If you are the victim of snoring, or your spouse is keeping you up at night with a terrible racket that seems loud enough to make the walls shake, it's time to do something about it. Snoring is not only a nuisance, it could be an indicator of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Regardless of what is causing snoring, it is due to a partial obstruction of the airways, restricting intake of oxygen and eliminating the possibility of a solid, restful sleep. Whether you are the one with the snoring problem or it's your partner, you both need your rest in order to be your best. Try the following creative ways to alleviate snoring and have sweet dreams once more:
An effective fix for the snoring problem in your household could be as simple as a snoring pillow. Snoring pillows are designed to position the head in such a way that it promotes an open airway and prevents snoring. They are contoured to keep the head and neck in proper alignment. As an additional benefit, they can make the neck more comfortable, reducing strain.
Difficulties with snoring can often be adjusted through changes in lifestyle. Add exercise to the daily routine, strengthening the entire body and the throat along with it, reducing snoring. Trimming down excess weight is helpful, as well. Smoking is a definite no. While it's unhealthy all around, this bad habit contributes to snoring. Sleeping pills and alcohol should be avoided before bed. It's a catch-22. Many people will use these sleep aids when struggling to get a good night's rest. However, alcohol and sleeping medication will make the throat muscles relax and aggravate snoring. Be sure to get into a regular sleep pattern, as well. If both partners head to bed at the same time and manage to fall asleep together, snoring could decrease or at least be less noticeable.
Allergies could be the culprit when it comes to blocked nasal passages. If over-the-counter products aren't working, see a doctor to come up with a plan of action. If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, you are more likely to snore. Discuss effective remedies with your physician to keep your nasal passages clear. Adjust your environment as well, adding a humidifier to your bedroom to keep the air moist enough to avoid irritation in the throat and nose.
There are a variety of devices on the market that target snoring. Nasal strips are a simple fix. They are applied to the nose and keep the nasal passages open. Oral appliances are commonly used, as well. A mouth guard is worn at night and positions the mouth in such a way to keep the airway open while sleeping. The CPAP device is the most intrusive method to alleviate snoring and is commonly prescribed for those with sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask at night that is connected to the continuous positive airway pressure device. Pressurized air is forced into your airways throughout the night. When all efforts fail, it is time to contact a doctor to discuss more options. Pleasant dreams are possible for all.
What steps have you taken to alleviate your or your partner's snoring? Have you had any luck?
Sleep typically brings relaxation and rest. However, when the muscles surrounding the upper airways relax too much, the airway space constricts, and inhalation results in the harsh vibratory noise known as snoring. Each night, about 40 percent of people sleeping probably are snoring. Those who share a bed with a habitual snorer find little rest or relaxation. Fortunately, bedtime can regain its peace, and quiet can be restored with the help of a few creative remedies to counter snoring.
Researchers at the University of Zurich found that regularly playing a didgeridoo reduced nighttime snoring in people with moderate sleep apnea. Playing the didgeridoo, an Australian Aboriginal wind instrument, requires circular breathing, which strengthens the muscles that dilate the upper airway. Strengthened airway muscles reduce the likelihood that the airway tissue will go limp during sleep and cause snoring. Other instruments, particularly the trumpet, clarinet and tuba, that involve similar breathing techniques as the didgeridoo might be similarly effective, but minimal research exists yet.
Exercise in general reduces the likelihood of snoring, since working out helps maintain a fit physique. Since extra weight adds neck fat that narrows air passages, which in turn contributes to snoring, slimming down minimizes snoring by alleviating the added pressure on those passageways. Additionally, exercising the muscles surrounding those passageways strengthens and tones the muscles that relax and vibrate during sleep. A few times a day, touch your tongue tip to the roof of your mouth and make a fast "tsk-tsk" sound. Another exercise requires sticking the tongue straight out as far as possible and then moving it left to right and then up and down.
Ideally, you should sleep only on your side or stomach, freeing any obstructed airflow. To prevent you from shifting to your back during sleep, you must make doing so uncomfortable. In the fairytale "The Princess and the Pea," her highness has such heightened sensitivity that she feels a pea placed beneath a pile of mattresses and cannot sleep comfortably. In the real world, few suffer from such extreme sensitivity. Usually, an irritant larger than a pea is required. A tennis ball taped or sewn to the back of sleepwear serves as an effective deterrent from laying in a supine position.
Most lists of tips on the topic of snoring include mention of what not to eat or drink. For example, you are warned against mucus-producing dairy and cautioned against alcohol, caffeine or heavy meals within an hour or two of bedtime. In contrast, the following list suggests a few items you should eat to help silence the snoring:
The didgeridoo, exercise, sleeping position and foods provide relief for many snorers and their partners. What other solutions have proven effective at restoring a quiet night of sleep?
There is much conflicting research on the quality of sleep involved in bed-sharing. According to some studies, it is detrimental not only to couples’ sleep cycles, but also their interaction and general health. Others assert that bed-sharing is key to lasting relationships. In any case, it is not unexpected for there to be at least a few hiccups for couples during the night. To lessen such disturbances, consider some of the following tips:
Partners who match their sleep schedules are more likely to harmonize in entering and exiting deep and light sleep cycles. In other words, partners are more likely to dream, stay still during heavy sleep and wake up in the morning with one another. Synchronization is healthier for not only brain physiology and the body, but for the mental and emotional state of both partners. If it is difficult for partners to sleep at the same time, they should still go to bed together. Reading with a dim light or listening to music with headphones can entertain the restless partner until he or she is ready to sleep.
Couples should seek a bed that can comfortably fit both persons and still have room for rolling around and kicking (for those who are particularly fidgety or feisty during the night). Ideally, the bed should be at least queen sized. It is recommended that couples shop and try out the mattress together before making a purchase.
Nasal strips, sprays or orthopedic pillows can help diminish snoring by aiding breathing and realigning the neck and spine for more efficient airflow. If the noise is still disruptive, earplugs are a useful resource.
Snoring can also be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. It is important to consult a doctor about the issue and be treated for the condition if it is present.
The recommended temperature for sleep is usually between 60 and 70 degrees. For those who find the room too hot, a fan by the bedside or fewer clothes are good options. For those finding it too cold, it is helpful to pile on more blankets, double-fold the sheets, invest in a heating pad or wear layers.
The artificial light given off through television, cell phone, tablet or computer screens is detrimental to sleep patterns. It can “trick” the brain into staying wakeful by hindering the release of melatonin, an essentially sleep hormone. Both partners should leave these devices out of the room or stop using them at least half an hour before sleep. Reading or soothing music is beneficial to help ease the brain into drowsiness.
The bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool. Sleeping masks or earplugs are helpful should one partner prefer slight light or music during the night.
Mattresses, pillows and sheets are also vital to sleep quality. If a partner is constantly moving around during the night, it may indicate the need to invest in better sleeping materials.
Although this may seem a last resort, sleeping apart has genuinely helped many couples in their relationships. Partners no longer blame each other for sleeping problems or wake up irritable and bleary-eyed in the morning. As long as intimacy is maintained during the day, there is no net negative effect on the relationship.
There is always going to be some give-and-take in bed sharing, whether in bedtimes, temperature, personal space or lighting. Contemplate how important your sleep is to you. To what extent are you willing to compromise for your partner?