Do you sleep next to a snorer? Men are more prone to snoring than women are and for those that are overweight and over 50. Snoring can be a problem for many couples as they are forced to sleep separately just to get a good night's sleep. Sometimes snoring is a result of another medical problem or sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA causes a person to stop breathing for a short period many times during the night. OSA can lead to other health related problems like heart disease, diabetes or even cancer.
What causes snoring? When air passage ways are blocked at the back of the mouth, snoring occurs. The tongue and uvula meet due to a week upper palate and hinder the passage of air causing a vibration. Sometimes the palate muscles are weak form too much alcohol or medication. Other reasons might be due to smoking, allergies or obesity. Nasal abnormalities and sinus congestion can also cause people to snore. If you snore due to most of these reasons, a change in lifestyle or medication can relieve your symptoms.
Nasal abnormalities and enlarged adenoids or tonsils can be fixed by surgery or there is a successful laser treatment that can trim off the throat tissue and make it tighter. Most people would prefer not to go through a surgical procedure due to the time of recovery and the pain involved. They try eliminate snoring using devices such as; adhesive nasal strips, tongue guards and chin straps. These devices may help, but the fact is, they will probably keep you awake. Remember when you wore crazy head gear to correct your overbite? You would wake up during the night and take it off just to get some sleep.
Are there other non-surgical remedies to stop snoring? One approach is an exercise program that has been designed by sleep specialists to reduce snoring. A sample of an exercise is simply to close your mouth and act like you are chewing gum. Chew for a minute or two keeping your lips closed. To do this correctly you need to make sure your back teeth on both sides move apart a little and then touch. Make an 'mmmm' sound when you chew, as this will keep your throat open and contract the muscles of your upper palate. These are the muscles that are the main cause of snoring. Try to do the exercise for a few seconds at first then increase the time every day.
Here are other simple exercises that help lessen snoring frequency and volume. If done repeatedly over a period of time say at least 5 times each, twice daily you should see results.
Slowly open and close your mouth to its full extent while making sure the lips meet when closing. Pucker your lips and hold for a count of 10, relax. Spread your lips in a big exaggerated smile, hold then relax. Close your lips and press them tightly together. While you lips are closed act as if you are sipping on a straw, repeat 10 times. This will work and strengthen the upper palate. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue as straight as you can. Hold, relax and repeat. Try to stick out your tongue farther every day. As you stick out your tongue move it slowly from side to side touching the corners of your lips, hold for a few seconds at each corner. Try to touch your chin with your tongue and hold that at the farthest extension. Then try to touch your nose doing the same hold. Stick your tongue in and out as fast as you can, then in a circle. Say the following as quickly as possible; Ma-Ma-Ma, La-La-La, Ka-Ka-Ka and Kala-Kala-Kala. Then gargle loudly with warm water.Most of these exercises are designed to work a weak upper palate. By strengthening the upper palate it will not droop and cause an obstruction in the air passageway. If you feel your snoring is causing other health concerns contact your physician, as he may recommend other treatment or advise you to see a specialist.