— By Katherine Dilworth
Do you live with a snorer?
Are you married to one? Or, are you a snorer yourself?
If yes, then you know how hard the struggle is. A long day of work is sure to result in little grunts, but chain-sawing forests every night can put your relationship on a tightrope. The effects of snoring in a marriage span a little more than an annoyance.
So, how to stop snoring and get your relationship back on track?
When you do not get enough sleep due to your spouse’s snoring, it makes you more irritable. Small arguments in such cases can blow out of proportions. The negative effects, in such cases, will build up over time, creating tension in your relationship.
What Causes You To Snore?
You snore when air cannot move freely through your throat and nasal cavity. It causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate. There are many reasons why people snore — age, lifestyle, being overweight, poor health, blocked sinuses, and sleeping position.
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine defines snoring as a sound that occurs during sleep when soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates as you breathe.
As people age, their throats become narrower making the tissues prone to vibration. Smoking and drinking can also cause people to snore. People who are out of shape snore more as more fat accumulation means more obstruction in the throat.
Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea which increases the risk of developing heart disease. In fact, snoring is the first and most common symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition when the air stops flowing into your lungs for 10 or more seconds.
What Can You Do About It?
Talk about it! That’s the first step.
Your spouse might not be aware of their night-time blaring. Or you might not be aware that you snore at the cost of disturbing your spouse’s sleep. Couples usually shy away from addressing such a problem dismissing it to be trivial. But any such problem that can put your relationship at risk should be talked about openly for resolution.
Snoring also creates health concerns for the snorers. And talking about it is the first step towards curing it.
People suffering from sleep apnea should go for an overnight sleep study with their doctor’s consultation. The correction will be according to the report you get back.
How To Stop Snoring: Easy Fixes
- Clean Surroundings: Identifying the causes of snoring is a bit tricky. A simple allergy can cause you to snore heavily. There are a huge number of other reasons you might be snoring. Cleaning your surroundings should be the first step towards sleeping better.
- Nasal Rinse: A stuffy nose can block the nasal passage and cause you to snore. Rinsing it with salt water or using nasal decongestants can ease the breathing.
- Humidifying Bedroom: Dirty rooms can give you a hard time breathing. Cleaning your room frequently and pairing it with a humidifier can help lessen the severity of snoring. If you use a rug, make sure to choose one that is easy to clean and does not easily collect dust.
- Sleeping On Side: Sleeping lying on your back can cause you to snore. It makes the tongue and palate collapse to the wall of the throat, causing it to vibrate.Using a body pillow provides an easy fix as it helps you sleep on your side.
How To Stop Snoring: Lifestyle Changes
- Weight Loss: If you started snoring after you put on weight, weight loss may help. Gaining weight around your neck squeezes the throat, making the airway passage narrow. It collapses when you sleep, thus making you snore. However, weight loss doesn’t help everyone — since thin people snore too.
- Alcohol Abstinence: Alcohol reduces the resting tone of the muscles of your throat. Drinking a few hours before sleeping can turn you into a logging machine. Avoid alcohol at least six hours before sleeping.
- Ample Sleep: Working for hours without enough sleep makes your muscles floppy when you finally drop on your bed. Proper sleep and rest helps reduce snoring.
- Adequate Hydration: Secretion in the nose and soft palate become sticky when you are not hydrated enough. This can cause you to snore. So, drink plenty of fluid throughout the day.
How To Stop Snoring: Other Remedies
- Sleep Separately: When all other remedies fail, this extreme measure will help others sleep soundly without you feeling guilty.It does not work for every couple as sleeping apart can create a rift between them — just the same as sleeping together with the partner snoring heavily. But if the partner is okay with sleeping apart, it can actually save their relationship.
- Exercises and Yoga: A study conducted by American College of Chest Physicians found that exercising and strengthening mouth and tongue can cut the frequency of snores by 36% and the volume by 59%.Here are the exercises that the participants did:
- Push the tongue against the roof of the mouth and slowly slide it backward.
- Suck the entire tongue against the roof of the mouth.
- Force the back of the tongue against the base of the mouth touching the bottom of the front teeth.
- Lift the soft palate and uvula while saying “A”.
Simple yoga breathing techniques also help reduce snoring and strengthen the diaphragm. As an added bonus, yoga exercises also help reduce stress levels and calm the mind.
- Mechanical Methods:
- Orthopedic pillows — these help keep the jaw open and slightly forwards.
- Dental fixtures — Anti-snoring appliances like dental fixtures help reduce snoring. However, they are just a temporary fix.
- Positive Airway Pressure — A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine pumps a steady stream of air through a mask worn over the nose and mouth.
- Surgery — Tissues can be removed from the back of the throat to widen the air passage.
Your relationship can be saved from this relationship killer. Talking about it is the first step in the direction of curing it.Simple changes in daily habits and lifestyle go a long way in curing it. While surgery and appliances do correct the problem, there are simpler ways to cure it.
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