8 Dec 2016

How to sleep without snoring

How do I stop snoring?” is one of the most common questions asked by people just beginning to discover they may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that doesn’t discriminate against age, gender or weight range.

According to Better Health Victoria1, most people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it. It’s a pattern that can repeat itself hundreds of times every night, causing fragmented sleep. This leaves the person feeling unrefreshed in the morning, with excessive daytime sleepiness, poor daytime concentration and work performance, and fatigue. It’s estimated that about five per cent of Australians suffer from sleep apnea1.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which breathing is blocked during sleep, causing pauses and shortages to breathing that often result in snoring.

Snoring isn’t the only symptom of sleep apnea2; there’s also:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression

If you’re concerned about snoring, ask yourself whether you have these other symptoms, too. If the answer is no, you may be experiencing one of the many other causes of snoring beyond sleep apnea.

For example, you may snore because of poor sleep posture, or simple aging.

To help you stop snoring tonight, consider these simple changes:

  • Quit smoking: Smoking is believed to inflame the throat, which is thought to be one of the causes of snoring.3
  • Reduce alcohol intake: If you regularly enjoy more than three or four drinks, consider cutting back. Alcohol can help us fall asleep but can also cause sleep that’s of poor quality.4
  • Sleep on your side: Consider shifting your sleep posture. Sleeping on your back can block your airway and lead to snoring.
  • Exercise: Getting on a regular workout regimen can improve your sleeping habits, as well as your health in general.

Still unsure about how to stop snoring? Speaking to your doctor can be the first step to finding out what sleeping issues you may have and what treatments exist to help you stop snoring. To guide you through the conversation you will have with your doctor and your partner about your sleeping problem, download our eBook “The ultimate guide to understanding your sleep issues”. The guide includes a sleep diary and common terms for sleep apnea to help you when talking to your doctor.

Understanding Your Sleep - ResSleep

References:

  1. Sleep Apnea. Better Health Victoria. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-apnoea
  2. Palnitkar G, et al. Obstructive sleep apnoea in adults: identifying risk factors and tailoring therapy.Medicine Today2012, 13(8):14-23 
  3. Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379?pg=1
  4. Roehrs T, Roth T. “Sleep, Sleepiness, and Alcohol Use.” Sleep Medicine Review. 2001; 25: 101-109