Strips is an effective tool for battling the night-time congestion and will help you improve your sleep.

These nasal strips are made of flexible and spring-like bands. They fit right above the flare of your nostrils. The underside of the strip is adhesive. Once it is positioned on your nose, they stay put. The functionality is simple: when the bands try to straighten back to their original shape, they tend to lift the sides of your nose and in the process – open your nasal passages.

With the lifting action, inflamed sinus passages open up, and it makes it easier for you to breathe. Nasal strips will help reduce your snoring that is caused by nasal congestion.

In addition, these products also offer relief when you have an allergy, deviated septum or a cold.

Swelling of the nasal passages can happen due to a cold or allergies. The lining of the nasal membrane gets inflamed – the mucus thickens and becomes acidic.

Over-the-counter nasal sprays are helpful. For example, FESS Nasal Spray (non-medicated saline nasal spray). Certain nasal sprays also act like a decongestant. But if these sprays are used for over 72 hours – they can lead to a negative or rebound effect.

A sleep physician or allergist will also recommend you allergy desensitisation treatments.

9. Sleeping pills or tablets

Narrowing of the pharynx and relaxation of pharyngeal muscles begin to occur with sleeping pills. There is an increase in soft–tissue vibration and the snoring level.
Make a good effort to reduce or eliminate the intake of sleeping pills and involve other natural methods.

10. ENT interventions, surgery or operation

Due to structural abnormality, nasal airflow gets difficult for the patient. The nasal passage can be opened with an ENT surgery. Therefore, the individual does not have to completely rely on breathing through the mouth.

These are some of the surgical procedures which will help reduce snoring:

• UPPP – Uvulopalatopharyngectomy
• RFUPPP – Radio frequency uvulopalatopharyngectomy
• LUAP – Laser-assisted uvuloplasty

11. MAS - Mandibular Advancement Splint

Mandibular Advancement Splint acts as a type of dental splint. It is placed in the mouth, and initiates the lower jaw and tongue to be in a more forward position – rather than the original state.

Subsequently, this opens up the pharyngeal airway. The rate of airflow is slow and consistent. At the back of the pharynx, there is minimal vibration of the tissues. This reduces the volume of snoring.

In addition, you could also try herbal or homeopathy for their medicinal and medical benefits. It is a good alternative – especially for individuals who dislike taking medicines.

Not getting enough sleep, along with your snoring problems can be detrimental and overall bad – not just for you, but for your partner as well.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle and sleep better. With the help of your partner, you can review your daily progress and in due course, you will overcome your snoring problem.


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