It’s important firstly for women to realize that snoring is not an illness, but it can be a symptom of something more problematic. When you fall into a deep sleep, the muscles in your body relax, including the muscles in your mouth. They can relax so much that they can partially block the airway, causing vibrations — and that starts you snoring.
In some cases, snoring is caused by your mouth anatomy — a low, thick palate or an unusually long uvula, for example. Sometimes it’s due to nasal problems like chronic congestion, or sleep apnoea, or even alcohol. The narrower your airway gets, the more forceful the airflow becomes, causing vibrations in the tissues in your throat.
Though snoring can happen in otherwise healthy people, there are several causes for snoring, ranging from the benign to the more serious. Sleep apnoea is the most serious underlying cause of snoring. People who have sleep apnoea stop breathing over and over again while they’re sleeping.
On top of that, it’s been claimed that a new category of people could be sufferers.
According to new research in Sweden, half of those affected could be young and healthy women aged as young as 20 upwards. In September a study by the UCLA School of Nursing suggested the condition is even more harmful to women than men. So what is the foundation for this?
Firstly, snoring isn’t a prerequisite for it – a narrow neck, a small mouth, a big tongue and set-back jaw can all be factors in obstructive sleep apnoea. That’s because they all help to produce a narrow airway, which could easily get blocked while you’re asleep.
It’s been suggested over the years that fatigue is another pointer towards the condition, and this is still the case. However, some people may have been undiagnosed for so long that they presume they just aren’t good at sleeping, rather than they have an underlying health problem.
There are several big indicators that you could have a problem. If there are pauses while you snore during which you gasp or choke, you may be a sufferer. Ask your partner if he’s noticed this happening. You’ll usually feel tired during the day and find yourself dropping off during any downtime too, plus you’re likely to have headache first thing in the morning, suffer concentration and memory problems and feel irritable. Some people find they urinate more at night too, and have a dry mouth in the morning.
Don’t let all of this stress you out though, as help is at hand. If you do have the condition, there are different ways to deal with it, such as mouthpieces, meaning the famously frightening CPAP machine isn’t your only port of call. There are also small things you can do to help, such as stopping smoking, ditching caffeine and big meals, trying to sleep at the same time daily and propping your head up when you sleep.
However, treat it quickly and start to use a mouthpiece to stop your snoring. Try out a starter mouthpiece like SleepPro Woman or Easifit – these are the usual entry level oral appliances – and when you feel that they’re right for you step up to something made specially to fit your mouth shape – particularly if you suspect that you have sleep apnoea.
The best example is SleepPro Custom. Not only will it stop you snoring straight away but it will prevent sleep apnoea too, as discovered in product tests by the world renowned Papworth Hospital, who recommend it as the first product to be given to mild and moderate sleep apnoea sufferers. There’s no better recommendation than that.