Have you ever woken up and had someone complain about your snoring? You might not even be aware of it, and it turns out you’re not alone. The Better Health Channel in Victoria estimates that 20% of the population snore.
Snoring happens while we’re asleep and can’t breathe as well as we’re supposed to, whether that’s through our nose or throat. It happens for a number of reasons; the tissues in our mouth (nasal or throat) are vibrating, our tongue is in the way, our sleeping position, ingesting alcohol and medication, medical conditions and more.
It often interrupts our partner and family’s sleep, may lead to couple’s sleeping in separate bedrooms and feeling fatigued the next day.
While snoring may be an indicator of sleep apnea and more serious problems, it is a common occurrence and not severe in many cases.
You’re at increased risk of snoring if you
- Drink alcohol, especially a large amount, smoke or take muscle relaxant medications
- Are overweight
- Have a blocked nose, allergies or hay fever
- Sleep on your back (this often makes people’s tongue get in the way of airflow)
- Are pregnant
- Have a broken nose
Treatments to decrease snoring include losing weight (if this is a cause), decreasing substance consumption such as nicotine and caffeine, cutting out eating before bed, increasing exercise, changing sleeping positions and the bedroom environment such as temperature.