Snoring is a very common sound in adults at bedtime, especially in men, smokers and overweight people. This sound occurs when there is an obstruction of the air passage in the airways, which hit each other and vibrate.
Specifically, snoring occurs at the back of the mouth and nose, where the tongue coincides with the soft palate and the uvula. All these structures collide with each other producing a vibration during breathing and, therefore, the typical snoring noise is generated.
Other causes that can also cause snoring, in addition to the anatomy of the mouth, are overweight, alcohol consumption, smoking or position at bedtime.
When snoring is very frequent and the noise is loud, it can lead to other problems, such as waking up during the night. This produces an effect on one’s own rest, which can also extend to other members of the household. Snoring can also be the cause of a larger problem known as obstructive sleep apnea, which commonly requires CPAP masks and machines.
Treatments or remedies that can prevent snoring in a person who snores frequently are closely related to lifestyle, although breathing can also be worked on to prevent airway obstruction.
The first recommendation is simple. When snoring is caused by overweight, the best treatment is to lose weight, since an overweight person is five times more likely to snore, as indicated by the Institute of Sleep Research (IIS). It has been shown that three kilos less can reduce the number of snoring per hour by half, while losing seven and a half kilos can make this snoring disappear completely. It is also essential to do sports several times a week.
In case these snoring sounds are not related to overweight, some advice and recommendations can be carried out, although they may not be effective. The first is to try not to sleep on your back, the most suitable position for the tongue and throat tissues to go backwards and snoring occurs more easily. You can also choose to elevate the head of the bed.
On the other hand, it has been proven that alcohol can cause snoring, since it relaxes the muscles of the mouth and throat, making breathing more difficult. The same happens when taking muscle relaxants or antihistamines. Thus, it is advisable not to abuse any of them to avoid snoring. Quitting smoking is another advice.
In addition to these remedies, there are anti-snoring products, such as mouthpieces or nasal adhesive strips to dilate the nostrils and improve breathing. These treatments can be very effective for some snorers, although it is not always certain that they will have an effect.
Finally, you can choose the option of exercising the mouth before going to sleep, repeating the routine every day. With these, the frequency and intensity of snoring can be reduced. One of the exercises consists of sticking the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth and dragging it backwards. Then, stick the tongue to the roof of the mouth and press and, on the other hand, make the tongue stick to the floor of the mouth while the tip remains in contact with the front teeth below. Finally, the soft palate and the uvula should be lifted and the vowel A pronounced.