In the main, what I see is pretty standard advice, but often there is a “cure” that is cited without knowing the actual cause of someone’s snoring.
A prime example of this will be to use nasal strips. Great advice if your snoring is caused by narrow nasal passages or allergies, but not so great if you’re a mouth snorer.
So, in this article I want to delve a little deeper into the causes of snoring, the types of snoring, and of course how you can treat your snoring in a completely natural way.
Did You Know?
The average snore will typically range between 60-80 decibels. This is about as loud as normal talking or conversation.
The Guinness Book of World Records has often measured certain metrics and awarded various people the title of the world’s loudest snorer.
Firstly, I think it’s important to note that being exposed to a sound over 85 decibels for an extended period of time can lead to hearing loss.
Melvin Switzer set the world record in June 1984. Melvin, a chronic snorer (and a 250lb dock worker – I’m sure the relevance of this will become clearer later on) was found to emit a snore measured at 87.5 decibels.
This is equivalent to the noise of a diesel truck engine or a motorcycle being revved at full throttle.
Melvyn’s loving wife, who is deaf in one ear (No, I’m not kidding), continues to share a bed with him, although she does keep her good ear pressed against the pillow.
Melvyn’s record was wrenched away from him by Kare Walkert from Sweden.
Kare was recorded while she slept (Yes, SHE for those of you who always blame us men, although admittedly men do far outnumber women when it comes to snoring) at the Orebro Regional Hospital, Sweden on 24th May 1993.
Her peak levels of snoring were recorded at 93 decibels. This is the equivalent of a lawnmower or power tool.
Then we have the case of Jenny Chapman, dubbed Britain’s loudest snorer in 2009.
I think I’ll let Jenny (and her poor husband) explain to you herself in the 34-second clip below. Let’s just say a low flying jet, which comes in at around 103 decibels has nothing on Jenny.
What Exactly is Snoring?
Snoring typically occurs when the airway tissue vibrates at the back of the mouth, nose or throat. This happens as you breath in and out while you sleep and will cause a snorting or rattling sound.
The main reason you snore is because the muscles of either the mouth, nose or throat (depending on which type of snorer you are) relax as you sleep, thus causing a blockage to these airways.
Snoring is extremely common, and although there aren’t any exact figures (this makes perfect sense to me – Who would you report your snoring to, and more to the point, Why?), it is estimated that between 30%-50% of adults snore.
And yes ladies, gloat all you want, snoring is twice as common in men than women, and it will generally increase with age.
Snoring may cause disturbances to your sleep, and indeed to those around you. This may not just be limited to someone sharing your bed, as I’m sure some of the“World Record Holders” above would have woken up everyone in their household, and possibly the neighbors too.
It is the aftermath of sleep deprivation caused by snoring that can cause the biggest problems.
I’m sure many snorers have suffered from emotional upset and relationship issues. The lack of sleep can also lead to reduced mental function the following day and excessive daytime sleepiness. This will also have a knock-on effect on your work and social life.
Severe snoring could also be an early sign of obstructive sleep apnea, whereby you either struggle to breath or completely stop breathing numerous times throughout the night. I have highlighted the dangers of sleep apnea in more detail here.
The Different Types Of Snoring
Oh yes indeed, there are different types of snoring.
This is especially important when it comes to treating snoring, as I alluded to in my introduction.
Mouth-based snoring occurs (as the name suggests) when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose.
The main causes of mouth snoring will be the muscles of the soft palate being too big or too weak, enlarged tonsils, or blocked nasal passages.
If you’re unable to breathe through your nose while you’re asleep, due to one of the above factors, you will automatically breathe through your mouth. This results in the tissues vibrating, which causes the snoring sound.
There is an outside chance that a nose-based snorer (see below) can become a mouth-based snorer. This typically happens if your nasal passages become severely blocked.
If you are regularly breathing through your mouth while you sleep this can unfortunately lead to infections, as the air is no longer filtered by passing through your nose first.
Mouth-based snoring is generally where items such as mouth guards or chin straps are worn in order to keep the mouth closed while you’re asleep. However, this could actually be quite dangerous if you mouth snore because of blocked nasal passages (how are you going to breath?)
The other causes of nasal snoring include, dust or pet allergies, stiffness of the nose, cold/flu, and certain types of medication may also cause an issue.
To treat nose-based snoring something as simple as keeping your home neat and tidy could be a solution if a dust allergy is the issue.
It is also recommended that you cut down or completely quit smoking. Plus, this is typically when nasal strips and nasal sprays are endorsed by many people.
If a deviated septum is the problem then unfortunately surgery may be your only option.
Tongue snoring generally develops because the tongue becomes too relaxed, especially when you lie on your back. This will block the airway to your lungs, making it difficult to breathe, which is what causes the snoring.
Tongue snoring is most common in people who have excess fat around the neck, regularly drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or use some form of sleep medication.
Treatments can include anti-snoring pillows and backpacks, which are designed to keep you off your back and sleeping on your side, so that your tongue doesn’t block your airways.
There are also a wide variety of mouthpieces and mandibular advancement devices available for tongue snorers. These are intended to move the jaw forward while you sleep, so once again the airways at the back of your throat don’t become blocked.
Throat- Based Snoring
Throat-based snoring is definitely the loudest and most dangerous of all the different types of snore. This is most associated with people who have sleep apnea.
The muscles and soft tissues in the throat become too relaxed, which can lead to a blockage in the throat. This is why people with sleep apnea often wake up choking or gasping for breath.
Sleep apnea should not be left untreated as it can lead to many serious conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. Please refer to my article Sleep Apnea and the Heart for further information.
How To Diagnose What Type of Snorer You Are
Tips to Reduce Snoring – How to Stop Snoring Naturally
The following tips are nothing new and if you’ve looked into how to reduce or prevent snoring you will no doubt have come across these many, many times before.
However, there is good reason for that:
Being overweight or obese is probably the number one risk factor when it comes to snoring and sleep apnea.
If you have a neck circumference greater than 16 inches you are more at risk of developing sleep apnea.
Exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet can help you lose weight and can help to significantly reduce snoring.
Change Your Sleep Position
Snoring most commonly occurs in individuals when they tend to sleep in a supine position (laying on your back).
By sleeping on your side you are able to prevent the tongue from falling back into your throat and creating a blockage.
It is also recommended that you sleep on your left-side where possible.
The stomach and digestive system naturally hang to the left, so they won’t have to fight against gravity, like they will if you sleep on your right-side (this is often why people experience heartburn or acid reflux when they have eaten a large meal close to bedtime).
Get Tested For Allergies
Snoring is often caused by inflammation or nasal congestion that is provoked by allergies. I would suggest that you get tested for allergies and this can help you to identify if this is the actual issue for your snoring.
A food allergy, such as an intolerance to wheat or dairy, or even the type of bedding you use could be the reason you snore. Plus you should also consider the possible effects of dust mites and pet hair.
Smoking will cause inflammation and nasal congestion, which will typically just make snoring worse.
I know it’s easier said than done, but if your snoring is causing you to lose sleep, you are doing far more damage to yourself than the cigarettes alone.
If you can quit smoking, not only will this help to reduce snoring, but will also improve your overall health.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
I know, I know, I’m taking all the fun out of life.
You can’t eat what you want, you have to exercise, you have to quit smoking, and now I want to control the alcohol you consume.
Snoring may not seem that serious an issue now, but if it leads to sleep apnea, this is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Alcohol will typically relax the airway muscles much more than usual, causing them to collapse further, which will actually make snoring even worse. This is why people who generally don’t snore may “partake” after drinking one or two too many.
I’m not saying you have to completely give up, but avoid drinking alcohol at least 4 hours before bed, where you can.
Just to take you back to the first point above, I’m sure you know that limiting your overall alcohol consumption is also good for weight loss.
RELATED POST ====> How Does Alcohol Affect Sleep?
Sedatives and Sleeping Pills
Antihistamines and certain medications, especially sleeping pills, are aimed at relaxing you. However, this may also relax the airways further, which can lead to snoring.
You should always consult with your Doctor before making any changes to your medication. Explain your issue with snoring and they may be able to prescribe an alternative.
The Best Natural Method to Stop Snoring
I will say that if you have extremely severe symptoms of any sleep disorder, and this includes snoring or sleep apnea, then you should always consult your doctor.
However, when it comes to snoring, as you can now see, this is typically caused because of blockages and weak or over-relaxed muscles.
Therefore, in my mind, the best course of treatment would be to strengthen these muscles.
Obviously, you will need to ascertain which type of snorer you are first (mouth, nose, tongue, or throat) and then a specific course of treatment can be recommended.
I have reviewed a number of snoring and sleep apnea-related natural products/programs on this website.
These programs look to diagnose what type of snorer you are and then set about providing you with the ideal natural solution.
My initial suggestion would be to the Stop Snoring and Sleep Apnea Exercise Program.
Plus you also have access all my product reviews via the Menu button at the top of the website page.
I’d also love to hear from you if snoring is an issue for you or your partner. Please do leave your comments in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to discuss these with you.