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Women snore too

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Many women can experience snoring, especially those who are overweight, or who are over the age of 50. It can have a negative impact on your sleep quality and energy levels, not to mention the impact on those within ear shot.

Many women can experience snoring, especially those who are overweight, or who are over the age of 50. It can have a negative impact on your sleep quality and energy levels, not to mention the impact on those within ear shot.

Snoring occurs when the tongue and soft tissues at the back of your throat relax during sleep, restricting the passage of air through your upper airways. The snoring sound is from the vibration or flapping of these tissues as air passes by, or from air moving through the narrowed nasal passages. Snoring effects your ability to breathe properly, which ultimately reduces the amount of oxygen your body inhales. In the short-term, this can make you tired, irritable and fatigued, while over the long-term, snoring can raise blood pressure levels and increase your risk of illness.

Another concern is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which involves a more severe restriction of airflow where breathing stops completely. The supply of oxygen can be cut off for anywhere between a few seconds to a minute, causing the sleeper to choke, stir and even wake up until normal breathing is restored. This cycle may repeat itself hundreds of times throughout the night, and while sleep quantity may be normal, sleep quality is low. There will usually be no memory of these awakenings, and many people aren’t even aware that they have a problem.

Factors that can contribute to a narrowing or blockage of the upper airway can include:

  • poor sleep posture
  • your unique anatomy,
  • an injury to the nose, mouth or throat
  • being overweight, causing excess fatty tissue around the neck and throat
  • temporary congestion and swelling in the airways from alcohol, smoking, illness or acid reflux
  • ageing

So what can you do about it? There are some important lifestyle strategies you can adopt to better manage the condition. Even small reductions in body fat may help improve sleep quality in snorers, and OSA sufferers. Stopping smoking will help reduce inflammation in your airways and reduce the intensity of snoring. Some other suggestions include the restriction of caffeine and alcohol before bed to improve sleep quality, and to avoid sleeping on your back. If snoring persists, check with a health care professional to see if your snoring is related to other health problems. You could also seek advice on the medical cures and treatments available to snorers and OSA sufferers.

Do you snore? Have you made any changes to your lifestyle or sleep habits that have improved your snoring?

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I used to snore frequently. I was surprised when I learned that I was a snorer. I have no unhealthy routines i.e smoking, consuming alcohol; I am not overweight either. Went to diff pharmacies to purchase anti snoring devices because I couldn't think of any way to improve my lifestyle because it was all good. The first I tried was nasal strips (i didn't want machines nor oral devices because I find them uncomfortable). Unfortunately, nasal strips didn't work. Anti snore pillows didn't work either. I came across a pharmacy that offers this free "slumberguard test." Through this test, the pharmacist figured that I was suffering from throat obstruction, she then recommended a mandibular advancement splint which is basically a snoring mouth guard. I didn't like devices but I had to give it a try, nasal strips or pillows don't work because the nose and neck are not what causes my snoring - its my throat. Gave it a try and it felt really uncomfortable for the first few days. It took me almost a week before I got used to sleeping with an oral device. And boy I couldn't thank the pharmacist enough for determining the root cause of my snoring and for treating it using the mouth guard. I highly recommend that people try to figure out what kind of snorer are they first before trying out solutions that may not work for them - which is a waste of money.
Evelyn
Evelyn 09 Mar 2014