Sleep is an essential function of all living beings and an almost unconscious part of our lives. Without the daily miracle of renewed life and energy that sleep provides, it would be impossible for us to be alert and fully functional. We sleep to attain peace and rest, but an undesirable by-product of sleep is snoring. Snoring is an almost innocuous, silly, funny,lri1tatingpart. of the sleeping pattern of almost a fifth of humanity. And as much as we take good sleep for granted, we invariably ignore snoring as lust “one of those things” to live with or tolerate.
There are different qualities of sleep – deep levels of sleep that can be dreamless and a lighter level in which dream sand4 rapid eye movement (REM) take place Sleep occurs in cycles and when interrupted, one needs to redo the whole cycle,r Hence, you will notice that on a relaxed day, we tend to feel refreshed after a few hours of sleep, while in a disturbed or-. medicated or alcoholic state, more hours of sleep still leave one unsatisfied. Snoring afflicts the snorers and those in their vicinity and the consequences are shared by all.
• High blood pressure: Probably the worst consequence. This may cause an enlargement of heart, subsequently, increase chances of heart attack or stroke.
• Breathlessness: Due to the temporary or prolonged blocking of the air passage.
What causes snoring?
* Light sleep: Waking up multiple times in the night that does not allow sufficient time
for deep, restorative sleep which is necessary for one’s mental and emotional well-being.
* Poor quality of sleep: Low energy and lack of alertness.
• Excess weight: Excess fat on the body means excess fat on the inner lining of the throat.
When one is asleep, the throat muscles relax and cause a narrowing of the air passage.
• Alcohol/sedatives: Consuming alcohol or sedatives just before sleeping causes relaxation of the throat muscles and uvula (the dangling tissue behind the tongue) and restricts the passage of air.
• Allergies and sinus: Irregular external afflictions can cause swelling and blockages.
• Deformities: Deformities in the nasal structure, physical obstructions, and nasal polyps can create persistent blockages.
• Ageing: As we get older, the muscles of the throat and tongue can get more relaxed than normal during sleep.
• Use a pillow in such a way that the jaw stays slightly open and the tongue cannot collapse at the back of the throat.
• Sleep sideways instead of lying on your back.
• Clean your nasal passage before going to. bed. Taking a hot shower can also help.
• Set a sleep routine and don’t overtire yourself. Lying down exhausted also induces snoring.
• Stay well hydrated as the secretions in your nose are stickier when dehydrated, which causes disruption in breathing.
• Avoid alcohol or sedatives just before you are about to sleep.
• Exercise! Get those feet moving and the fat burning.
• Check with your doctor for any abnormality in your nose and throat muscles.