Why do we snore?
The trachea, the canal through which air passes to reach the lungs, works best when we are in an upright position. When we lie down, the walls of the airways flatten under the force of gravity. If we are young and of normal weight, the muscles around the airways maintain the distance between the walls of the trachea and the air passes with ease. With age the air passage slightly “collapses” when we are sleeping, and the air trying to pass makes a sound that we call snoring. In the male population, snoring is more common because they are born with a narrower passage and thus the air has a more difficult time passing through.
How do we snore?
One of the most natural ways to stop snoring is to change your sleeping position (sleep on one side instead of on your back) and / or to raise your pillow. However, if we decide not only to eliminate the noise in the bedroom, but also to deal with the cause of it, we need to have a body check, and we need to consider when and how often we snore:
- Do we snore with our mouth closed?
- Do we snore only when we are on our backs or in other positions?
- Do we snore more after drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes?
- Are we overweight? Do we have allergies? (Unhealthy habits often aggravate the problem as well as existing health condition.)
- Are we tired the next day even though we have slept the prescribed number of hours?
If you do not know the answer to some of these questions, ask your partner to pay attention on your behalf and / or do a sleep test.
A symptom of what is snoring?
If we snore constantly, this may be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a type of upper airway disorder during sleep that needs attention. Lack of treatment leaves the patient waking up tired, and in the long run may lead to neurological and cardiovascular issues. According to some studies, whether you have OSA or not, snoring can also be a symptom of high blood pressure. Therefore, it is even more worthwhile to consult a specialist and to address not only the symptom but also the cause.