According to the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association an estimated 40% of adults snore, which is why we’re on the hunt for a miracle cure. Especially for the man in our lives.
Snoring is more common in males and those who are overweight, which is no surprise when you've been sleeping in the front room the last few months. Are you tired? Fed-up? On the verge of a break-down? We know the kind of havoc snoring can cause on a relationship, which is why we enlisted help from Clinical Scientist at Aspen Clinical Research, Danny McCamlie to give us the low-down on what we can do to help banish snoring in our lives for GOOD.
So no more fretting ladies! No matter how and when he snores there’s always a fix out there to help. But before we can solve his snoring woes, it’s best to understand why he snores in the first place.
Most common causes of snoring...
Age: When you become older your airways narrow and the strength in your muscle decreases. Hey, it’s only natural!
Build: Men tend to have narrower air passages that us gals making them more prone to snore. Enlarged cleft palates, enlarged adenoids and other physical attributes are often hereditary and can also contribute to wheezing at night.
Nasal problems: A stuffy nose and blocked airways make breathing difficult as it requires more effort to pull air through.
Overweight: Fatty tissue and poor muscle strength all contribute to snoring. Men hate our healthy habits, but now might be a good time to reintroduce those greens!
Alcohol, smoking and medication: These can all cause muscle relaxation and inflammation, which can cause narrowing of the airways. Snoring results. Boo.
Sleep posture: Sleeping flat on your back causes the throat tissue to relax and block the airway. The lateral position always wins here. Get him to try it!
If he’s sawing logs every night and you find yourself pulling your hair out, the first thing to understand is that his snoring is not (in any way) intentional. In fact, he may even feel embarrassed or not even know he’s doing it! Approach the issue with sensitivity and maybe add a little humour to the mix so you can laugh it off and work out a solution together.
2. Change sleeping positions.
Your man could be snoring simply because of his sleeping position. Get him to roll over on his side to help clear the airways.
Dannys says, “Studies have demonstrated that over half of snorers snore more prolifically in the supine position. When you lay on your back, gravity can cause the tongue and soft palate to fall back into the throat and block the airways. The influence of gravity increases snoring.”
Keep a sleep diary (a little extreme, but it works) and log what position he’s in when he's snoring. If you really want to tackle it, check up on his eating and exercise habits. Poor muscle strength and big meals all contribute to midnight wheezing.
3. Lose weight.
People who are overweight have more bulky tissue in their neck, which interferes with the airways in more bad ways than one. If he loses some weight it could eliminate his snoring all together! Studies have found that people who lose just over 15 pounds find their snoring problems virtually eliminated. Worth a try, right?
4. Lay off the beer.
Ask your man to reconsider the night cap tonight - avoiding it might just be your answer to sound sleep! Drinking alcohol can cause inspiratory resistance to double which can lead the neck muscles to relax and cause vibrations (i.e. that dreadful snoring sound).
“During sleep whilst intoxicated the throat and mouth, oropharynx and pharynx, muscles are more likely to relax and partially block the airways. Alcohol consumption can also cause inflammation of the nasal cavity, creating a narrower pathway for airflow, which can lead to snoring,” says Danny.
Keep in mind that although avoiding a glass the glass of wine in the evening has proven to reduce snoring it shouldn’t be considered a cure so let him off from time to time!
5. Avoid caffeine and heavy meals.
Make sure your beau is not drinking any caffeinated drinks or heavy meals within two hours of going to bed especially dairy and soya milk. Eating and drinking heavily before sleep can cause your muscles to relax and narrow your airways. If he’s a late-night muncher try tackling this by suggesting water and fresh fruit or vegetables. Fresh produce will help keep his body hydrated throughout the night alleviating his sinuses and any dry tissue.
6. Wear a ring (yep, a ring). No, not that kind.
The Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring is all the buzz right now. And it’s perfect for your man, especially if he doesn’t fancy wearing a nasal strip (it's not the most attractive thing). This nifty ring uses unique acupressure to open up the airways allowing you and you partner to sleep more peacefully. Sounds brill! But how does it work?
“The ring applies pressure to key points on the little fingers, interacting with C Fibres in the nerves at the point of contact to interact with nerve signals. By doing this, the principal of the ring is to prevent complete relaxation of the tongue and soft palate to prevent blockage of the airways,” says Danny.
Clinical trials saw an 88.9% success rate with people reporting less disturbed sleep and more energy throughout the day. Now that’s impressive.
7. Join a gym.
Despite the obvious health benefits of losing weight from exercise, incorporating a new fitness routine can also help strengthen a person’s neck muscles preventing the narrowing of the airways.
8. Use an oral device.
An alternative way to beat the snore is wearing a mouth piece while you sleep. It’s a bit like wearing a set of clear braces, but instead of straightening teeth it works to improve air circulation and diminish snoring.
Danny says, “The TheraSnore mouth guard has been clinically proven to reduce snoring incidences without the need for invasive surgery. It works by preventing the lower jaw from relaxing back into the head, preventing the obstruction of airways.”
How does it fit? “It is a dual shield, fitting over both the upper and lower jaw. The upper section covers the teeth whilst the lower section is adjustable to sit behind the lower teeth and hold them in line with the upper jaw.” Make him do it - it’s a pretty simple solution that could change both of your lives.
9. Buy a humidifier.
One of the main causes of snoring is when the tissues and membranes in the throat and nose become very dry. A great way to combat this is by adding moisture to your environment using a humidifier. And they don’t only help you breathe easier, they’re also known to be pretty fabulous for dry skin too. If you don’t have one, get one! They’re worth the benefits.
10. Consider surgery (as a last resort).
If his snoring isn’t getting any better and you’ve tried and tested every possible way then surgery may be an option. Surgery can help problems associated with hereditary snoring like getting rid of flappy bits to clear the airways.
Danny says, “Surgery is always viewed as the last resort to aid snorers in their fight for a quiet night’s sleep. The key aim of surgery is to remove soft tissue that is found to be the cause of airway blockage.”
Surgery isn’t normally used unless the case is very severe so before taking the leap consider the potential risks. For more information on surgery visit your GP or visit the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association for more advice.
Do you know any more life-changing tips to keep your man from snoring? Tweet us @sofeminineUK