For some people, starting their day with breakfast is a…
By Emmanuel Chiedu
My neighbour, Okon who just got married two months ago had a huge fight with his wife. It was their first fight indeed. On getting close to the couple, I discovered that the cause of the problem was simply snoring. The wife complained about how loud her husband snores which usually prevents her from sleeping well at night except on few occasions when she slept before him. Okon on the other hand said his wife was making him sleep on the floor because of something beyond his control. He argued he was done sleeping on the floor.
Snoring has strained so many relationships till date. No matter how much you love each other, snoring can put a strain on your relationship. If you are the one lying awake at night as your partner snores away, it is easy to start feeling resentful. And if you are the snorer, you may feel helpless, guilty, or even irritated with your partner for harping on something you can’t consciously control. If you value your relationship, make it your priority to find a snoring cure so you can both sleep soundly.
Working together to stop snoring can even be an opportunity to improve the quality of your bond and become more deeply connected. “Snoring can create real problems in a marriage,” says Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, an otolaryngologist and snoring expert at Capital Otolaryngology in Austin, Texas in US.
Before I talk about solutions, let’s first look at causes of this problem. Snoring is caused by the flow of air rushing across relaxed muscles in the mouth and throat during sleep. When your muscles relax, they collapse back into the throat which narrows and obstructs the airway. As air tries to pass through this obstructed airway, it causes an audible vibration, which is referred to as snoring!
Common causes of snoring may include being overweight or out of shape, age, sleep posture, the way you are built (Mostly men), nasal and sinus problems, blocked airways or a stuffy nose, alcohol, smoking, and medications.
It’s sometimes possible to treat snoring by making lifestyle changes. Try the following;
° Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
° Exercise can also help to stop snoring. As well aiding weight loss, exercising your arms, legs, and abs, for example, also leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring. There are also specific exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your throat.
° Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
° Quit smoking. Quitting is easier said than done, but smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat which can block the airways and cause snoring. If the nasal passages become congested, it’s difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased. Get help with quitting here.
° Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night’s sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
° Change your sleeping position. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. There are specially designed pillows available to help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped.
° Clear nasal passages. Keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If you have a stuffy nose, rinse sinuses with saline before bed. Using a Neti pot, nasal decongestant, or nasal strips can also help you breathe more easily while sleeping. If you have allergies, reduce dust mites and pet dander in your bedroom or use an allergy medication.
° Establish regular sleep patterns. Create a healthy bedtime ritual with your partner and stick to it. Hitting the sack in a routine way together can help you sleep better and often minimize snoring.
° Keep bedroom air moist. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, so if swollen nasal tissues are the problem, a humidifier may help.
NOTE: If you snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day or you stop breathing, gasp, or choke during sleep, or you fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as during a conversation or a meal then you must visit a doctor. Snoring can sometimes be a warning sign of a more serious problem. A doctor should evaluate a snorer for any underlying medical conditions, other sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea, or any sleep-related breathing problems. If you or your sleep partner notice any of the following signs please visit your doctor… Good luck.
Emmanuel Chiedu can be reached via 07060634262