WHY DO WE SNORE?
People snore for a variety of reasons. Some of them only cause occasional snoring, while other causes of snoring can be medically alarming. If your sleep partner snores or complains that you snore regularly, it may be time to talk to a sleep medicine specialist about solving snoring. Getting treatment for the underlying cause of the problem will help both of you get more sleep at night—and it may be essential for your long-term health.
The sleep disorder most strongly associated with snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. The tissues in the airway relax too much during sleep and block the airway, causing breathing to temporarily cease. As a result, the patient wakes up to restore breathing, though he or she won’t necessarily be aware of it. A person can go through dozens of these abnormal sleep/wake cycles each night. Loud, persistent snoring is one of the hallmark signs of sleep apnea. It’s also possible for people with insomnia to snore. Patients with insomnia may be more likely to take sedative medications, which relax the throat muscles and cause snoring. Insomnia often goes hand-in-hand with depression. Patients taking antidepressants can experience this side effect, too, and depression in itself can also contribute to insomnia.
Snoring & Your Sleep Habits
When you lie on your back, gravity naturally causes your airway to narrow. This means you’re more likely to snore if you sleep on your back instead of on your side. Sleeping at a slight incline, with the head a little elevated, can mitigate this effect.
Alcohol is a depressant that causes the throat muscles to relax too much. People who consume alcoholic beverages before going to bed are more likely to snore. Alcohol can also disrupt the natural sleep cycles, making it more difficult to get a solid night’s sleep.
Here at Sleep Dynamics, our sleep apnea experts in New Jersey are committed to helping our patients enjoy good quality of life through better sleep. Individuals with persistent snoring problems are invited to contact us at (848) 217-0240. Our center is fully equipped to conduct state-of-the-art diagnostic tests.