The majority of snorers are male, but plenty of women snore, too. If you’re a busy mom, you’re probably used to putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, but it’s important to take care of your health. Snoring might seem like the least of your problems, but it has some serious health risks. You should understand what causes snoring, why you should try to fix the problem, and what natural snoring solutions are available.
Causes of Snoring
During sleep, the tissues in the mouth and throat relax. Sometimes, they relax too much and collapse over the airway. When you inhale, the air will rush past these tissues and make them vibrate, which creates the snoring noises.
Excess weight around the neck is a common cause of snoring. The extra pressure on your throat could cause the tissues to collapse and block your airway. Anyone is susceptible to weight gain, but it’s especially common for new moms to experience this problem because of the baby weight. Your sleeping position may be another factor in your snoring problem. If you sleep on your back, gravity will pull on the tissues in your throat, making them much more likely to collapse.
Many women snore because of congestion and nasal swelling. When your nasal passages are blocked, you’ll breathe through your mouth, which increases your likelihood of snoring. Viruses or allergies can cause congestion that leads to snoring, but so can pregnancy. Hormone changes can cause swollen nasal passages and chronic congestion, so many pregnant moms start snoring in their second or third trimester.
One of the most overlooked causes of snoring is sleep deprivation, but it’s something that most mothers are familiar with. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be so exhausted when you finally go to bed that the muscles in your neck and throat will relax excessively and cover your airway. Moms often are the first to wake up and the last to go to bed, so sleep deprivation may be the biggest factor in their snoring.
When you snore, your body struggles to breathe properly and to get enough oxygen. It can be hard to stay asleep and to achieve deep sleep when you have to fight just to take a deep breath. Snoring leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can cause irritability, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. Being a mom is already stressful enough, and lack of quality sleep can make everything even more difficult.
Severe snoring problems can also prevent your body from getting enough oxygen. If the oxygen levels in your blood get too low, your blood vessels will constrict, which can result in hypertension. This increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Many people who snore or have obstructive sleep apnea have chronic headaches or body aches, too.
Natural Snoring Solutions
Fortunately, most people are able to fix their snoring problem with easy and natural solutions. There are a wide variety of snoring treatments that don’t require you to spend any money or change much about your routine.
The best thing you can do to stop snoring is take care of your health. Being overweight is one of the most common snoring causes, and losing just five or 10 pounds can make a difference. Eating healthy foods and following an exercise routine will help you sleep better, and it will make you feel better overall.
Avoiding congestion is another great way to lower your risk of snoring. To avoid catching the common cold or other viruses, eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, and wash your hands frequently. If you have allergies, thoroughly cleaning your room of allergens can help open up your nasal passages. Change your sheets and pillowcases, dust off the surfaces of all your furniture, and wipe down your ceiling fan blades to prevent them from sending dust across your room. Taking a hot shower before you go to bed can also open up your airways and help you breathe while you sleep.
Changing your sleeping position is one of the easiest and most effective snoring solutions. If you usually sleep on your back, try to get used to sleeping on your side instead. This will reduce the amount of weight and pressure on your throat and will lower the risk of the tissues collapsing and blocking your airway. Sleeping on your side is better for your back and neck, too. Body pillows are a cheap and natural way to keep yourself propped up on your side without rolling over onto your back while you sleep.
If these lifestyle changes don’t stop your snoring problem, you can try using an anti-snoring mouthpiece. These tools keep your mouth and jaw in a position that stops the tissues from collapsing. One of the most popular anti-snoring mouthpieces is the mandibular advancement device, which functions like a regular mouth guard but holds your lower jaw forward to create more open space in your throat. Another option is a tongue stabilizing device, which prevents your tongue from falling back and blocking your airway.
Snoring might not seem like a big problem, but it can take a toll on your sleep quality and on your overall health. You can probably reduce your snoring with some easy and natural solutions, which will help you feel more awake, alert, and energized.