Don’t feel embarrassed to say that you snore; it’s far more common than you think. It has been recorded that approximately 45 to 60% of adults snore occasionally with 25% of these being ceaseless snorers. Men tend to be the worst snorers with overweight people coming in second; we also understand that age plays a large roll in snoring. Snoring does not only affect the sleeper but the partner as well and can lead to daytime drowsiness without knowing the cause. We actually believe that we had a good night’s rest, simply not knowing what we do in our sleep. Do you ever wonder how many times you knock your partner to roll over in your sleep and do not realise it.
So let’s understand what snoring is:
The loud noises you hear are actually vibrations that come from the back of the throat. If you inspect your mouth you will see the uvula, soft palate and possibly tonsils if you have not had them removed. As you lie down and start to sleep, the muscle tone and tongue start to relax with your tongue easing to the back of your throat. An obstruction is created which causes the lack of free flowing air at the back of the mouth and nose and the vibrating begins.
Snoring is not limited to any one of the four stages of sleep and is different for each person. However incessant snoring should be looked at by a doctor as you may have Sleep Apnea which is a medical condition that can be helped.
Those prone to snoring but are not limited to:
- Larger throat tissue which creates poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat
- Illness such as tonsillitis, adenoids, cysts and tumours can cause snoring in adults and children
- Being overweight can create excess soft tissue in the neck that can lead to airway narrowing.
- Season changes can cause sinus, colds or hay fever which exasperates snoring.
- Nasal deviations can cause obstructions.
- Medication, alcohol or narcotics can cause irregular snoring.
Allow your partner to observe you as you sleep and make notes. If you feel that your sleep pattern and snoring are disturbing your waking hours, make an appointment with a clinical Neurophysiologist in your area. If you are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep apnea or just a “normal” snorer, you mind will at least be at ease.