You or a partner are kept up throughout the night. You’re exhausted all day, every day. You have headaches and are often irritable. Well, your snoring is not something you should ignore. It could be an indication of something more serious going on.
Snoring occurs when the airway of the person sleeping narrows, and therefore the air that is passing through vibrates the tissue in the back of the throat. Sometimes, a person’s throat can narrow so much that the airway becomes completely obstructed (see picture) causing them to stop breathing altogether, sometimes hundreds of times per night. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). As well as extreme fatigue and irritability, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea has been linked to a number of other health conditions, including diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression and ADHD. If you snore, and experience similar issues to those stated above – do not ignore it – and take some steps to get to the root of the issue.
There are a number of steps that can be taken, with the aim to reduce snoring and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
- Maintain a healthy weight
People that are overweight, are far more at risk of experiencing and developing snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. This is because with an increase of weight, there is an increase in tissue – which will further add to the pressure, and potential obstruction, on a person’s airway. It is also worth mentioning, that maintaining a healthy weight, will also bring about a number of other health benefits.
- Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your side with relieve a lot of pressure from the back of your throat. Although it may not reduce the snoring altogether, it can often make the snoring a lot quieter, and easier for a bed partner to deal with.
- Say NO to alcohol before bed
Drinking alcohol will further cause the muscles and tissue in the back of the neck to relax, increasing the chance of snoring. Additionally, alcohol can also prevent a person from reaching the deep level sleep required to restore and repair. Although alcohol may help you nod off – it will harm the quality of sleep you achieve.
- Clear your nasal passages
Particularly during winter months, or if you are susceptible to colds, flu or hay-fever – the congestion in your airways could be contributing further to your snoring. There are a number of treatments available to help clear your passages before going to bed – and therefore reducing the risk of snoring. One of these treatments is called SinuPulse – which will clear out the nasal passage of mucus, bacteria and particles, using a saline solution.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
If you snore, and are experiencing symptoms described above – it is most definitely worth getting tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. If diagnosed, you can begin CPAP therapy – which involves a CPAP machine, CPAP mask and hose – that will pump air through the airway as you sleep, preventing the airway from obstructing. Please click on the links for more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and CPAP therapy.
In order to get tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea – there are three options you can take.
- Get diagnosed and treated by the NHS.
While this is free, there are usually extremely long wait times for an initial sleep study, the results and the process to receive the CPAP equipment
- Go to a private sleep clinic.
They will assess you, give you a sleep study, and provide you with the CPAP equipment. Prices vary, but expect to pay between £1,000 to £2,000 for everything.
- Purchase an in home Sleep Study.
You can purchase an in home Sleep Study from Intus Healthcare, for as little as £99. Results of these sleep studies take between 7-10 days, and once received – you are able to purchase relevant CPAP equipment. The Intus Healthcare team can also be with you every step of the way for advice and support.
Snoring and the associated health conditions – are increasingly becoming more and more recognised. Snoring can dramatically hinder the quality of sleep you achieve – which is vital to a person’s physical and mental functionality. Follow the above advice and see if you can find a solution to snoring – for your, and your bed partner’s sake!