Sunday, August 22, 2010

Snoring: The Nightly Thunder

A great many pleasant sounds can come out of a person’s airways, but snoring isn’t one of them. In fact, loud snoring can generate the same volume as an average lawnmower (which you definitely wouldn’t invite into bed with you). For this reason, the effects of snoring are usually felt first by whoever has the misfortunate of sharing your bed. Technically, snoring occurs when the passageways at the back of your throat become partially blocked, causing the soft tissues in and around your throat to vibrate noisily. Nearly half of all adults have an occasional snoring episode, and about a quarter are chronic snorers. On its own, snoring may be harmless (for the snorer). However, if you bed down with a snorer, you may suffer from interrupted sleep, stress, and even hearing loss.

Furthermore, snoring can be a sign of a much more serious problem, called sleep apnea, where the sufferer repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. With serious sleep apnea, interruptions can occur more than a dozen times per hour and can last 1 or 2 minutes. The result is that the sufferer never gets proper sleep, spends most of the day in a dangerous haze, and is at increased risk of heart disease.

If you’re an occasional or frequent snorer, avoid the three most common aggravating factors: smoking, being overweight, and quaffing alcohol in the hours before bed. (Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of your throat, making it easier for them to flap loudly together.) You can also try sleeping on your side—a simple switch that immediately reduces the nightly emanations of many a problem snorer. (To train yourself to side-sleep, take a shirt that has a pocket in the front, put a tennis ball in the pocket, and wear the shirt backwards.) If you’re still suffering, or you suspect sleep apnea, contact a doctor who can investigate. Possible remedies range from surgery to a dental appliance that you wear while you sleep.

Source of Information : Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

No comments: