By H.P. Bharathi
Snoring can be frustrating and annoying, especially for those who sleep with a snorer. The National Sleep Foundation reports that one in three men and four women snore every night.
Though snoring is often overlooked as a minor issue, it can occur due to various reasons requiring immediate attention. Obesity or being overweight is one of the leading causes of snoring. Snoring accompanied by irregular breathing is a sign of cardiovascular disease risk. Sleep apnoea can be another condition that increases the chances of snoring. Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder in which the breathing repeatedly stops and resumes again. Fortunately, plenty of remedies are available to treat snoring naturally without using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Obesity or Excess Weight
For those who have started snoring after gaining weight, shedding some extra pounds can be quite helpful. Obese people tend to have excess tissue and fat in the neck region, which can reduce the airway size and elevate the risk of airway collapse. Studies have proved that weight reduction can eliminate the frequency of snoring with increased weight losses causing near to complete elimination of snoring.
Snoring accelerates when people lie in the supine position or on their backs. When someone lies down on the back, the tissues surrounding the airway are pulled down by gravity, making it narrow. Research and studies on snorers have revealed that the intensity and frequency of snoring reduce considerably when they lie on their sides.
Blocked Nasal Passages
Snoring can also be prevented by keeping the nasal passages open. When the nose is clogged or blocked, air moves in much faster, leading to snoring. Hot oil massages or nasal oil drops can open the blockages in the nose. Also, a hot shower before bed can be quite beneficial as the moisture opens the nasal passages and reduces the chances of snoring.
Staying hydrated is crucial not only to avoid snoring but also to maintain overall health and well-being. When the body is dehydrated, secretions in the nose and soft palate becomes stickier. This can obstruct the proper flow of air and cause snoring. For men, it is recommended to consume at least 3-4 litres of fluid every day, while women must consume 2-3 litres of fluids daily.
Smoking and Alcohol
Researchers believe that snoring in smokers can occur because of oedema and upper airway inflammation. While it takes time to show the effects but quitting smoking can significantly lessen the chances of snoring. Alcohol is another substance that relaxes the muscles around the airway, increasing the likelihood to snore among drinkers. Therefore, it is often recommended not to indulge in drinking in the hours leading to bedtime.
The tips mentioned above can bring positive results if tried daily. It is important to try them all to find the ideal remedy that helps.
(H.P. Bharathi Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
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