Snoring is a problem that can affect people at any stage in life, including children. The most common ages are between 40 and 60, and more men snore than women, almost twice as many in fact.
When you snore you make a rattling or snorting sound while you are sleeping. The sound is caused by the vibrations of soft tissue at the back of the mouth, nose and throat as you breathe in and out. Among the healthcare community, snoring is graded from one to three, three being the most severe.
There are some lifestyle factors, which can make snoring worse.
- Smoking is one of the most common lifestyle choices that contribute to snoring. Smoking irritates the lining of your airways, making them swell and this constricts your breathing. The irriration to your airways also encourages production of mucus. One of the functions of mucus is to prevent pollutants such as cigarette smoke going into your lungs, but the increased amount can exacerbate snoring.
- By drinking alcohol at night, the muscles in your throat become too relaxed and snoring can become worse. Your diet can also affect whether you snore. Some people associate dairy products with the increased production of mucus. If the mucus in your nasal passages is in too great a quantity, it narrows the airways, so some snorers avoid milky drinks at bedtime.
- Those people who suffer from allergies like hayfever find that they snore more during the times that their hayfever is at a peak. This is because people with allergies tend to have a lot more mucus, which can restrict their airways.
- Even the common cold can increase the possibility of your snoring. If you have a persistent cough and blocked nose with a lot of green mucus, you are likely to end up breathing through your mouth; hence the increase in snoring.
- Not exercising and being overweight even by just a few kilogrammes can build up fatty tissue and increase the pressure on your airways, causing you to snore.
If you want to reduce the amount of snoring you do, it can help to try to address some of the lifestyle factors mentioned above.