Is Snoring Making You Feel “Old?” – Here’s Why
Snoring and Aging
From a young age, snoring is an issue for men and women around the world. It is something that causes brothers to throw pillows at one another in their sleep, women to elbow their husbands in the back, and men to squeeze the nose of their wives. These are all done as a way to keep the noise level down and the ability to sleep better. As you get older, you are more likely to suffer from snoring problems that develop for various reasons.
Snoring in Children
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 10 percent of children snore. Just like with adults, snoring occurs when there is a blockage of the airway within their body. The actual opening and closing of the air in the airway is what vibrates the skin and makes the sound. The actual noise level of the snoring depends on the amount of air being sent through the blocked airway. For children above the age of three, snoring tends to occur more often when a deeper sleep is being experienced.
For kids, there is certain danger to just assuming that they are snoring just because they are in a deep sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should be screened for their snoring to determine if it is basic snoring or related to obstructive sleep apnea. This form of sleep apnea is seen in about 1/3 of children and can interfere with their breathing. When the brain understands what is going on, it send signals to the body to breathe again which is why you will often hear a loud gasp from your child when they begin to breathe.
Snoring in Adults
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are more than 90 million adult Americans that are affected by snoring. Included in that figure are more than 37 million people that experience this on a regular basis. They also report that about 30 percent of all adults have snored before in the past or presently snore.
Much like with children, snoring in adults occurs when there is a blockage in the airway. Despite the blockage, the body is still being told by the brain to send the same amount of air through the airway which causes the snoring sound. The more air being pushed through the smaller area, the louder the noise will be.
Causes of Snoring
No matter what your age, there are numerous ways that are the reason why you begin to snore. It can be something as simple as having a relaxed throat muscle, blocked nasal passage, sleep apnea, or excess weight. The older you get, the more prominent these issues become in your body and the likelihood of snoring increases.
Another reason why those older in age begin to snore more often is the medications they are on for other ailments and conditions. A lot of these medications can relax the muscles in your throat and they are also sedatives that will affect your breathing.
The older you get, the higher the chances that you will begin to gain weight and get close to the overweight marker. The more you drink and smoke throughout your life, the chances of gaining weight gets even higher and all of these actions cause the muscles in your throat to become weakened and cause snoring.
It isn’t necessarily the fact that you are getting older that you begin to snore more, rather it is common to see this occur in adults because of other medical conditions and lifelong habits that they have taken part in for years.
What you can do to stop it
There are many things you can do that are supposed to help you stop snoring. Some are products that you can purchase that are meant to reduce snoring and others are meant to improve the air in the room you are sleeping in.
Those who like to sleep on their back are more likely of snoring than those who sleep on their stomachs or on their side. Those who sleep on their back face the higher likelihood of snoring because their tongue muscles become too relaxed and will block the airway. You can either change your normal sleeping position, or purchase the stop snoring pillow. This pillow raises your head, which in turn reduces the pressure felt on your sinus, throat, and soft palette and further facilitates your ability to breathe.
There are two different types of mouthpieces that can be used to fight snoring: a tongue retainer and a stop snoring mouth guard. The mouth guard is much like those you would see professional athletes wear. This prevents the flow of the air from being blocked and minimizes the sounds that would keep those in your house awake at night. The retainer holds your tongue in place and keeps it from getting too relaxed and dropping, which avoids any chances of it blocking the airway.
Snoring can also occur when your nasal passages become blocked because of sinus problems and nasal deformities. The older you get, the higher the chances that these problems can develop in your nasal passage. If you are having problems sleeping, one suggestion would be to blow your nose and make sure there is nothing blocking the passage before you go to sleep each night. What the nasal strips can do for you would be keeping your nasals open as wide as possible to encourage breathing.
Humidifiers are helpful for anyone who has problems breathing at night. For many infants, humidifiers are vital to the health of the child because it keeps the air in the room clean and breathable. You want the room to be as moist as possible and this will ensure that is what you get.
If your snoring problem is considered severe, your doctor might suggest to you that you get a CPAP machine, otherwise known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine. This device has a mask attached to a flexible tube that is connected to a machine. This machine is constantly pushing air into your body through the tube which keeps your airway open and prevents snoring.