Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Nearly 37 million Americans snore while sleeping. Since this condition is common, you may assume that it’s no big deal. But unfortunately, ignoring your snoring could increase your risk of certain life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, insulin resistance, depression, and even certain cancers. Therefore, determining what’s causing your snoring and controlling the problem is the first step in protecting your overall health against the damaging effects of this condition. So today on the blog, our Royal Oak airway dentist at Hartrick Dentistry answers this common question, why do I keep snoring at night?
Aging adults report that their sleep habits change as they get older. You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep compared to your sleep habits when you were younger. Also, as you age, your skin loses elasticity and muscle mass reduces, which occurs everywhere in the body, including the throat. Therefore, airway blockages are more likely to occur as you age, which could impede airflow and result in snoring.
Your natural anatomy
Anatomical conditions like a deviated septum, nasal polyps, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and even chronic allergies or the occasional cold may cause airway restrictions that result in snoring. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove chronically enlarged airway tissue, while over-the-counter medications will most often relieve blocked airways associated with allergies or the common cold. However, we recommend that you speak with your primary care provider before starting any over-the-counter medications.
Your sleep position
You’re most likely to snore if you sleep on your back because gravity causes the mouth to gape open, and the tongue to slide back toward the airway, blocking airflow. If you do snore, perhaps try sleeping on your side or propped on a pillow to help lessen the airway restriction. If you try side sleeping yet continue rolling over onto your back, place a pillow behind your back to help force you to sleep on your side.
A common myth is that alcohol induces sleep. But the reality is that alcohol has the opposite effect. Since alcohol is a relaxant, overconsumption could lead to a collapsed or blocked airway that impedes breathing and results in loud snoring. Therefore, reconsider that nightcap beverage because it isn’t going to help you sleep after all, and may even be contributing to your snoring.
Excess weight or fat deposits around the neck can make a person more likely to snore. But you could be at risk of snoring even if you carry the bulk of your weight elsewhere on your body. Some studies show that being as little as a few pounds overweight could lead to less muscle tone and added fat deposits, which are also likely to occur around the neck. Therefore, if you snore, consider weight management solutions to help shed some pounds and improve the rest of your health while you’re at it.
Sleep Apnea Screenings in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan
If you snore, you probably experience chronic fatigue, mood swings, and other symptoms that you can’t quite put your finger on the cause. However, a simple sleep apnea screening in Royal Oak at Hartrick Dentistry can help you learn more about your airway health and whether you could benefit from an official sleep study. To learn more or schedule a sleep apnea screening today, contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950.