A quarter of people snore regularly. In many cases, it isn’t anything to be concerned about but you might find that it’s causing issues with your sleep, health and relationships.
It’s said that 40% of people over 40 years of age snore. And snoring is more common in men than women because men have narrower air passages. Scarily, snoring is also the third leading cause for divorce out of all medical conditions. (Yikes!)
If you’re a snorer, don’t fret. Most of us will snore once in a while, but there are many prolific snorers out there and there are reasons and treatments for this affliction.
Today, we’re going to be looking at snoring, from the reasons why people snore, the health problems that snoring can cause, how to treat snoring and how to sleep better next to a snoring partner.
Reasons Why People Snore
Why do people snore? There are many reasons why someone will snore regularly, ranging from a night out on the booze to medical conditions. Here are some of the causes of snoring:
If you’ve been consuming alcohol or been taking other sedatives (e.g. sleeping tablets, drowsy allergy medication), you may be more likely to snore. This is because the alcohol or sedatives relax the muscle in your throat.
Smoking causes inflammation in your lungs and airways, reducing the size of your nose and throat passages, which can lead to snoring.
Hypothyroidism is linked to sleep apnoea, snoring, insomnia and other sleep problems.
If you’re overweight or have recently gained weight, your chances of snoring are higher. This is because fatty deposits can collect around your neck and throat areas, causing the muscles to collapse and making you snore. If you lose weight, it might ease your snoring.
Allergies can cause irritation, swelling and congestion in your airways which can encourage snoring. Good quality hypoallergenic bedding can help with irritation in the night caused by allergies.
Sleeping on your back makes you more likely to snore than if you sleep on your front or your side (more on that below!).
The older you get, the higher your chances are of snoring. This is because our tissues become drier and less stretchy, making it more likely to vibrate and contribute to the sound of snoring.
Snoring can cause serious health problems.
If you snore intensely, you’re more likely to experience carotid atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries in your neck due to plaque). This can greatly increase your risk of having a stroke.
Injuries are also more likely in people who snore - and people who are affected by their snoring. Snoring interrupts sleep, making you sleepier during the day. This fatigue increases your risk of having accidents and injuries in your daily life.
Arrhythmia is the name for having an irregular heart rhythm and it’s linked to snoring - more specifically, snoring in those who have sleep apnoea.
Mental health problems and snoring are also linked. Low mood, depression and anxiety are all commonly found in snorers. Stopping snoring can ease or stop these mental health issues.
With all this in mind, we highly recommend trying out snoring treatments if you can.
If you snore
There are plenty of snoring solutions available if you’re wondering how to stop snoring immediately. You might have to try a few things to find out what works best for you, but chances are one of the below options will prevent snoring.
Change your position
People are more likely to snore when they’re lying on their back and less likely to snore when they’re lying on their side or front. You can position pillows in your bed to encourage you to sleep on your side. Failing that, you could opt for a positional sleep belt, such as the slumberBUMP.
There are loads of different devices on the market that are designed to reduce and eliminate snoring. Here are some of the anti-snoring devices that you can try:
It might sound drastic, but having a surgery can stop your snoring and improve a great many aspects in your life. However, it shouldn’t be the first port of call. If you’ve tried all other avenues but they haven’t been successful, surgery might be for you.
Surgeries for snoring include:
- Pillar procedure
- Soft palate surgery
If you’ve exhausted the other options and you think surgery could be for you, speak to your GP.
If they snore
Sleeping with someone who snores is called second hand snoring!
If you sleep with or near someone who snores, it can be really frustrating . You might be experiencing low mood, tiredness and memory issues and, in the long term, develop issues such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Poor sleep can impact every aspect of your life, but luckily there are some things you can do to help you sleep through your partner’s snoring.
It’s simple but effective. A good pair of ear plugs should be able to block out the sound of your snoring partner.
Change their position
Having your partner change position when they’re snoring can have a big impact. It can be a little tricky to do when they’re asleep, though.
It's a fact that your partner is more likely to snore when they’re lying on their back (the supine position). Gently roll them onto their side to alleviate the snoring if you can.
If you’re not able to, you can place a small and safe object under their back to make it uncomfortable for them to lie in the supine position - a stress ball or a tennis ball works well for this.
Listen to white noise
There are apps out there that play white noise and you can listen to it through your earphones to drown out the snoring.
We recommend White Noise Lite which allows you to listen to a variety of sounds - aeroplanes, rain, white noise, brown noise and much more - through your phone all night long with no cost.
You can also get white noise machines and alarm clocks that play white noise. These can be effective but, if you’re not listening through your earphones, it’s unlikely to mask the snores.
You may find that your partner snoring only bothers you if they fall asleep first. Also, if you’re relaxed, it might reduce the frustration you feel when you can’t sleep. Here’s a guide to meditating in bed. Plus, there are apps such as Calm that can help soothe you to sleep.
We know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. That’s why we’ve created high quality bamboo bedding and Lunesilk (40% silk, 60% bamboo) bedding. This is incredibly soft and comfortable bedding that is hypoallergenic, antibacterial and kind to the planet. Shop our range of bamboo bedding and Lunesilk bedding.