Sunday, October 28, 2007

Top Tips to Stop Snoring Now!

Snoring may not be a problem for you, but that's because you're the one who's getting the sleep. It is a very common condition and is more likely the older you are.

About 20% of men and 5% of women snore regularly among 30-35 year-olds and by the age of 60 years, about 60% of men and 40% of women snore regularly.

Snoring is caused by slack muscles inside the throat, which vibrate against the soft palate as you breathe. As we get older, our throat muscles get weaker, making snoring more likely.

Being overweight is also a trigger, as fat affects the smooth functions of all muscles including those in the throat.

A blocked nose from a cold or allergy can cause temporary snoring, while heavy drinking, smoking and sleeping on you back can also contribute.

Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea - brief episodes of interrupted breathing, lasting between 10 and 60 seconds.

One theory suggests that prehistoric man learned to snore as a way of scaring off predatory animals while he slept!

Here are some suggestions to stop snoring.

- Avoid sleeping on your back. Put a walnut, cork or even a tennis ball into a sock and pin it to the back of your pyjamas (use a safe nappy pin). This will encourage you to sleep sideways rather than on your back.

- Lose weight if you need to.

- Don't smoke and avoid alcohol within five hours of bedtime as both interfere with breathing.

- Tilt the head of your bed up 10 cm (4 inches) by putting bricks under the legs to lessen the effect of gravity on the throat muscles. Do not use a thick, hard pillow; this will kink your neck and make the problem worse.

- Try sleeping in a whiplash foam collar, to stop the neck kinking.

- Think of taking up singing. Professional singers rarely snore and it is thought this could be because singing exercise the throat muscles.

- Nostril dilators encourage nasal breathing and help to prevent mouth breathing.

- Trash the tranquillisers and sleeping pills: Both drugs slow down the central nervous system, which can leave your tongue floppy and throat muscles loose.

- Keep your room humid: Lack of humidity dries out the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. Hanging a damp cloth over your bedroom radiator should keep the air from getting too dry.

- See your doctor if the problem persists as you could have sleep apnea, which can be treated.

These self help measures should help you tackle the snoring and keep your partner happy!