Science of Snoring - What The Studies Show

Find out what the science of snoring tells us. Why do you snore and how can you stop it?

What Is Causing My Snoring? Here Is The Science

Whether you agree or not, everyone snores from time to time. Usually, it is not anything to worry about if it does not offend anyone or is non-intrusive. Snoring is when someone is positioned in such a way that the air moves freely through their nose and throat, accompanied by soft vibrating sounds.

Individuals who snore have too much nasal and throat tissue that tends to vibrate. Even one’s tongue can get in the way of breathing freely.

Why Do People Snore in the First Place?

Sleep specialist Lynn A. D’Andrea, who is based at the University of Michigan Medical School, offers an in-depth explanation of why people snore.

When we are sleeping, our muscle tone decreases throughout our bodies. Our upper airway muscles go into a state of relaxation, which leads to our airway passage constricting and causing turbulence and airflow limitation. It is this combination of airflow that goes through the hypotonic airway structures that brings about the hard-to-bear vibratory noise that we know as snoring.

The sad reality is that regular snoring during the night not only disrupts the quality of our sleep but also leads to health problems. It gets worse when we prevent our partners from sleeping and may even eventually result in relationship issues.

Thank goodness, there is something that can be done about it besides investing in a good set of earplugs or the extreme step of sleeping in separate bedrooms.

Studies have revealed that snoring is not an illness that cannot be cured, but rather a symptom. You may want to compare it to coughing that is a symptom of pneumonia. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to snoring difficulties as it is a disorder that is characterized by repetitive obstructed gasps and labored breathing during sleeping.

What Are Some Common Causes of Snoring?

Various factors influence whether you are someone who snores or not. For some, it is once they reach middle age. That is when your throat narrows and the muscle tone weakens. While there is not much you can do to reverse the clock, following new bedtime routines and getting involved in some throat exercises can already help to minimize snoring.

When an individual is out of shape or overweight, it leads to excess fatty tissues that contribute to snoring. The solution is to lose weight and exercise to end the snoring.

Unfortunately, more men than women are burdened with a narrower air passage and are more prone to snore.

Sinus and nasal problems make inhalation hard and result in a throat vacuum that leads to snoring issues.

Medication, alcohol, and smoking are all culprits that seem to increase muscle relaxation and result in snoring difficulties.

One’s sleeping position also influences whether or not you will snore. What comes to mind is back sleepers where the flesh at the back of their throat relaxes and blocks the airway. This can be corrected with a firmer pillow or changing your sleeping position.

Bedtime Remedies to Put an End to Snoring

As mentioned already, you can alter your sleep position, even when sleeping on your back, by elevating your head by 4-inches to ease breathing and get your jaw and tongue to be more forward. Then again, you can get special pillows that are designed in such a way that your neck muscles are not constricted and will aid snoring difficulties.

Become a side sleeper if you are someone who tends to sleep on your back. One useful remedy is to secure a tennis ball to the back of your sleeping shirt or sew a sock and insert a tennis ball in it. Another tip is to wedge a pillow that is stuffed with tennis balls behind your back. This will prevent you from rolling onto your back. Soon you will be ready to get rid of the tennis balls and turn into a side sleeper.

Anti-snoring mouthpieces that are similar to a mouth guard proves to be quite useful as it opens the airway and moves your tongue or lower jaw forward while sleeping.

Should allergies such as hay fever lead to snoring issues due to a stuffy nose, then you may want to invest in a good-quality vacuum to get rid of pet dander and dust mites.

Make use of a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom moist, so your membranes experience less irritation within your throat and nose areas.

As a final thought, were you aware of the fact that even children snore? Researchers found that up to 20 percent of children snore on occasion while as much as 10 percent snore every night. Know that these kids are perfectly healthy. However, roughly 1 percent who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Resources - Scientific American, HelpGuide