Sharing a bed with someone is both an act of care and compromise. One person may hog up the sheets, another might get too hot/cold easily, and others may just hog up a lot of real estate throughout the night. Everyone seems to have different sleeping styles, but the one topic that is extremely divisive in the bedroom is the affliction of severe snoring...
The LA Times discusses both the causes and possible cures for chronic snoring, noting that "45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers." We're fortunate that snoring is not an issue normally in our bedroom (both of us occasionally snore when ill or stricken with allergies). But coming from a family with a father who regularly snored with the intensity that rivaled the recent earthquakes, we're extremely empathetic towards those who have to endure snoring daily.
Snoring occurs when the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose is obstructed. Interrupted air flow leads to vibrations, and this leads to noise. For many people, such noises can be traced to excess or loose tissue in the soft palate and uvula -- the little punching bag-like structure that dangles in the back of the throat.
Suggestions for snoring relief mentioned include: Breathe Right nasal strips, oral appliances that open up airways by repositioning the jaw, vibrating "snore alarms", surgical procedures, and something called the "Tennis Ball Technique".
Other tips include:
- Lose weight - Losing weight can greatly reduce or even end snoring.
- Stop smoking - Smoking agitates the respiratory system with nasal congestion and increases mucous in the throat, resulting in a greater chance of snoring.
- Reduce alcohol intake - Alcohol can cause relaxation in the soft tissues and muscles in the throat. Have you ever noticed how loudly sleeping drunk folks snore?
- Sleep on your side - reduces chances of snoring by altering breathing passageway.
- Use an effective air filter - reducing allergens in the air may help reduce some snoring caused by agitated sinuses.
Any suggestions out there that have worked for you or for the person you share your bed with?
[Image via Sleep Disorders Advice]