How to Stop Snoring and Overcome Sleep Apnoea
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Snoring is a problem for very many people, and it can often put a strain on a relationship where a couple share a bed. Imagine, for example, that you wake up during the night for some reason, and your partner is snoring his or her head off. This can be extremely irksome if you can't get back to sleep because of the noise.
The coarse, unruly sound of snoring comes from the vibrations of the soft palate and other tissues in the mouth, nose and throat, causing air turbulence whilst breathing in .. There is often a partial blockage somewhere, or there may just be insufficient muscle tone to keep the tissues from vibrating. This can sometimes be caused by consuming too much alcohol, or by being overweight
In addition to snoring, some people suffer sleep apnoea, where they actually stop breathing for a short while, anything up to 20 seconds Fortunately we have an inbuilt reflex mechanism so that when the blood oxygen level gets low we are jolted awake and start breathing again , often with a snort or with choking Episodes of apnoea (lack of breathing), can occur quite frequently during the night with the result that a person does not get adequate refreshing sleep This makes the person tired and listless during the day It can reduce performance at work and even be dangerous by reducing concentration and reflexes whilst driving.
In order to overcome the problem it is necessary to find out if there is an obstruction, perhaps in the nose, or whether the snoring is due to mouth breathing. Often the problem is multi-factorial, often involving an unfavourable position of the tongue during sleep.
Factors that can contribute to the problem of snoring and sleep apnoea are:
• Alcohol and sedatives
• Nasal obstruction
• Mouth breathing
• Poor tongue position
• Sleeping position
• The menopause
If you are unable to determine the problem exactly yourself it is best to see your doctor, perhaps taking your partner with you to give accurate information. If your own doctor can't help you solve the problem then he can refer you to a sleep study clinic for evaluation.
There are however, often simple lifestyle changes that can be of tremendous help in overcoming snoring and sleep apnoea problems.
• If you are over weight try to lose weight with a sensible diet
• Don't drink alcohol in the late evening
• Stop smoking
• Change your sleeping position. Don't lie flat on your back.