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Snoring Can Ruin a Good Marriage

Jul 17, 2008
Snoring is a funny problem, in a comedy sketch. But snoring in real life is a difficult and complex problem. Everyone snores at one time or another. Babies snore and they sound very cute. Pets snore and that's just amusing. But what if your bed partner snores so loudly that you cannot sleep. This is not cute or amusing.

The intimacy of a good marriage can be destroyed by snoring. If one party snores so loudly that it wakes up the other party, that is a problem that must be solved. The non-snoring partner will probably not be able to get back to sleep. If it's available, they may move to a guest room. But no one really wants to leave their partner and sleep alone. And if this goes on night after night, it can break down an otherwise good relationship.

I remember a widow I knew once told me that after her husband died she would have given anything just to hear him snoring beside her. I try to tell myself that when my husband's snoring wakes me up. But while I understand her loss and appreciate the sentiment, I cannot help being angry when I can't get a good night's sleep.

Snoring is caused by the narrowing of the airways in the nose and throat. As you breathe, the air has to push its way though a smaller then usual passage. The noise you hear is due to the vibration of loose tissue in the back of the throat. Snoring can be mild, meaning that snoring stops when the snorer changes position. Snoring can also be severe and it this case the snoring continues no matter what position the body is in. Chronic and severe snoring can lead to serious health problems.

There are many causes of snoring, some of which are under our control and some of which are not. Causes within our control include being overweight or out of shape. Excess weight and fatty tissue in the neck cause the throat to become smaller. Poor muscle tone can also contribute to snoring. Smoking, even second hand smoke, may play a role as smoking both relaxes muscles and contributes to nasal and lung congestion. Excessive alcohol and certain medications which relax the throat and tongue muscles can contribute to snoring. Finally, sleep position can play a role. Sleeping flat on your back allows the neck to relax too much and creates the proper environment to produce snoring.

There are also factors that we cannot control which contribute to snoring. Heredity is one. You may inherit a narrow throat. Being middle aged or older will also result in the narrowing of the throat and loss of muscle tone. Being male is a factor. Some women do snore, of course, but generally men have narrower air passages and are more likely to snore. Medical conditions such as allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems will cause blockage of the airways and may result in snoring.

Before you can look for a cure you need to understand why you snore. Here's a little tip to help you. If you snore with you mouth open, your snoring is probably related to the tissues in your throat. If you snore with you mouth closed, a problem with your tongue is probably to blame.

What to do about snoring depends on the cause and severity. Extreme cases can lead to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a true breathing obstruction which requires the sleeper to wake up to begin breathing again. Often the sleeper does not remember waking up and unless that person has a sleep partner who notices the awakenings the condition may go untreated. Sleep apnea is life threatening and a physician must be consulted if this condition is determined to be the cause of snoring.

In most cases of snoring however, the person can take measures necessary to cure their snoring without resorting to drastic medical fixes. Obviously losing weight, getting in shape and stopping smoking are first on the list of self cures. A snorer may change the position in which they sleep and try elevating their head. If you have a cold you can take a nasal decongestant to help you breathe more easily or try a nasal strip to help keep nasal passages open. Don't take antihistamines before bed, however, because this will cause the throat muscles to relax.

If none of these help enough, there are certain exercise programs which have been found to be extremely effective in controlling and even curing snoring. Certainly it is a good idea to use an exercise program to cure your snoring because the next step would be to seek medical help and treatments. Unfortunately, these medical solutions are often expensive, uncomfortable and not always effective.

Exercise programs have been effective for the majority of snorers. Why wouldn't you try to eliminate the underlying cause of your snoring yourself with simple life style changes and exercises before putting yourself through uncomfortable and even painful procedures, which are expensive and not guaranteed? Learn to take care of yourself. Take control of your snoring and make yourself and your sleeping partner happier and healthier.
About the Author
Sheila Guilloton is the owner of Prestige Planners an agency specializing in the placement of health and dental insurance for over 12 years. For complete information on the care of your teeth and mouth, visit http://www.prestigedentalplanners.com
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