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Condition - Sick of snoring?

By Kelly Rose DipION FdSc VN

Sleepless nights due to snoring can be frustrating and tiring, especially if you aren’t the one doing the snoring! It is estimated that up to 45% of men and 30% of women snore regularly. Despite being a common symptom, it is often not taken seriously. Some more extreme forms of snoring may lead to breath holding, which is termed ‘sleep apnoea’.  

There are many reasons why snoring occurs and some may be simple to solve, whereas others may be quite tricky to tackle. Snoring is simply the vibration of structures in the respiratory system and several factors may contribute to these vibrations. Physical factors, such as being overweight, blockages to nasal passages and jaw misalignment, can play a role. Your doctor may be able to eliminate some of the physical causes. The position you sleep in can also affect snoring. For example, when you lie on your back, the tongue drops to the back of the throat and this can contribute to the noise. How many of us routinely poke our partners in bed and get them to roll over because they are snoring? 

Not all reasons for snoring result from physical issues. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, can increase the chance of snoring.

In fact, it often becomes worse after indulging in one too many of a favourite tipple. This is thought to be due to alcohol relaxing the throat muscles. 

Other conditions, such as sinusitis and environmental allergies, e.g. hay fever, can also lead to an increase in snoring. It is not just environmental allergies that may play a role; food intolerances and allergies should also be considered. If a food intolerance is present, it can often be accompanied by an increase in mucus, which may cause some congestion. 

Some simple actions could help to reduce those sleep-disturbed nights. If you suspect that food may be playing a role, a food intolerance test would be a good idea. A simple pinprick blood test can determine which foods may be problematic. Eliminating those foods may be enough to resolve the snoring. Foods such as wheat and dairy produce can often promote mucus production and may be best reduced or avoided.  

The use of enzymes, such as protease, peptidase, lipase, amylase and cellulase, may also control the formation of mucus. Bromelain may be a useful addition for dealing with mucus. MSM may also support respiratory health by strengthening lung function, thereby aiding easier breathing. 

Ensuring your airways are clean and clear will help with your breathing patterns. In addition, there is some evidence to show that salt crystals from the Transylvanian Praid salt mine, which are used in salt pipes, have an impact on cleansing the respiratory tract. 

Stop smoking, keep alcohol to a minimum and aim to keep to your optimal body weight. Exercising regularly and aiming to sleep on your side may also be of benefit. These simple tips should help you on your way to a peaceful night’s sleep.

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