Sunday, 23. March 2014

Help, My Partner Snores!

This nocturnal disturbance burdens not only your relationship but also your health. Luckily, there are measures that you can take to get the problem under control!

Annoying noises at night increasingly affect many people, especially as we age. It is estimated that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 4 women are affected by snoring. Many people only rouse their noisy partner if they are absolutely desperate. Wouldn't it be nice if you could stop snoring forever? On the one hand it disturbs your partner, especially during the light sleep phase. Constant noise keeps one from falling alseep and disturbs your overall rest. Not only that, but the snorer himself suffers from bad sleep because the snoring adversely affects deep sleep phases.

The cause of snoring is primarily a slight narrowing of the upper airway. If you lie on your back, your lower jaw has no support and falls open. The tongue slips backwards and thus reduces the airway in the throat. This causes the respiratory air to pass through the pharynx with more speed than normal. This causes the soft palate to vibrate. The soft palate is the soft area on the roof of the mouth from which the uvula hangs. The vibrations caused by the rush of breathing cause the snoring to start up again. 

Alcohol and pills also promote snoring because they soothe and reduce muscle tone. Even being overweight increases the risk of snoring. Fat not only sits on the stomach and hips, but to a lesser extent also resides in the throat and narrows the airway. Therefore, the the risk of snoring increases with increased age - the muscles go limp more easily with age, causing the rattle and gurgle of snoring. 

Anatomical conditions such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or a crooked septum can cause snoring but can be corrected with surgery. One can also reduce the size of the soft palate and thus reduce the area of vibration- unfortunately without guarantee of success.

There are also mechanical aids that can help. Nose clips, -strips and plasters also help. They ensure that the airway through the nose remains open during sleep. This prevents mouth breathing and can reduce snoring. In addition, there is a wide market of mechanical and digital anti-snoring devices. These include pacifier or chin straps that will hold the lower jaw in position. Sprays and drops with various firming and moisturizing ingredients also work to keep the airway open.

Doctors and sleep experts give the following advice when it comes to reducing snoring:
• Drink as little alcohol as possible and avoid stress, eating lighter food and try to sleep on the your side.