Sleep Apnea Help

What You Can Do If You Snore

Snoring is a common sleep problem. Approximately  90 million American adults are affected by snoring, and 37 million of them snore on a regular basis.
Snoring happens when the tissues in your throat relax as you sleep. When air flows through the relaxed tissues, they vibrate as you breathe and cause a horse or harsh sound. It can be soft or very loud depending on the severity.
Snoring can be disruptive to sleep, both for the snorer and sleeping partners. This disruption can cause fragmented sleep with little to no deep sleep, leaving sufferers feeling unrested and unrefreshed in the morning.
People who suffer from snoring can be affected by sleep deprivation and may be at a higher risk for heart disease. Sleep deprivation can lead to difficulty with concentration, performance, mood, and cause drowsy driving.
Frequent loud snoring can be an indication of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition that increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, behavior problem, and an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Snoring Risk Factors

Although snoring can happen to anyone at any age, certain risk factors can make you more susceptible to developing a problem with snoring. These risk factors include:
  • Being overweight
  • Drinking alcohol
  • A family history of snoring or sleep apnea
  • Being male
  • Having a long soft palate
  • Having large tonsils or adenoids
  • Having nasal problems, such as chronic allergies
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Sleep deprivation

How to Alleviate Snoring and Improve Sleep Quality

If you’re suffering from snoring, sleep may feel impossible. But there are some steps you can take to alleviate or eliminate snoring and improve the quality of your sleep. Try these tips that can help chronic and occasional snorers:
  • Practice healthy sleep habits. If you’re short on sleep, make the most of the hours you’re getting by practicing good sleep hygiene. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine so your body can depend on consistency. Create a healthy sleep environment, and avoid sleep pitfalls such as late-night screen time, caffeine, or heavy meals.
  • Lose weight. If you’re overweight or obese, fat deposits near the airway can cause or lead to increased snoring. Exercising more and improving your diet may address your snoring as well.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed. The sedative effect of alcohol can cause your airway to relax too much, which can increase the incidence of snoring.
  • Talk to your dentist about an oral appliance. With an oral appliance, you can move the lower jaw and tongue forward, which can help you keep your airway open while you sleep.
  • Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back is a risk factor for snoring. When you sleep on your back, gravity can narrow the airway and lead to snoring.
  • Talk to your doctor about treatment. If snoring is interfering with your ability to sleep well at night or function during the day, talk to your doctor about treatment. They may recommend a sleep study, which can identify sleep apnea and lead to proper treatment.
Are you a candidate for a sleep appliance? Call Sterling Dental Center today to set up an appointment for a consultation.