Snoring can be a topic of jokes in a family gathering. It is very common and almost every one of us have done this at some point of our life. The main reason behind snoring is that the air can’t flow easily through the mouth and nose. When air passes through an obstructed area it creates vibration as the soft tissues in the throat, nose and mouth hit each other. This vibration makes a grumbling, or snoring sound. Once in a while it is not a serious problem. But if you are a long term snorer, it is a matter of concern as you not only affect the sleep pattern of your close ones but also your own sleep quality. Loud and long snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is a condition in which people have small interruptions in breathing throughout sleep.
During these pauses, oxygen level in the blood falls and your brain shakes you out of sound sleep to take a breath. Due to this one can miss out on deep, restful sound sleep. Not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are many other factors which are responsible for snoring. Snoring is more common among men over 50 who are overweight or obese. Though everyone snores at some time including babies, children and adults.
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Causes responsible for snoring
Alcohol and Sedative medications
Consumption of alcohol or any kind of sedative medication can result in severe snoring. They relax the muscles which are supporting the tissue around the airway and restrict airflow.
Smoking inflames the airways. It is also responsible for mucus production and people may suffer from congestion. Congestion is one of the main causes of snoring.
During pregnancy women often snore. It is due to pregnancy hormones which relaxes the muscles in the mouth and the mucous membrane in the nose. It results in vibrations that cause snoring.
It is very uncomfortable to try breathing with a blocked nose. Nasal congestion narrows the airway through which your lungs get enough air. At this point of time you breathe through your mouth. It is a leading cause of snoring as it changes the shape of airways and compresses your throat. Mouth breathing doesn’t filter allergens and bugs and the throat dries out from breathing direct non-humidified air.
Snoring mostly occurs while lying in a supine position that is laying on your back. At this position gravity pulls the tissue downwards that are surrounding your airways. This makes the airways narrower. It is observed that lying in lateral position (on side) can decrease snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
OSA is a Condition in which muscles that control your airways relax too much. It results in narrowing your airway. You wake up with a shake for a moment to reopen the airways. It might happen 8-10 times in an hour. Heredity is a potential risk factor for OSA.
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to snore or have Obstructive sleep apnea. It is difficult for obese person to lay down in lateral position. So when a heavy weight person lay down on back his/her neck fat compresses the airways which results in snoring.
Aging is inevitable. As we age our skin loses its tension. Muscles become weaker and less toned. Body goes through hormonal changes. Slowing down metabolism and reduction in physical activities make you gain weight. As you age your immunity becomes weaker which results in frequent cough, cold and nasal congestion. All these factors make you more likely to snore.
Foods and remedies that can help to stop snoring
This Indian spice has some beneficial anti-inflammatory properties which can help to soothe the throat, relief inflamed nasal passage to prevent snoring. Mix two teaspoon turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink 30 minutes before going to bed. (Cough and Cold home remedies)
Peppermint is loaded with Antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce swelling and opens the airways. Put 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in water and gargle before going to sleep.(Home remedies for oral health and tooth ache)
Onions are rich in antioxidants. It also has natural decongestant properties. It helps to clear the nasal passage. Onions helps to fight off infection causing bacteria and keeps the throat clear of congestion.
Honey has Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent snoring. Taking honey in hot water or in tea before going to bed can cure snoring by relaxing the throat and clearing congestion. (Amazing health benefits of honey)
Ginger is a superfood. It acts as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent and increases saliva secretion. Saliva helps to soothe the throat and prevent snoring. Drinking ginger honey tea is an easy way to beat snoring.
When it comes to snoring soy milk is much better option than cow’s or buffalo’s milk. These milk promotes allergic reaction which can swell nasal passage. People with lactose intolerance prefer soy milk to prevent snoring.
Pineapple and Banana
Melatonin is a hormone which makes us sleep. Improving sleep quality is the best way to prevent snoring. Pineapple and banana are rich in melatonin and can help to provide uninterrupted deep sleep which can help to stop snoring. (5 foods that help your child to sleep well)
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