You can do something about snoring
Snoring is noisy, disturbing, unsexy and it puts health at risk. Does it endanger health? You can find out in this article whether this is true and what you can do about snoring.
The cause of snoring
With age, around 60% of all men and 41% of all women snore. But what is the reason for this?
By Google definition, snoring is a rattling, roaring sound that is produced by breathing with (slightly) open mouth. Whether one wants to describe the sound as rattled, roaring, rattling or sighing is left to one side. Much more interesting is the question – How does this noise come about?
The snoring noise is caused by fluttering movements of the palate and suppository, partly also the base of the tongue and the throat when breathing. As a rule, however, the airways are not completely blocked, but only narrowed. The origin of the snoring sound is therefore pure physics. Because the narrowing in the upper airways increases the flow velocity in the Mundrachenraum. As a result, the palate sail is moved by the stronger breath wind – it starts to flutter. The exact cause is slightly different for every person or snorer. For one it is rather the falling tongue, in others it is the soft palate arches and the suppository.
In young people, connective tissue and muscles are usually even tighter and firmer than in older people. This will keep the airways open and prevent snoring noise. Nevertheless, snoring can also occur in young people. However, the reason for these people is often the anatomy of the monbetween and jaw.
Snoring destroys the relationship
Our partners in particular are disturbed by our snoring every night. On average, a snorer reaches a noise level of 20 decibels. This is comparable to ticking a watch or a light wind. At first, this doesn’t sound loud, but in an otherwise quiet room, 20 decibels can be enough to suffer from a sleepless night.
A survey byPassion for Live Healthcare found that 31% of those affected see the snoring of their partner as a restriction on relationship quality. A survey conducted in the 2017 TK Sleep Study also shows that around 22% of women and 8% of men feel disturbed by their partner’s snoring.
Fact:The loudest snoring was recorded by the Guinness World Record on May 24, 1993. Kare Wakert reached a volume of 93 dBa with his snoring. Visually speaking, this corresponds to a rock band that makes music next to us and that while we try to sleep.
What helps against snoring?
You can also do something about snoring yourself! Losing weight, abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, tongue training or avoiding back position when sleeping.
The top 3 self-help tips against snoring:
- Obesity is and remains snoring factor number one. Excess kilos are not only attached to the hip, but also to the neck. Our adipose tissue at the neck pushes even more onto the upper respiratory tract and further narrows it.
The weight loss of one or the other kilo will therefore work wonders.
- Avoid cigarettes – When smoking, the mucous membrane dries in the upper airways and then swells. Less air passes through and the flow speed is increased. We already know the episode – we snore.
- Even the evening beer favours snoring and should therefore be omitted. Alcohol provides additional relaxation of the breathing muscles and thus strengthens the sagging. Sedatives and sleep aids have the same effect, so their intake should also be dispensed with.
If this does not help, you can also train your tongue, throat and palate muscles. A demonstrably helpful method is to learn and play a wind instrument such as the trombone or the trumpet, for example. Of course, you can train your tongue and palate muscles without an instrument. There are special exercises to help you build muscle. Train several times a week to achieve noticeable results.
Here are five great anti-snoring exercises for home
Mechanical aids and operations against snoring
There are many remedies that can help against snoring. Together with your doctor, you can find the tool that best suits you. Not every tool is equally helpful to every human being. A lower jaw protrusion rail, for example, can help with a staggered jaw. However, in the case of a curved nasal sheath wall, it is not. Other mechanical aids can also be so-called nose stents or snoring clips. These stents are inserted through the nose and keep the airways open during sleep. Clamps are inserted into the mouth and thus also keep the airways open.
In addition to the most diverse mechanical means, there is also the possibility of surgical procedures. Over time, ENT doctors have developed methods to fix throat snoring. One such method is the removal of tissue on the suppository and palate arches. There are also alternative surgical procedures. You can read more about this topic here.
Other anti-snoring aids
If the surgical procedure or the lower jaw protrusion rail goes a step too far, you can also deal with “simpler” aids. Basically, one should always keep in mind that these aids can help but do not have to. Often, success also depends on the user’s anatomy or various other factors.
- Nose patches
They are glued from the outside to the nose over the bridge of the nose. Flexible plastic reinforcements pull the nose wings slightly upwards. This opens the airways and improves the oxygen supply through the nose. The snoring noises subside. These patches are available in every pharmacy.
- Sprays and drops
These products are also available in pharmacies or drugstores. They are sprayed or dripped in the throat and their firming and moisturizing ingredients are designed to keep the airways free. Most of the effect only lasts during falling asleep, but not all night long.
- Back position avoidance systems
Special pillows, shirts, vests or even backpacks are designed to prevent sleepers from turning on their backs. A pillow that redeems me from snoring? Sounds great at first, unfortunately these methods are usually not very convenient. However, sleeping in a back position actually promotes snoring. Due to gravity, the tongue and palate sails fall into the throat in this position, snoring sounds arise. By the way, the most cost-effective of these methods is a simple tennis ball. For around one euro you get one in every sports shop. Just sew the ball into the back of a T-shirt. This will prevent you from laying on your back at night.
- Snoring rail
Another method is to use a snoring rail. If you snore due to a falling tongue, you should talk to your dentist. The rail prevents the tongue from falling back, preventing snoring. This will adapt you to an appropriate rail. Although there are also cheaper offers on the Internet, these are usually not very flexible and just not adapted. In the long run, they can even damage your teeth. A consultation with your dentist is therefore recommended.
Further articles on sleep and snoring
- Better CPAP therapy through continuous pulse oximetry
- Oxygen saturation and ODI in sleep
- New finding: 6 hours of sleep is as bad as no sleep at all
- Perfect power napping in 5 steps
- Tips: What to do about snoring?
Snoring – Signs of sleep apnea?
Snoring is not equal to snoring! This also reflects a well-known saying in the field of sleep medicine: “Every sleep apnea is a snorer – but not every snorer is a sleep apnea.” So what this statement means is that there seems to be something like “uncritical” and “critical” snoring.
When will snoring become a critical problem? It becomes dangerous when snoring is the result of apnea. An apnea is a respiratory failure during sleep. People affected by an “obstructive sleep apnea, OSA” suffer from this critical snoring. Their airways close and they don’t get any air anymore. As a result, the body is supplied with too little oxygen. This can be clearly seen by means of oximetry. If you measure the pulse and oxygen saturation all night, the next morning you will be able to determine how many respiratory failures have taken place on the basis of oxygen saturation. In some cases, there may be hundreds of such breath-dropping suspense per night.
In addition to snoring, the respiratory failures also have long-term health consequences. Due to the greatly reduced oxygen supply, neurological damage can be left above all. High blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks are also known consequential damage.
“Every sleep apnea is a snorer – but not every snorer is a sleep apnea sufferer
Symptoms of sleep apnea
The tricky thing about obstructive sleep apnea is that those affected often do not realize for a long time that something is wrong. Often it is the partners who become audible. It is to be taken literally here, because the loud snoring is the most striking symptom of sleep apnea. It should therefore be taken seriously when the partner is pushing for a visit to the doctor.
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Respiratory dropout
- Daytime sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Headache in the morning
- Lack of concentration
- Seconds of sleep
- Depressive upset
- Nocturnal urge to urinate
- Night sweats
Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is generally well treatable. It is crucial to identify them at an early stage and to take countermeasures. Thus, if you find that breathdropers occur at night, this should be the first warning signal. An appointment with a sleep physician is now appropriate. As a rule, there are very long waiting times in the sleep laboratories – sometimes up to a year.
Tip:One way to reduce waiting times is oximetry. Get a device that measures oxygen saturation as continuously as possible. Record your sleep and send it to a sleep lab. The doctors will be able to assess the picture and then have the option of preferring you as an urgent case. Make sure that the device measures continuously and throughout the night! A smartwatch is NOT suitable for this. These measure only selectively or every few minutes. This is not enough for a sleep physician. You can take a look at the CIRCUL ring, which measures 100x per second continuously for up to 12 hours. An alternative is finger clips. However, these are difficult to carry in sleep as they can fall off or slip.
Once you have an appointment, you will have to spend one or two nights in a sleep lab. Equipped with a wide range of measuring devices and cables, your sleep is now fully monitored and recorded.
Afterwards, sleep physicians can make an accurate diagnosis and work out a treatment plan together with you. The most common treatment is the so-called “CPAP Therapy, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”.
In our article “Sleep Apnea Syndrome – Description, Symptoms and Diagnosis” you will learn more about diagnosis and treatment. We also look at the difference between obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
In conclusion, snoring should not be underestimated and can definitely endanger health! Even if you can do a lot about snoring, it should not be labeled harmless right away. On the contrary, take your snoring and your partner’s complaints seriously. Dangerous sleep apnea isn’t always behind snoring, but talking to your doctor can’t hurt. You should not put your health and your relationship at risk just because it might be unpleasant to see a doctor.
Get a reasonable device to record your sleep and show it to a doctor. Some doctors even do it purely digitally. At the Institute for Digital Sleep Medicine, for example, all conversations can be made on the phone or in a video chat. So you can have everything clarified from home.
If you have any questions about this topic or need tips, you can contact us by e-mail or in the comments.
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