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|Sleep as a physiological process|
How to fight against snoring?
Everybody, even a child, must know what snoring is. It is a husky recurring noise which produces a person asleep that can be almost unnoticeable or so loud and sharp (thus unpleasant and disturbing) that makes everybody in a house/apartment wake up.
Let’s face it: most of us think that it is enough to turn a snoring person over to make this man stop snoring and fall into a sweet sleep again. Moreover, in the middle of the night we have no desire to go into particulars of why it happens when only a few hours left before waking up and going to work. And during a day, we usually are busy with other vital things forgetting about such a night disturbance before the moment it checks in again.
Rather few of us consider snoring as a real problem and dig deeper to know the underlying physiological processes of snoring and possible ways of treatment.
We’d better pay more attention to a sleep disturbance caused by snoring: it can be an indicator of such a dangerous sleeping disorder as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a man’s health condition when his/her breathing passages are blocked while sleeping; it causes several breathing standstills during a night. Sleep apnea can cause a stroke, a heart attack, a heart failure, arrhythmia and death.
So, why does a person snore in a sleep?
When a man inhales, an air flow on its way to lungs makes tissues in the back of relaxed throat muscles (soft palate, uvula, tonsils and adenoids) vibrate. This process is the reason why a man is making strange and annoying sounds while sleeping.
Snore is not fastidious towards the age of its victims: even children and teenagers can suffer from it. However, it affects elderly people the most because a man’s tissue tends to become flabbier with age. Consequently, there is a greater risk that it will be an obstacle for a normal breathing. Also, a man can snore in any sleeping stage (no matter whether it is of Rapid Eye Movement or Non-Rapid Eye Movement).
According to investigations, men are more likely to snore at night (40%) than women (25%) because of the differences in an anatomical structure: their airway is narrower by nature. That is why any blockage can interfere with breathing. However, there noticed such a tendency that some men older than 70 stop or reduce snoring at night.
To fight against any disease, a man is to define his/her enemy, in other words, what has caused it. Snore can be caused by following factors:
Peculiarities of an anatomical structure. It can be defined only by a doctor with the help of knowledge in this area and special equipment. If a doctor sees that your defect can be corrected, he/she may decide to solve this problem by a surgical interference.
Drinking alcohol or taking medicines right before going to bed (hypnotics, anti-depressants, etc.). It is not recommended to do because they make your throat muscles more relaxed that, in its turn, makes your airway narrower and can prevent you from breathing normally in a sleep.
Nasal problems and allergies. It is recommended to cleanse our airway regularly, especially before going to bed in the evening. If a person has caught a cold, he/she has to use decongestants and nasal sprays, as well as nasal discs and strips to be able to breathe freely.
Excessive weight and obesity. Overweight people’s airways are covered with a greater layer of fat that is why they are narrower, and it is more and more difficult for a person to breathe in a sleep. If such a man loses up to 10 per cent of his/her body weight, a man’s night sleep will become 50 per cent better.
Sleeping on a back. It is better to sleep in other position for people who snore at night (on a stomach or side) or use additional pillows to lift a head. If you cannot help sleeping on your back, try to apply a tennis ball (as one of possible variants) to the back of your pajamas. It will surely keep you from temptation to turn on your back in a sleep. In the beginning, it will be uncomfortable and annoying, but a little bit later the reflex will be developed and you won’t roll on your back at all.
Smoking. This bad habit ruins a man’s respiratory system.
Genetic predisposition. If a man inherited enlarged tonsils, large adenoids, long soft palate or uvula, then there are chances that he/she can snore at night because of a special structure of breathing passages.
Pregnancy. Woman’s happiness is accompanied by a range of changes in her organism. Gaining extra pounds plus hormonal changes can cause snoring at night. If you noticed it, apply to your doctor because your breathing problems can lead to oxygen deprivation for your baby.
Irregular sleeping hours. Work out a sleeping schedule: at what time to go to bed and wake up. Calculate the number of hours for your organism to rest sufficiently. Remember that you must stick to it even on the weekend.
Do not consume caffeine and do not be stuffed full at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
Snoring damages not only your sleep, but also the one of your family members as well as your next day. Because of frequent awakenings, you can hardly proceed to a deep sleep stage that is why your organism cannot restore itself to the extent it should. It is the reason for constant fatigue, aggressive behavior, excessive daytime sleepiness, headache and health problems.
It is frightful to be in such a state every day: there may be no place for joy and desire to do anything, total apathy. That is why a person’s productivity at work can decline, he/she may make a stop climbing a career ladder for an indefinite time; harmony in the relationships with other people is up in the air too. If a man lets the grass grow under his/her feet, life can become meaningless very soon. The earlier one begins to look for ways out, the sooner things will sort themselves.
If a man is tortured by snoring, he/she usually has poor concentration and alertness in the morning and during the whole day. This can put at risk not just his/her career but even a life! The number of car accidents because of drowsiness is strikingly large.
Except all points mentioned above, snore also greatly influences a man’s private life in a negative way.
It is almost impossible for a man’s bed partner to stay not only in the same bed with a person who is snoring, but in the same room. That is why they may consider the variant of sleeping separately. Although it is a necessity, it is not the best idea for a couple.
Due to the same reason, there can appear quarrels between a couple’s members. It can happen that one accuses another one that because of him/her it is unreal to have a sound night’s sleep; or a person who snores does not want to lift a finger to solve this problem.
Well, it is their personal affair what to do in this situation and how to react. If there are really people who argue about such problems, then their relations are doomed; the problem of snoring just helped to reveal it. The lesson that is to be learnt is that you must not be selfish; always think about a person who is holding your hand in any situation. The problem of snoring can and must be solved. What is needed is just a desire to change the condition.
If the problem of snoring at night concerns you personally, take it seriously and choose the way of its treatment that is the most appropriate for you. Always bear in mind that you should not take it personally, everybody can be confronted by it. There is nothing to be embarrassed of. It can be easily eliminated from your life as soon as you tackle it.
How can it be done? Here are some ways:
At first, remove everything that can cause snoring at night (the list is represented above).
If you snore very loudly and in any position or sometimes you have breathing standstills in a sleep, consult a doctor obligatory. A doctor can prescribe you using mouth guard, offer to undergo an operation (if a doctor detects an anatomical defect that can be corrected), LAUP (laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty; a new technology) or CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
The last one is a special apparatus that provides a person with the stream of air of a certain pressure with the help of a tube to keep his/her airways open during the whole night. It can be used at home. However, it can be a little annoying and uncomfortable at first, you and your loved one will finally have a deep and relaxing sleep at night.
Determine humidity level in your house/apartment and bedroom in particular. Maybe, there is a need for you to use humidifier.
Also, specialists say that it is useful to sing and play wing instruments.