Well, ok women
do snore but men snore more than women, in fact
four out of every ten men snore compared to roughly
3 out 10 women. At any one time around 25 per
cent of people are habitual 'snorers' The reasons
for this are mainly related to differences in
lifestyle although there may be clear physical
reasons why snoring occurs. Snoring is noisy breathing
that occurs as a result of partial obstruction
of the air passages. It is usually due to the
soft tissues of the palate, uvula, tongue and
tonsils relaxing during sleep.
is a problem because it affects everyone in earshot,
including the person who is snoring. Many a happy
relationship has reached or gone beyond breaking
point as a direct result of broken sleep patterns.
For the snorer it can result in tiredness and
irritability during the day which can increase
the chances of accidents. Long-term it can cause
circulatory problems such as high blood pressure,
heart problems and strokes.
Facts about Snoring
*it is made worse by alcohol or sleeping tablets.
*overweight people are more prone to snoring.
*sleeping on your back increases the chances of
*colds, nasal polyps, allergies makes snoring
*older people often snore due to muscular weakness
*some medications may cause dryness or minor irritation
of the nasal passageways.
*a larger than usual uvula can limit airflow.
*injuries to the nose that result in a deviation
of the septum may result in snoring.
*smokers are twice as likely to snore.
Sometimes people who snore also suffer from sleep
apnea. Apnea refers to periods of interrupted
breathing which can last 10 seconds or longer.
Essentially the same process as snoring occurs
except that muscles relax so much they cause a
complete rather than partial obstruction. When
sleep apnea occurs a build up of carbon dioxide
occurs in the blood stream. The brain detects
the lack of oxygen and reacts by waking the person
up in order that normal breathing can resume.
Sleep apnea can occur several times a night and
the effects of broken sleep are the same as with
snoring. However, the chances of heart failure
increase with sleep apnea as the heart has to
work so much harder.
*if you're overweight - loose it.
*avoid rich foods like chocolates before bedtime
and eat healthy foods generally.
*try raising your head by putting pillows under
*sleep on your side. Some people sew a tennis
ball on the back of their night clothes to help
* blow your nose before going to bed.
* if you are the partner of the snorer you may
seriously need to consider options like changing
bedrooms or going to bed earlier in order to get
some sleep. Clearly these fall into the last resort
category and unless your partner does something
about their problem this could be the start of
a slippery slope so far as the relationship is
These Don't Work
If none of the self-help ideas work then you need
medical advice. Advice may involve surgical intervention
(e.g. removal of adenoids or tonsils) but in the
first resort a mouthpiece could be recommended
in order to keep the airways open. Other treatment
options such as nasal sprays or nasal plasters
may also be considered.