Snoring is one of the most common reasons for disturbed quality of sleep. It obstructs your normal breathing at night which can cause you to wake up frequently and unexpectedly. And to add insult to injury, your partner may also be suffering because of the noises you emit when the airflow is blocked. While 45% of adults have problems with this, it can actually occur at any age. It’s true. This is not just an adult problem. Snoring in children is actually pretty common, as shared by the National Sleep Foundation. And, because snoring can worsen as we age, seniors often suffer the most.
We’ll outline the main causes of snoring at each age and stage of life and explore some remedies to help you sleep better and perhaps a little less noisily.
Snoring can be the result of a physical feature, such as the anatomy of your mouth. The jaw, tongue, throat and neck can also contribute to snoring. A doctor can determine if any of these could be contributing to your snoring problem.
There’s a connection between alcohol and snoring. Alcohol consumption can either cause the problem or lead to snoring louder. This happens because of the relaxing effect alcohol has on your jaw and throat muscles, which then blocks the airway and results in snoring and disturbed sleep.
Nasal congestion makes it difficult or impossible to breathe through your nose. While this is usually only a cause of snoring while you’re battling a cold or the flu, some people suffer from regular nasal congestion, and become habitual snorers.
Sleeping in a poor position may cause neck and back pain. Putting too much pressure on certain body parts at night might lead to chronic pain and possibly be a catalyst to snoring. It’s worth learning more about each sleep position to find out the ideal position for you.
Many people suffer from sleep apnea without realizing. Some symptoms of apnea include morning headaches, insomnia, difficulty breathing when sleeping, and, of course, snoring on a regular basis. If you or your partner think you are suffering from sleep apnea, you should consult with your physician or healthcare provider immediately.
There are also genetic factors that might be the reason why you snore loudly and often. Obesity is one of them. If you suffer from obesity or have recently put on extra weight, proper breathing at night is often a struggle. This results in snoring because of the bulky throat tissue.
Around 30% of pregnant women in their third trimester start snoring, as a result of the uterus pressing on the diaphragm.
What Are The Best Ways to Avoid Snoring as You Age?
While snoring is an annoying habit, a few lifestyle changes can help reduce snoring or stop it altogether.
Sometimes it has to do with sleep deprivation. If you simply aren’t sleeping enough, improve your sleeping schedule. Plan how to start going to bed earlier and don’t do anything too overwhelming in the evening. Your body will adjust to the new pattern and without the sleep deficit, you can sleep more soundly and regularly.
Many of us have a hard time penciling in workout time amidst our busy lives. Putting on a few extra pounds is typically harmless, but it could be a major factor if you’ve suddenly started snoring. Living a healthier life will pay dividends in the way you look and feel, and as a bonus, it may help you stop snoring!
There are also various devices to help you get better sleep. You can try changing your sleeping pillow to one that keeps your spine straight and removes neck pain. If that doesn’t seem to help after a few weeks, you can try some over the counter options like nasal strips.
If the snoring persists, don’t hesitate to see a specialist. You might have undiagnosed sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that is causing your snoring.
Sleeping is important. And snoring is an enemy of optimal sleep. Snoring typically increases as we age, so it’s always better to take preventative measures now.