Have you been waking up feeling tired? Do you have trouble concentrating during the day due to fatigue? Does your spouse complain that you are raising the roof with your loud snoring?
Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. As you doze off, the muscles of your throat relax and your tongue falls backward. If the tissues in your throat relax enough, they can partially obstruct your airway and vibrate. Almost everyone snores occasionally and it is generally not something to be concerned about. But if you snore regularly, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep. This can lead to daytime fatigue, morning headaches and irritability. More seriously, chronic snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition which requires medical attention.
Factors that can contribute to snoring include:
Being a Man. Men are more likely than women to snore.
Age. As we reach middle age and beyond, our throats become narrower and our throats lose muscle tone.
Being Overweight. Extra fatty tissue, especially around the neck, can contribute to snoring
Alcohol Consumption. As a depressant, alcohol has muscle relaxing effects. This includes the muscles in the throat, especially the epiglottis.
Depending on which factors are contributing to your snoring, certain lifestyle changes may help you stop snoring. Losing weight, limiting alcohol consumption before bedtime and sleeping on your side, rather than your back, can all lead to a decrease in snoring.
If incorporating these lifestyle changes does not reduce your snoring, you may have sleep apnea. This obstructive sleep disorder is serious and you should see your doctor for further evaluation.