Why do we snore? What is snoring?
Snoring is caused by excessive or lax tissue that vibrates when we are sleeping as air passes in and out (we breathe in and out). This vibration creates the noise commonly known as snoring, and is a sign of interference to our breathing. Snoring can be very loud, or slight, and it can be a sign of a more serious problem such as sleep apnoea. When the muscles or tissue in the throat relax, our flow of oxygen can be interrupted increasing risk of severe health concerns such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, weight gain and more!
What causes snoring?
As written above, snoring is relaxed tissue in our airway vibrating. Snoring has many causes, such as obesity, excess tissue, lax tissue or muscle tone, allergies, structural issues in the nose, narrow airway, tonsils, structural abnormalities, nasal congestion, alcohol consumption and sleeping position (for example, you might notice that you tend to snore more after a few drinks, especially if you sleep on your back).
Could a sleep disorder be making me tired?
Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that can severely impact on your health. When you have sleep apnoea, your airways close. This can cause you to have very low oxygen levels. It can also increase the risk of severe medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart rate, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, weight gain and many more.
Why am I always tired?
Snoring interrupts your sleep quality, especially where sleep apnoea is involved. As your body struggles for air past the vibration or closure of your airway, your sleep quality reduces. And it is not just the snorer that has poor sleep, but their partner and sometimes the whole household who suffers. Snoring causes tiredness due to poor quality sleep.
How do I stop snoring?
There are various forms of treatment to stop snoring, and these depend on your health, height, weight, airway, age and other medical conditions. A sleep and respiratory physician is a qualified doctor who can refer you for a sleep study, discuss these results with you and advise of the best treatment option for you based on your health and individual concerns.
Treatment for snoring?
There are many forms of treatment for snoring, however before commencing treatment you should always formally be screened for more serious conditions such as sleep apnoea by a qualified sleep and respiratory specialist who will be able to advise of the best form of treatment for you (you wouldn’t see a mechanic to fix your plumbing)!
Some treatment options available are:
- Nasal vent therapy or nasal strips
- ENT interventions or surgery
- Nasal or allergy therapy
- Mandibular advancement splints or mouth guards
- Positional therapy devices
- Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP)
In the meantime, lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, weight loss and reducing alcohol consumption may help to reduce snoring.
If you are concerned about your sleep health, talk to your GP. They can provide a referral to a sleep physician and/or sleep clinic, where you can get your sleep tested. Life’s too short for poor quality sleep!
For more information, call the team at Pacific Sleep today.