This week is National Stop Snoring Week – the annual event organised by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association. The aim is to increase awareness about snoring, to inform people that snoring shouldn’t be ignored and that it can be managed.
Why is snoring bad for my health?
Snoring is not just an annoying inconvenience, it can have serious effects on your physical and mental health. This is because it can disturb yours and your sleeping partner’s sleep, leaving you feeling tired, groggy and irritable. When you feel like this, you cannot function in your day-to-day. To make matters worse it can have a negative strain on your relationship. There are also links to hearing loss, strokes and heart disease that derive from snoring.
Why do people snore?
Snoring is caused by your soft palate or the insides of your nose or mouth vibrating when you’re breathing. This is caused by your airway being blocked.
When we’re awake our muscle tone on our airways is controlled, but when we’re asleep some people’s muscle tone collapses which creates a snoring noise.
How can I manage my snoring?
Sometimes snoring is caused by binge drinking, smoking, taking anti-histamines, sleeping pills, eating heavily before bed (especially dairy) or being overweight. These problems can be easily remedied by changing your lifestyle.
However, if these are not the cause, going to your GP or dentist to help diagnose the problem is a better option. Often a physical abnormality may be the cause of your snoring, for example, your tongue might be obstructing the air flow. They may give you a mouth guard or other anti-snore products to help manage your snoring.
This year the BSSAA are emphasising the importance of diagnosis when it comes to snoring. If your snoring is really disturbing yours or your partner’s sleep you should get help from your GP or dentist because sometimes a home diagnosis isn’t sufficient. Take this online test created by the BSSAA to help diagnose what type of snorer you are and what the best remedies are for you.
What is sleep Apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA is when air is prevented from getting to your lungs. This results in a quiet pause followed by an extremely loud snore. In these pauses, you are essentially not breathing and your brain will cause you to wake up, usually by creating a loud snoring noise.
OSA is dangerous when the pause is more than 10 seconds long or is happening more than 5 times an hour.
If you’re worried you’re suffering from OSA, talk to your GP or for more information go to the BSSAA website.
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