Has your sleeping partner or someone else in your household ever told you that you snore? You’re not alone. Snoring is very common. An estimated 57% of men and 40% of women snore. Despite snoring being a common problem, there are still many myths that surround it.
Snoring happens when the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate as you breathe while sleeping. When you sleep, the muscles in your airway loosen, which in turn, narrows your airway. When you inhale and exhale, the tissue flutters, and snoring occurs.
So if you’re a snorer or sleep with or near one, you may wonder if what you’ve heard is fact or myth. Keep reading to learn the truth about your snoring.
#1. You Have Sleep Apnea if Your Snore
Of all adults that snore, only 2% to 4% have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People who are diagnosed with OSA stop breathing throughout the night. This can happen hundreds of times while they sleep.
On the other hand, things such as the shape of your throat and mouth can cause snoring. OSA is much more serious and has been linked to serious health problems such as heart disease. If you believe you suffer from OSA, you should contact your doctor.
#2. The Older You Get, the More Likely You Are to Snore
You can snore at any age. Even children can snore. However, the older you get, the more your throat muscles and tongue relax while you sleep. This leads to the vibration that causes snoring.
In children, the leading cause of snoring is their adenoids. Adenoids are glands in the back of the throat that disappear when they reach adulthood. However, a child’s adenoids can obstruct airflow while they sleep. If this happens, or if the child experiences chronic ear infections, their pediatrician may recommend having their adenoids removed.
#3. Deep Sleep Causes Snoring
When you snore, you may have OSA. OSA disrupts your sleep cycles, prohibiting you from getting restful sleep.
#4. Sleeping on Your Side Makes You Snore Less
When you sleep on your back, you snore more because your airway is narrower due to gravity pulling at your throat. Sleeping on your side may not cure your snoring, but it can help.
#5. Only Men Snore
Although men are more likely to snore, women snore as well. And if you are pregnant or going through menopause, your snoring can worsen.
#6. Snoring Leads to Moodiness
Obstructive sleep apnea can cause crankiness, memory problems, trouble concentrating, and even depression. Children can be affected by snoring as well. They have been found to be more emotionally reactive and anxious if they snore.
#7. Use Sleeping Pills to Stop Snoring
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, you may be tempted to try an over-the-counter sleep aid. However, doing so could actually cause your snoring to worsen by further relaxing your muscles.
#8. Dehydration Can Cause Snoring
When you’re dehydrated, your mouth and nasal passages can dry out, making it more likely that you’ll snore. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids during the day and use a humidifier at night to help ease congestion.
#9. Losing Weight Helps
For some people, if they carry some extra weight, there is excess tissue, which can result in snoring. While the evidence does show that when overweight people lose weight, they snore less, keep in mind that not all people who snore are overweight, and not all people who are overweight snore. Check with your doctor to find out if weight loss could help your snoring problem.
#10. A Nightcap Will Help You Sleep
Alcohol can cause you to fall asleep quickly. However, you’ll find that you wake up more often in the second part of the night. Alcohol also relaxes your throat muscles which block your airway and make it more likely that you’ll snore.
Let the Dream Team Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
While you can find many references online with tips to help you stop snoring, if you are suffering from sleep apnea, none of these tips will help you quit snoring. The only way to remedy your snoring is to visit a sleep specialist who can conduct a sleep study. The Dream Team at DreamZz Sleep Center can help.
When you turn to DreamZz Sleep Center, you can expect nothing but the best from our experienced, dedicated team. You can rest easy knowing that you’re in the hands of a fellowship-trained and Sleep Medicine board-certified physician who will provide you with detailed information about your symptoms and available treatment options.
Let us help you get a good night’s sleep. Contact us today to book your appointment.