Is your bed partner is a snorer?
If you’ve endured your bed partnerâ€™s snoring night after night, for years on end, listen up. Your nightlife can be quieter.
Does snoring wake you up?
Chances are, you’re getting fragmented sleep, which zaps your energy and robs your body of the rejuvenating rest it needs. Worse than that, snoring can also rob the snorer of good health. Studies show that severe snoring can be linked to high blood pressure and headaches.
What are the causes of snoring?
Nasal blockages, a deviated septum, congestion from colds or allergies, or even acid reflux can cause snoring. A sleep specialist can tell your snorer what’s at the root of his or her problem. Treating the underlying problem often helps reduce snoring.
If your partner is simply a regular snorer, here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
- If your snorer is overweight, get him or her to lose a few pounds. Weight is a big factor in snoring.
- Slip your snorer a virgin margarita â€“ or other alcohol-free drink â€“ instead of a more traditional sort of nightcap. Alcohol causes snoring because it relaxes throat muscles.
- Nudge your snorer. There’s less snoring with side sleeping.
- Rig up this little reminder: get an old tube sock, put three tennis balls in it, and attach it to the back of his nightshirt. When he rolls onto his back, the tennis balls will make him roll onto his side.
- Get earplugs â€“ seriously, they work wonders.
- Try nasal strips â€“ they work, especially for people with narrow noses.
- Go to bed before your snorer, so you’re in deeper sleep stages when he turns in.
What is sleep apnea?
- Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a personâ€™s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep â€“ sometimes, hundreds of times a night.
- There are two types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, OSA is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked in central sleep apnea. The brain, however, fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Am I at risk for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. However, risk factors for this sleep problem include:
- Male gender
- Being overweight
- Being over the age of forty
- Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
- Having larger tonsils
- Having a family history of sleep apnea
What are the effects of sleep apnea?
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including:
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.