Bedtime can be a real nightmare if your other half keeps you awake
Snoring might seem a trivial problem to those who haven’t had to put up with it, but it is a serious issue if you have.
Doctor Raymond H Hamden, a Dubai-based clinical and forensic psychologist, said: “Snoring contributes to poor sleep and takes away from necessary uninterrupted rest for the snorer and for the person sleeping near them.
“A study found that 23 per cent of couples have to sleep in another room because the noise gets
too annoying. This can result in health issues, affect psychological alertness, and work related performance due to tiredness.”
Losing weight, stopping smoking and trying to change your sleeping position may help to cut out the heavy breathing, and some even advocate singing in order to increase muscle control in the throat and palate.
Sufferers can also try using a mandible advancement device, a gumshield-type aid that brings the lower jaw and tongue forward, to increase the size of their airway.
It’s important we try to stop the snoring too, because lack of sleep for us and our partners can lead to both physical and psychological problems, fatigue, irritability and poor concentration.
Marianne Davey, director of the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, explains: “It can make you very ill, with headaches and stomach problems. “Long-term, it can devastate people’s lives. Snoring disrupts a person’s sleep, even if they don’t realise it, and bed partners lie awake listening to it.
“Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system and you’re more prone to having health complaints.
“Not only that, a lot of snorers’ bed partners suffer from depression, as well as having relationship problems.”
CAUSES OF SNORING
- Sleep apnoea (a sleep disorder where the sufferer has abnormal pauses in breathing)
- Overeating and/or lack of exercise can lead to more fat around the throat, which means there’s insufficient muscle tone to keep the airway open enough at night.
- Alcohol and sleeping pills can relax the muscles around the upper airway, as well as causing nasal airway irritation and congestion.
- Smoking can irritate the lining of the nose and throat, causing swelling and catarrh, which makes it difficult to breathe through the nose.
- Sleeping on your back may lead to the tongue and soft palate falling back into the throat, thereby narrowing the airway.
- Allergies causing nasal congestion.
- Breathing through the mouth while sleeping can mean the air hitting the back of the throat creates vibrations in the soft tissue.