Has your partner ever shoved you awake because you’ve been snoring? Or have you ever woken yourself up because you’ve been snoring so loudly? Snoring is a common issue among people around the world. But what causes it and how can it be dealt with so that you sleep better?

What is snoring?

Snoring is the snorting sound that occurs when you are asleep. You snore when the air cannot flow freely through your throat and nose during sleep. This makes the tissue surrounding your nose and throat vibrate, producing the familiar guttural sound.

People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue that is likely to vibrate. The way your tongue is positioned can also inhibit smooth breathing.

Snoring is usually not something to worry about because everyone snores now and then. However, for some people it can be a persisting problem and it can indicate a serious health condition. If snoring persists, you may need to see a doctor as you could find yourself having difficulty to concentrating, restless sleeping patterns, fatigue, irritability, headaches and increased health problems.

Why do people snore?

There are many different factors that contribute to your snoring but you can find the solutions to them so you can have a quiet sleep with your partner.

Here are the most common causes:

  • Alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol excessively before going to bed can cause you to snore. Alcohol consumption can increase muscle relaxation and decrease your natural defence against airway blockage. So if you know you are a snorer, don’t drink too much before bedtime.

  • Nasal and sinus problems

Obstructed airways make inhalation difficult, leading to snoring. If you have a stuffy nose, rinsing your sinuses with saline before bed can help.

  • Sleep posture

Snoring occurs frequently and loudly when you sleep on your back. This happens because gravity causes the tissues in your throat to relax and obstruct your airway. If you change your sleep position and sleep on your side, you may eliminate your snoring.

  • Being overweight

Having excess weight around your neck or throat can cause snoring because of the fatty tissue that narrows the airway. You don’t really need to be overweight to have these extra tissues in the back of your throat but sometimes you just need to exercise and stay in shape to get rid of your snoring.

  • ­Sleep deprivation

Not having enough sleep can cause the throat to relax, leading to more snoring.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

This is a serious sleep disorder characterised by loud snoring in which breathing stops involuntarily for short periods of time during sleep. This occurs when the oral tissues partially or completely block the airway during sleep.

Snoring can affect your relationship

Snoring frequently can disturb the quality of your sleep and can cause nuisance to your partner. This is so serious that it can break your relationship, your partner may not cope with being kept awake every night and may feel resentful.

Snoring can test the strength of your relationship with your partner. If you are the one who’s always lying awake as your partner snores, no matter how much you love the person, it is easy to feel annoyed. If you are a snorer, you may feel guilty for giving your partner a difficult sleep.

When snoring becomes frequent, relationship tensions can grow. You may decide to sleep in different rooms and this may take a huge toll on your emotional and physical intimacy. If you are a snorer, you may feel lonely and unfairly punished for something that you feel you cannot control.

Communicate with your snoring partner

If you love your partner and you want to save your relationship, it is important that you handle the problem with sensitivity. You partner is also not happy with depriving you of your good night’s sleep and is not doing that deliberately. So, it is normal for your partner to feel defensive and embarrassed when you talk to them about their snoring.

Don’t be too serious when you bring up the matter to your partner. Be playful and laugh about it to ease the tension. Advise your partner too seek help as this may be the indication of a health problem.

Don’t allow snoring to deprive you of a good night’s sleep or chase your partner away. If you are a snorer, you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Everyone snores now and then but if the problem persists, you need to make some changes in your lifestyle.

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Tell us: Do you snore? How do you deal with it?