The successful Stoptober campaign is under way yet again and as well as assisting you to stop smoking, it can help you in other ways – such as stopping snoring. Snoring happens for lots of different reasons and sleep disorders of this type can be caused by genetics, body weight, or simply age. However we know that smoking can make you snore.
Although smoking can make you snore there are several ways it can do this. The first and second ways are quite obvious. Firstly it can dry out your throat very quickly which isn’t a major cause of snoring, but it can contribute to it. The second way smoking can cause snoring is by direct irritation. When you smoke, the smoke itself irritates your mouth and throat including the mucus membranes and the bronchial tubes. That may not sound like much, but it is.
Because your airway is quite small to begin with, it takes very little for it to be constricted enough for you to start to notice, and all of the irritation that is caused by cigarette smoke leads to inflammation. In such a small space inflammation is not a good thing and it’s enough to constrict your airway and cause you to snore – sometimes very heavily.
However there is actually a third way in which smoking is related to snoring. For some people, smoking causes them to actually create more mucus and if you’re producing too much mucus it can take up space in your airway and make you snore. There is no way to get rid of it completely but reducing your milk intake and increasing the amount of water you drink will help.
Even ex-smokers are more likely to snore than someone who has never smoked. However, just because there isn’t an easy solution to the problem that doesn’t mean that the symptoms cannot be treated.
Obviously you can stop smoking. Otherwise, your best bet is probably a simple mouthpiece that you wear at night when sleeping. The mouthpiece is the best way to open up space through the airway and this will prevent you from snoring. It’s comfortable fast, and inexpensive – and can help stop or restrict other associated problems with your health – as well as quite often saving relationships.
Smoking affects your sleep in several ways – all to do with the active ingredient, nicotine.
- Depending on your level of use and dependence, your desire for additional nicotine during your sleep may cause you to awaken and this may lead to insomnia.
- Nicotine itself is a stimulant and the use of it too close to bedtime may also make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Smoking also is associated with a disruption of the basic structure of your sleep – called the sleep architecture – and this comprises a number of very important stages. Research shows that smokers take slightly longer to fall asleep, sleep less, and have less deep sleep.
For those who quit smoking, these differences in sleep architecture do not persist. So if you smoke and you also have disrupted sleep, this may be yet another very important reason why you should quit.
Stop Now….before it’s too late.
By John Redfern