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There’s nothing like winding down after a long, hard day to get some much-needed sleep. Not only is it relaxing and comfortable, quality sleep is an essential biological function needed to recharge the body and refresh the mind.

However, snoring can disrupt you, your partner and even your housemates! It can be a nightly occurrence that’s not just loud and frustrating, but can also prevent both you and others from getting enough quality sleep, which can leave you chronically sleep deprived, no matter how many hours you’ve been in bed for.

This can lead to further problems and health issues which is why so many people ask: “How do I stop snoring?”

We have created this page to provide you with all the information you need to answer this question and help to find a practical solution to cure your snoring.

Contents

What is snoring?

Why do we snore?

What causes snoring?

Why am I always tired?

Snoring and Sleep Disorders

Take our free online Sleep Assessment

How to stop snoring

How to stop your partner of roommate snoring

 

What is snoring?

The sound you hear when someone snores is caused when the nose or throat is restricted, and as breath is drawn in and exhaled out, the air pressure causes the passageways to vibrate and shudder.

Instead of quiet normal breathing, a person who suffers from snoring produces this loud noise which disrupts sleep, potentially throwing off regular sleeping rhythms(1).

Around 50% of all adults will snore occasionally(1) for one reason or another and normally, it’s not something to be concerned about. However, approximately 25% of all adults snore habitually(1) and if this is the case, it can potentially have some significant impacts on your health and the people around you.

Everyone has a good chuckle when it comes to snoring because we have all become accustomed to poking a bit of fun at it. However, because of this, it’s easy for us to dismiss the seriousness of snoring in our sleep.

To help you uncover a solution, the first step is to learn more about snoring itself so you can be well-informed and aware.

For more information, read our article: what is snoring?

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If you are constantly tired and experience sleepiness during the day, this quick and easy tool is a great place to start to find out if you're at risk of a sleep disorder.

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Why do we snore?

When lying down to sleep, the muscles in our upper airway relax, allowing us to breathe while in a horizontal position. However, when these muscles relax too much, it causes what’s known as ‘airflow turbulence’, where the surrounding tissue vibrates, resulting in that familiar, rough snoring sound.

Sometimes the muscles may relax even further, which can cause a complete blockage. If this occurs, you will stop breathing altogether, which triggers your subconscious to choke or cough to clear the passage to resume your normal breathing pattern again.

While you may not even be aware that you’re doing it, this automatic response to clear your airways can happen over and over again in one night, leading to ongoing disruptions in your sleep patterns and overall sleep quality. Should this snoring continue night after night, your poor sleep quality will continue over longer periods, resulting in irritability, daytime fatigue, headaches and other health problems(1).

Are Your Morning Headaches Telling You Something?

Additionally, the loud and repetitive sound can impact partners, housemates and others around you as they try to sleep.

For more background information, read our article, How to say the ‘s’ word – discussing snoring with a bedtime partner.

While the occasional snoring episode may happen every-so-often, chronic snoring may be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes people to intermittently struggle or stop breathing during the night (see below).

 

What causes snoring?

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To find a cure for your snoring, it’s helpful to know what can potentially cause it in the first place. The causes of snoring can be due to temporary or structural factors, or perhaps a mixture of both.

Snoring can be caused by a whole range of temporary factors, such as:

  • A cold or flu
  • Awkward sleeping position
  • Swollen tonsils or adenoids, especially in children
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sedative use
  • Excessive smoking
  • Consumption of alcohol

These factors occur for a short time and are not permanent, meaning that snoring should cease as these conditions change or clear up.

Structural factors, however, are more long-term and include:

  • The shape of your head and neck, as it may create a smaller than normal airway
  • Ageing, as your throat becomes narrower and the muscle tone decreases
  • Pregnancy
  • Excessive weight and obesity
  • Nasal and sinus problems
  • Tissues at the top of airways touching each other, causing vibrations
  • Overall nose shape
  • Obstruction in the nasal passageway
  • Fat gathering in and around the throat
  • Misaligned jaw, often caused by tension in the muscles
  • Throat muscle weakness, causing the throat to close during sleep

If you snore, consider if you have or are experiencing any of these factors above. If you make a list of which factors may affect you, you will have a better chance of finding the solution to your snoring.

 

Why am I always tired?

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In our bustling world today where life seems to go by at an ever-increasing rate, it’s no surprise that people are asking the question: why am I always tired?

Ask yourself:

  1. Do you wake up every morning to your alarm clock and pray for an extra hour?
  2. Do you find yourself heading to bed earlier each night, determined to get more sleep, but in the morning you feel the same?
  3. Do you feel sleep deprived, no matter how many hours you spend in bed?
  4. Do you find yourself falling asleep during the day?

You’re not alone.

Getting less sleep can often feel like a lifestyle choice to help us fit everything in each day, but what if your lack of sleep is actually more than just not getting enough hours?

Read more about this in our blog: Is a little sleep debt ok?

There can be a whole range of reasons why you may find yourself always tired, and it’s normal to go through your list to try and figure it out. Is it your lifestyle, sleep hygiene, electronic device use late at night, eating routines or stress? These are the more obvious reasons.

However, what is less obvious is that daytime fatigue can be due to the ongoing interruptions you’re experiencing due to your snoring.

When your nose and throat are blocked and your airways are restricted, your body will struggle to breathe throughout the whole night, resulting in a decline in your quality of sleep. As a result, you will wake up feeling tired, even if you’ve been physically in bed for enough hours.

Quality sleep is very important for your health and well-being(1), so it’s worth finding out what is impacting it.

To learn more, read our article: Are you practising good sleep hygiene?

 

Snoring and Sleep Disorders

What may be easily dismissed as simple snoring could actually be pointing towards a more serious concern.

Snoring can be a significant indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is a common sleep disorder.

Sleep Apnea (also spelt ‘sleep apnoea’) affects the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing you to snore loudly, resulting in one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

To learn more, read our article: What is Sleep Apnea?

These breathing pauses, or apneas, can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and may occur 30 times or more per hour, which equates to around several hundred times a night.

Every time this happens, your body increases its effort to breathe and your vital organs struggle for oxygen, which alerts your brain to wake up and force you to breathe again. This can lead to experiencing chronic tiredness that affects your quality of life, work and relationships.

To learn more, read our article: Sleep disorders affect men and women differently.

 

Take the Free Online Sleep Assessment

Knowing if and why you snore is the best place to begin.

If you suspect you are experiencing problems sleeping due to snoring and are searching for a solution, you can complete our free sleep assessment to better understand the cause. This will help you find the best ways to correct your restful state, wake up fresh and improve your overall health.

The assessment asks you a series of simple questions designed and the results will be conveniently sent to you via an email.

 

How to stop snoring

As you will notice from the results you receive from the Sleep Assessment, there are many reasons as to why people snore as well as a wide range of effective treatments.

This is why so it’s important to understand the specific causes of your situation. Once you understand the reasons behind it, you can find the best solutions specific to your case and get a better night’s sleep- for both you and everyone around you! As mentioned above, snoring may not just be a problem due to the noise and the disruption- it can often also be a sign of sleep apnea. The use of CPAP masks in combination with CPAP machines is currently the most effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea.

CPAP involves the use of a continuous flow of pressurised air through a mask and into your airway. This pressurised air prevents the airway from collapsing when the muscles in your throat relax during the night, which in turn acts as a snoring cure.

Another snoring solution is the use of an anti-snoring mouthguard or mandibular oral devices like SnoreMender. These devices are placed in the mouth during sleep, causing the lower jaw and tongue to be held more forward than usual, opening up the airway and preventing the restriction of air through the throat, which stops you from snoring.

To read more, visit our Snoring webpage, which can provide you with more information.

Edensleep offers a variety of snoring solutions tailored to your specific needs from our clinics across New Zealand, however, if you’re not sure which is suitable for your budget and specific circumstances, we can help you.

 

How to stop your partner or roommate from snoring

Sometimes, it may not be you who is snoring! It may be your partner or roommate who is keeping you awake all night with their choking and heavy breathing.

While the snorer may be suffering from poor quality sleep, it can often feel worse being the one who has to put up with it all night, as you may find yourself struggling to nod off with all of the noise.

This can be quite disruptive to your own sleep patterns, and so even though you don’t have a snoring issue yourself, simply sleeping next to them means you’re more likely to be fatigued and experience all of the common symptoms which come along with sleep deprivation, such as irritation, or a lack of concentration, simply because you are being kept awake throughout the night by a loud partner.

What should you do about a snoring spouse or roommate??

  • Examine Snoring Habits

    The first thing to consider is how long have you noticed them snoring? Is it only recent or has it been happening for a while? Examining their habits may offer you a little insight into what may be causing the issue to help you find a solution.

    For example, if it only happens when they drink a lot of alcohol or smoke before bed, there may be a direct link. Let them know that their snoring always follows these occurrences, and see, once they stop, if their snoring also stops.

  • Losing Weight

    Another reason may be their body size. Being overweight can restrict their airways and the blockages cause the tissue to vibrate during the night. You may have to suggest to them about improving their diet or exercise. Better yet, do it as a team and you will both benefit!

  • Adjust Sleep Position

    Sleeping position can also affect their airways. If you find that they snore while on their back or facing downwards, gently roll them onto their side to open their nose and throat so they can breathe easier. We sell the Night Shift Sleep Repositioner that helps such people to stay on their side while sleeping

  • Take a Sleep Assessment

    Staggering your sleep so that you get to bed earlier before them.

    All of the above suggestions are temporary fixes and while they might help stop your partner or roommate from snoring, it may not be a permanent solution.

    Additionally, you could just be making the situation more bearable for you, however their snoring hasn’t been treated- so they are still suffering from the negative impacts that poor sleep brings.

    If nothing seems to be working, show them our free online sleep assessment link, below, and get them to answer the questions so they can get their results emailed back. It may help them find out what is causing their snoring and to get on the path to a far more permanent solution which helps them (and you) get a better night’s sleep.


    They can access the Sleep Assessment here:

    TAKE OUR FREE SLEEP ASSESSMENT

For more information, read our article: Does Your Partner Snore? Here’s What To Do To Help You Both Sleep Soundly.

 

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Free Online Sleep Assessment 

If you are experiencing problems getting enough quality sleep and you believe it may be sleep apnea, you may wish to consider undertaking a free online sleep assessment to better understand how to improve your restful state and your overall health.

The assessment asks you a series of simple questions designed to help you uncover the cause, then conveniently sends the results to you via an email.

Take Your Free Online Sleep Assessment

References

 

  1. Southern Cross, NZ. Snoring - causes, treatment, surgery. https://www.southerncross.co.nz/group/medical-library/snoring-causes-treatment-surgery. Accessed 19 Sept 2018