Are you or your partner suffering from the dreaded snore monster? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, research suggests that in the 30 to 60-year-old age bracket, 44% of men and 28% of women regularly snore1. And if you thought age would bring reprieve, think again. Over half of those aged 60 or over report regular snoring.

While some may see snoring as an irritating by-product of sleep, the truth is much more sinister. Snoring can be a sign of severe sleep apnoea, which is associated with a litany of serious health issues. 

This is no exaggeration. Studies have shown that people with sleep apnoea have a whopping 46% higher risk of an early grave. That’s because this sleep disorder has been linked to a slew of health problems, including heart disease, depression, and more.

In this article, we will examine the causes, symptoms and risks associated with snoring, in addition to available snoring solutions to help combat this nocturnal nemesis.

Why do we snore?

Snoring arises when the flow of air through our throats is obstructed, causing the relaxed tissues in our throats to vibrate and produce that hoarse or harsh sound. 

Poor muscle tone, bulky throat tissue, and a lengthy soft palate or uvula are a few of the complex factors that could give rise to this distressing predicament.

Why is snoring bad for us? 

It is crucial to note that snoring is not just a nuisance but can significantly impact the quality of sleep for both the snorer and their sleeping partner

Light, infrequent snoring is usually not a cause for concern and is not considered a health issue. However, if you’re constantly plagued by incessant snoring and daytime fatigue, you may be a victim of the silent killer lurking in your bedroom – obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

This pernicious condition occurs when your upper airway is blocked or narrowed, causing your breathing to repeatedly stop and start throughout the night. Severe OSA potentially leads to dangerous daytime drowsiness and a range of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression, and even death.

How To Stop Storing 

So, what are the solutions to stop snoring naturally? How can evidence-based snoring remedies help? Whether you’re male, female, adult or a child, there are several effective snoring solutions to help you get a good night’s sleep. They range from lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise to medical interventions such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and oral appliances.

In this section, we outline some of the most effective treatment options you can consider to protect your health and happiness, and rest easy knowing that good snoring solutions are within reach.

Use a custom-made oral appliance

Oral appliances, which are custom-fitted by dentists, can help reduce snoring by increasing the size of the upper airway during sleep. These devices typically work by repositioning the lower jaw, soft palate, or tongue. The Australian Dental Association and the Australasian Sleep Association recommend oral appliances fast an effective treatment for people who request treatment for their snoring.

Sleeping Position

According to health experts, sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to move to the back of your throat, partly blocking airflow through your throat. Sleeping on your side may help to reduce or stop snoring by allowing air to flow easily. 

Alcohol Consumption

Avoid or limit alcohol intake before going to bed. Consuming alcohol for at least 3 hours leading up to bedtime can relax the throat muscles, causing snoring. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep in other ways, such as leading to shorter amounts of REM sleep, which is important for memory formation and dreaming.

Diet

If you are overweight, weight loss can help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat. Excess tissue might be causing your snoring. You can lose weight by reducing your overall caloric intake by eating smaller portions and more nutrient-rich foods. Try to get regular exercise daily. You may also consider reaching out to a doctor or a nutritionist for help.

Avoid Nasal Congestion

Stick-on nasal strips or external nasal dilators can help to increase the space in the nasal passage. This can make your breathing more effective and reduce or eliminate your snoring. Internal nasal dilators, which are placed inside the nose, are also available.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of snoring. It can cause your throat muscles to relax, making you more susceptible to airway obstruction. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, according to joint recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Snoring can also increase your risk of sleep deprivation since it leads to interrupted sleep.

Quit smoking

Smoking can worsen your snoring as it increases your risk of OSA according to a 2014 study. Talk with a doctor about therapies that can help you quit, such as gum or patches.

Use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

If you have OSA, a CPAP machine is the first line of treatment. A CPAP machine delivers pressurized air through a mask that fits over your nose, mouth, or both, helping to keep your airway open. There are many different types of masks available to accommodate different preferences and needs.

What are the possible long-term effects of snoring?

The impact of snoring on sleep quality, coupled with underlying medical conditions, can result in serious long-term health implications. In this section, we will explore the negative effects of snoring on overall health and their potential long-term health implications.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is an under-diagnosed sleep condition in which breathing stops involuntarily for short periods of time during sleep. OSA could be the underlying cause of heavy snoring. 

During obstructive sleep apnoea, blood oxygen levels drop suddenly, increasing blood pressure and straining the cardiovascular system. Those with OSA are at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and chronic headaches.

Heart Abnormalities

Data suggest that people with sleep apnoea are twice as likely to have both non-fatal heart disease events and fatal heart attacks.

People with long-term snoring or sleep apnoea risk developing an irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. Researchers have found that people with sleep apnoea are more likely to have episodes of atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia.

Even without sleep apnoea, snoring can cause thickening and abnormalities in the carotid artery, likely due to the inflammation caused by the vibrations of snoring. This can lead to vascular diseases and heart irregularities.

Stroke

An analysis of health data from one sleep study found that the intensity of snoring was related to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis — narrowing of the arteries in the neck due to fatty deposits called plaque — and as a result, stroke. The greater the long-term risk for a stroke, the louder and longer you snore each night.

Getting Treatment for Snoring 

Snoring is not just an annoying sound that disrupts your partner’s sleep. It could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a serious sleep disorder linked to several health problems, including heart disease, depression, and even early death. 

The good news is, there are many effective treatment options, including lifestyle changes and medical interventions like CPAP machines and oral appliances.

Proven CPAP alternative

Due to poor compliance (30%-60%) to CPAP therapy, many OSA sufferers are turning to CPAP alternative treatments such as oral appliances.

SleepWise Clinic specialises in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnoea through its full range of medically proven, custom-made appliances. Our experienced dentists have treated over 16,000 patients in Victoria since 2001, making us one of the most trusted and successful clinics in the country.

Our oral appliances are customised to your unique needs and are manufactured using state-of-the-art 3D digital technology with materials of the highest quality, resulting in unprecedented comfort. Many of our patients are referred by sleep physicians, ENT surgeons, GPs, and dentists, and we also accept patients directly with no referral necessary.

At SleepWise Clinic, we understand that quality sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we’ve developed a custom oral appliance using the latest intraoral scanning technology. This results in highly accurate models and an extremely well-fitting 3D printed oral appliance ready to be fitted within two to three weeks.

Your Satisfaction, Our Guarantee

At SleepWise Clinic, we take pride in delivering top-tier results for our clients. Yet, we understand that the human condition is unpredictable, and occasionally, a patient may not be fully content with their treatment outcome.

That’s why we offer a safety net in the form of our Satisfaction Guarantee . Should you find yourself among the minority of patients who are not entirely pleased with their dental experience, rest assured that you will be entitled to an 80% refund of your treatment fee.

Don’t let snoring and sleep apnoea disrupt your life any longer. Contact SleepWise Clinic today and take the first step towards a better night’s sleep.

References 

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  2. Yaremchuk K. (2020) Why and when to treat snoring, Otolaryngologic clinics of North America. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32336469/ 
  3. Sleep apnea raises death risk 46 percent: Study (2009) Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sleep-death-idUSTRE57H0CP20090818
  4. Blumen M. et al. (1999) The effect of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea on the sleep quality of bed partners, Mayo Clinic proceedings. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10918859/
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  8. Krishnan V., Dixon-Williams, S. and Thornton, J.D. (2014) Where there is smoke…there is sleep apnea: Exploring the relationship between smoking and sleep apnea, Chest. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4251622/
  9. Chiang J.K. et al. (2022) Long-term benefits of a new oral appliance on adult snoring: A trend analysis, Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8977863/
  10. Jean-Louis G. et al. (2008) Obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease: Role of the metabolic syndrome and its components, Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2546461/
  11. Hersi A.S. (2010) Obstructive sleep apnea and cardiac arrhythmias, Annals of thoracic medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841803/
  12. Lee S.A. et al. (2008) Heavy snoring as a cause of carotid artery atherosclerosis, Sleep. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2542975/
  13. Singhal P. et al. (2016) Study of factors affecting compliance of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), European Respiratory Society. European Respiratory Society. Available at: https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/48/suppl_60/pa2362
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