Having a peaceful night’s sleep broken by a significant other’s snoring has to rank among the biggest peeves for many people.  But what many don’t understand is that this isn’t just annoying; it can also be a sign of a serious medical problem.  So before your snoring gets out of hand, let’s take a look at the condition and some potential remedies.


First, you need to know just what snoring is and what causes that aggravating sound that interrupts your sleep.  Snoring is a blockage of the airway which can be caused by many things, including congestion, a jaw which is not properly in position with the rest of the mouth, and even the sleeper’s tongue dropping back to block the air.  This can also be caused by sleep apnea, in which the sleeper stops breathing intermittently.  The former can be unpleasant, but it is the latter which can actually lead to critical health problems as you can develop issues including high blood pressure and heart problems, both of which could lead to death.


For some, snoring is simply a matter of position.  If you fall asleep on your back, you are more likely to snore due to the position of the throat and the possibility for the tongue to move to the back of the mouth.  If possible, try to train yourself to sleep on your side.  This may go against years of ingrained behavior, but lying on your side as you fall asleep can help accustom you to stay in this position, which will in turn help cut down on the amount of snoring.


Whether it is normal snoring or sleep apnea, one of the best things that you can do to prevent this is begin a regular exercise regimen and diet.  Weight loss has been proven to reduce the problem of snoring and also the other factors which accompany sleep apnea.  By exercising, you are developing habits which will help you get rest.  In addition to making exercise a normally scheduled event, you should also try to go to bed at the same time.  This kind of constancy can help make your night restful.  Finally, as part of your evening bed ritual, consider using a decongestant to clear out your nasal passage to help promote easy breathing.


Another way to prevent snoring is to cut back on cigarettes and alcohol.  Cigarettes are the obvious choice as smoking can irritate the throat and nose and prolonged smoking can impair breathing.  Alcohol is also a culprit because it is a depressant which can cause the throat muscles to relax too much and lead to snoring.  We aren’t saying that an occasional drink before bed isn’t a bad idea every now and then.  But habitual and excessive alcohol use can make your health worse.


You may also consider visiting your dentist for help.  This may sound like an unusual suggestion, but for some people snoring is caused by the misalignment of the jaw.  This can be remedied with a mouthpiece which your dentist can specifically mold from your teeth.  These mouthpieces, similar to the types worn by boxers and other athletes, are usually used to prevent patients from grinding their teeth.  But they can also have the extra benefit of cutting down on snoring.


Finally, if you fear that your snoring is caused by something more serious, seek out the advice of your physician.  They can order a study to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea and can then move forward with a treatment plan which can include the use of CPAP (a breathing mask) to even surgery to correct a deviated septum or to remove enlarged tonsils.


Snoring doesn’t have to be a relationship killer.  By being proactive and seeking out solutions to this condition, you can ensure that you and your partner get a good rest.