Am I A Routine Snorer?
Snoring can be meaningless and unimportant, but for many snoring can be a sign of a deeper and more significant problem. If you live with others, it’s easy to find out if you snore. But what if you live (and sleep) alone?
How to Tell If You Snore
Even if your snoring wakes you, chances are you won’t be aware snoring was the culprit. You may go through many nights where frequent waking from snoring is occurring and you aren’t aware of it. The next day you feel lethargic and tired without a clue that snoring is robbing you of precious sleep.
- Record Yourself: Use your smartphone voice recording feature. Set it to start recording when you go to bed. The next morning, play it back to see if you’re a snorer.
- Keep a Sleep Log: Keep a sleep diary and write down when you fell asleep, how long you slept, and when and why you woke up. If you don’t know why you woke up, put a question mark. Over time, as you review your sleep diary, lots of question marks in one sleep session may be a sign that you snore.
- Look Out for Symptoms: Be watchful of possible symptoms of snoring that include dry mouth, sore throat, trouble concentrating, waking from gasping or choking sensations, and feeling cranky during the day. Write down all the symptoms you experience in your sleep log.
- See Your Doctor: Your ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor can help you determine if you snore, as well as help treat any symptoms and conditions caused by chronic snoring.
What’s the Cure for Snoring?
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam, review your sleep log and determine the underlying causes of your snoring. Depending on the results, treatment will be recommended. Common snoring treatment options include:
- CPAP Therapy: A machine directs pressurized air into your airway while you sleep to keep your airway open
- Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT): A dental mouthpiece is made for you to wear while you sleep that repositions your tongue and jaw to enlarge the airway and prevent snoring
The Dangers of Snoring
Snoring can be dangerous to your health. One study found that waking up time and again, and not being able to get a restful night’s sleep can deprive you of deep non-REM and REM sleep. The result is a condition called sleep fragmentation. The symptoms from sleep fragmentation include extreme daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and personality and behavioral changes.
Daytime sleepiness can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel or doing other potentially hazardous activities that require your full attention. Lack of concentration can seriously impact your ability to function well on the job, in school and in other important areas of your life.
Ways to Avoid Snoring
- Try changing sleep positions. Avoid sleeping on your back. Use a body pillow to hold you in position.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bed. It relaxes the muscles, making them more flaccid which results in snoring.
- Open up your nasal passages before bed. Dab a little Vicks VapoRub on your chest. Also, try sitting in a steamy bathroom to clear congestion.
- Use a humidifier to put moisture in the air in your bedroom. Dry air dries out your throat and nasal passages, which can result in snoring.
If you have snoring problems and want to stop snoring permanently, trust ENT Centers of Excellence and our team’s 30 years of experience as snoring specialists to help. We can help you breathe better and sleep better.