The two most common misperceptions about snoring I regularly come across are:
- Snoring is just something you have to live with.
- Snoring is not really a problem.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
First of all, there are lots of remedies on the market offered to snorers… everything from nasal strips to splints to surgery. My recommendation: try a non-invasive method first! Breathing retraining has helped many people because it addresses the cause of the problem: an issue with breathing!
What happens when you snore? Try this for yourself – take a large, forceful inhale through your nose. Make it stronger and stronger until you produce a sound. The sound happens when the walls of the nasal passages start to vibrate.
With snorers this may happen all night long as overly large volumes of air are forced through the nasal passages creating sound. While swelling of the nasal lining due to an allergies or sinus infection may increase the chances of your snoring they are not the cause. The same holds true if you have small nasal passages due to a deviated septum or polyps.
Unless you snore when (nose) breathing during the day, there is no reason why you should be snoring at night!
You can do something about snoring and you do want to deal with this! Snoring has been associated with an increase in non-communicable diseases (e.g. heart disease and a reduction in IQ). Not to mention all the other benefits that come with a peaceful sleep for you and your partner!
We all know that snoring increases with age. So address this early – it won’t go away on its own!
And if you’re unsure whether you’re snoring or not, and you don’t want to ask help to find out, here is what you can do. Check if you’ve been mouth breathing at night. This is easy to do. Simply lick the back of your hand upon waking. If it smells unfriendly, you will have been mouth breathing at night. This is because smelly and unhealthy bacteria can thrive when the mouth dries out. In a study where people has their noses blocked at night, all participants started snoring during sleep. Do your best to keep your nose open at night e.g. by doing a nasal rinse before bed. Breathing retraining will also help alleviate a routinely blocked nose.