Snoring is a hard or hoarse sound that commonly occurs when the airflow in our throat causes vibrations when we breathe. Many people snore once in a while, but for some people snoring can be a chronic issue. While snoring can be a nuisance to our partners, it can also be a sign of a more serious health condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Snoring is commonly associated with sleep apnea but not all snorers have OSA. However, snoring may disrupt your sleep since this pattern may be repeated many times throughout the night.
Several factors can cause snoring:
- Anatomy of your mouth and sinuses
- Alcohol consumption
- Being overweight
Usually, when you doze off and progress from light to deep sleep, your soft palate along with your throat and tongue relax. These tissues may relax enough that they partially block your airway which causes the vibration.
The more narrowed your airways become, the more constricted the airflow in your throat. This increases the vibration and your snoring will grow louder. Habitual snoring can be a nuisance, and may affect the quality of sleep of your partner.
However, there are several remedies for snoring, and here are some natural methods to consider:
- Change your sleep position
Your tongue and soft palate usually collapse when you’re laying on your back, and this can cause a vibrating sound when you sleep. So, changing your sleep position may help prevent this. You can also use a body pillow, which is a full-length pillow that can support your entire body and help you sleep on your side.
- Losing weight
Weight loss can be beneficial for some people, especially if they started snoring when they gained weight. In fact, gaining weight around your neck may squeeze the internal diameter of your throat, which may trigger snoring. However, it’s not the case for everyone since people within a healthy weight range may snore as well.
- Using nasal strips or nasal dilator
Stick-on nasal strips are readily available on the market, and it’s usually placed on the bridge of the nose to help expand the space in the nasal passage. This will reduce your snoring since it makes your breathing more effective. However, a nasal dilator may not be effective for people with underlying medical conditions as they may be the root cause of their snoring.
- Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol
Smoking irritates the airways which can lead to snoring. Quitting may help alleviate your snoring. Also, consuming too much alcohol can lead to snoring as it relaxes your throat muscles. When your muscles relax, they vibrate more.
- Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine is a viable way to reduce snoring. Through herbal remedies, medical massage, and lifestyle changes, the upper respiratory imbalances can be eliminated. TCM also uses acupuncture to treat excessive snoring, and this is done by opening the sinuses and clearing the airways.
The process will require the certified acupuncturist to insert fine and sterile needles around the sinuses as well as on the limbs. This treatment can help speed up the healing process and alleviate the effects of inflamed sinuses. Belinda Tran is available for acupuncture treatments in park Orchards and Mount Evelyn.