Why do I snore and what can I do about it?

#Tips for Independence at Home
Read Time: 3 minutes

What causes snoring and why do I snore?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in your head and neck as you breathe in.  It is thought to affect around one quarter of the UK population and can affect all ages, although it is most commonly found in those aged 40 to 60 years old.  Also, around twice as many men snore compared to women.

Around twice as many men snore compared to women

In this post, I look at the different grades of snoring and what we can do to try and sleep without this annoying soundtrack.

NHS Choices: Further information about snoring

Grades of snoring

Healthcare professionals use a grading system to assess the severity of a person’s snoring. There are three grades of snoring:

Grade 1 - simple snoring where a person snores infrequently and the sound they make is quite quiet.

Grade 2 - moderate snoring where a person snore on a regular basis, more than three days a week.

Grade 3 - extreme snoring where a person snores every night, so loudly it can be heard outside the room they are in.

Many people with grade 3 snoring have a related condition called obstructive sleep apnoea.

Reducing your snoring

The simplest way to reduce your snoring is to strengthen your throat. here are 6 exercises you can do to help strengthen your throat.

  • Exercise 1 - Push the your tongue up against the hard palate on the roof of your mouth and then move your tongue backwards.
  • Exercise 2 - Suck your tongue up against your palate pressing the whole tongue up.
  • Exercise 3 - Push the back of your tongue against the floor of your mouth and then the tip of our tongue against your teeth.
  • Exercise 4 - Open your mouth really wide and push your soft palate up and say ‘aaaaaaah’.
  • Exercise 5 - Press your finger inside your mouth pushing your cheek muscles outwards.
  • Exercise 6 - Eat something chewy like raisins but alternate the sides of your mouth you chew with.

Other snoring remedies

Nasal strips - These simply look like a plaster across the bridge of your nose but can help cut down on snoring by pulling your nostrils apart, thus stopping them from narrowing while you are asleep.

Oral devices - If you mostly snore from your mouth, you could use a chin strip or a vestibular shield.

Adjustable bed - The use of an adjustable bed is a very effective way to cure snoring. A 5-section adjustable bed base has a short tilting section at the head end which raises your head slightly. This changes the angle of your airways meaning that gravity pulls the tissues diagonally and does not close them, resulting in reduced snoring. View adjustable beds.

Reduce alcohol intake - alcohol relaxes the muscles in both your soft palate and your throat when you sleep. This narrows your airways and increases your risk of snoring.

Lie on your side - If possible you should try to sleep on your side which will reduce the amount that your airways are squashed during sleeping.

Lose weight - For a longer term solution you could try to lose weight.  This reduces pressure around your airways allowing air to flow more freely.

Your GP can help you out

If you snore and are feeling very tired during the day, then it would be advisable to see your GP. The snoring could be causing your tiredness and as a result the tiredness could be causing other sleep related problems:

  • Lack of concentration and memory
  • Headaches (often in the morning)
  • Temper or anger problems
  • Anxiety and depression

Any other snoring tips? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

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