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Do You Have this Night Time Problem that Affects Your Partner Too? | Amoils.com

Added June 20, 2012, Under: Men's Health, Women's Health

SLEEPMost of us need and crave a good night’s sleep but if this problem affects you or your sleeping partner, it can lead to disagreements, crankiness and even despair. So what can be done to ensure that everyone gets to sleep in spite of this very problem that could be caused by you or that partner in the bed next to you?

Of course I am referring to that age old dilemma of snoring!

A joke to some but something that has to be tolerated by many. Everyone will have their own story to tell about dealing with snoring but perhaps, if snoring is giving you nightmares, you might find a solution here. Snoring happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and mouth during sleep, caused by a narrowing of your airway, getting in the way of smooth breathing and creating that dreaded sound of snoring. Although both men and women can snore, it is more likely in men because they have narrower air passages.

You can take these simple tests yourself to find out what kind of snorer you are courtesy of the British snoring site

 The Nose Test

While looking in a mirror, press the side of one nostril to close it. With your mouth closed, breathe in through your other nostril. If the nostril tends to collapse, try propping it open with the clean end of a matchstick. If breathing is easier with the nostril propped open, you could have your answer. Test both nostrils.

The Mouth Test

Open your mouth and make a snoring noise. Now close your mouth and try to make the same noise. If you can only snore with your mouth open then you are a ‘mouth breather’.

The Allergy Test

With your mouth closed, try breathing in through your nose. If you cannot breathe well this way,  you may be suffering from nasal stuffiness caused by an allergy – possibly:  feather pillows and bedding, pet hair or dander, house dust mite, allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies, perfumes and body sprays (particularly with artificial fragrances) or commercial household cleansers that contain bleach or other toxins and chemicals.

The Tongue Test

Stick your tongue out as far as it will go and grip it between your teeth. Now try to make a snoring noise. If the snoring noise is reduced with your tongue in this forward position then you are probably what is known as a ‘tongue base snorer’.

And there is more

Adding to any problems of snoring is the fact that as you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases while even the way you are built can have a bearing – a narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids and other physical attributes which are often hereditary – contributing to the snoring.

Here are some solutions that may help

1. Sleep on a thicker pillow or multiple pillows so that your head is elevated. Just an extra 4 inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. Make sure your pillow is firm as  too soft encourages your throat muscles to relax, narrowing your air passageway. There are specially designed pillows to help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not cramped. Your sleep posture is important as sleeping flat on your back causes the throat to relax and block the airway. Sleep on your side and avoid sleeping on your back, as gravity makes it more likely for your tongue and soft tissues to drop and obstruct your airway.  If your partner has noticed that you snore when sleeping on your back, try sewing a pocket in the back of your pyjamas or sleeping shirt so that a tennis ball fits in or, easier still, safety-pin a sock to the back of the pyjama top, then put a tennis ball in it. The discomfort it causes will make sure you stay on one side or the other!

2. There are many substances that, if taken during the evening, will cause your muscles to relax and so limit your air passage way. Examples are alcoholic beverages, sleeping pills, tranquilizers or antihistamines and other medications. Smoking is another negative, causing inflammation and swelling of the throat so snoring is the result. Best is to give up smoking completely – for so many other health reasons too – but at the very least, avoid smoking right before you go to bed.

3. Some people get a mucus build up from dairy products. Try giving these up for a few weeks to see if the snoring goes away. Blocked nasal passages, such as having a stuffy nose, make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in your throat, which in turn leads to snoring. You can decongest naturally with a neti pot or try nasal decongestants or nasal strips at bedtime. This effectively open up the nostrils to allow more air to enter, helping you breathe more easily while sleeping.

4. Those who are overweight or obese will be more likely to snore as the space in the air passage way is reduced.  Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.

5. Avoid big meals in the evening especially before bedtime. A full stomach will push up your diaphragm and limit breathing passage ways. At the same time, steer clear of sugary or rich cakes, cookies or pizza and caffeine.

6. Some people find that a humidifier in the bedroom is helpful to both reduce congestion and prevent a dry throat by keeping the bedroom air moist. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat.

There are special exercises you can do to prevent snoring

Helpguide.org suggests practising throat exercises for 30 minutes a day as an effective way to reduce or stop snoring. They recommend starting slowly and gradually increase the number of sets you do. In some cases, you may be able to combine such exercises with other activities.

  • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
  • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day.
  • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
  • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds by looking in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.

Snoring can lead to poor sleep and daytime fatigue, irritability and increased ill health but it can also be a warning sign of a more serious condition such as sleep apnea or other sleep-related breathing problems.

Speak to your doctor if you or your partner have noticed any of the following red flags

  • You snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day.
  • You stop breathing, gasp, or choke during sleep.
  • You fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as during a conversation or a meal.

One way or another, it is best to find the cause of this conundrum of snoring for the health’s sake of everyone affected.

 


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