Picture this: you’ve just gotten comfortable for the night and can feel yourself drifting off to sleep. Suddenly, a noise jolts you awake.
Though it may sound like a lumberjack sawing down logs, it’s not; it’s your snoring partner. You may roll over and cover your ears with a pillow or give your partner a loving (yet firm) kick. Either way, you both wake up tired and cranky in the morning.
If your wife or husband snores, you’re no stranger to this scenario. So how do you get any sleep with a snoring partner?
The answer lies in eliminating the snoring altogether. Before we take a look at how to stop the snoring for good, let’s first examine what causes your partner’s snoring to begin with.
Why Do We Snore?
If your wife or husband snores, you’ll probably try anything to stop it. Finding solutions depends on identifying the causes.
Snoring is primarily caused by blockages within the airway. When air can’t freely flow through the nose and throat, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the deafening sound we all despise.
Snoring can sometimes be caused by sleep apnea, a condition that leads to pauses in breathing during sleep. It’s important to rule out whether or not your partner’s snoring is caused by sleep apnea. A sleep study can help rule this out.
In the event that your snoring partner does have sleep apnea, they will likely be prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to keep their airway from collapsing while they sleep.
However, a CPAP machine may not stop the snoring altogether. This is because the most common culprit that leads to snoring is mouth breathing, whether your partner has sleep apnea or not.
Breathing through the mouth isn’t an optimal way to get oxygen into the lungs. As a matter of fact, we weren’t designed to breathe through our mouths regularly; we were designed to breathe in and out of our noses instead.
When the lower jaw falls open, the soft palate is left without support, causing tissues to collapse, airway passages to become blocked, and snoring to occur.
But snoring isn’t the only issue that mouth breathing causes.
Health Problems Linked to Mouth Breathing
While breathing through your mouth may sound harmless, it can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the body and mind over time.
For example, mouth breathing is associated with an increased risk for oral health issues such as cavities or gum disease. This is because breathing through the mouth dries out saliva that would normally coat the teeth and gums, protecting them from bacteria and plaque.
Mouth breathing can also cause:
Jaw pain and/or an irregular bite
Reduced focus and concentration
Daytime irritability and sleepiness
High blood pressure
Increased risk of heart conditions and stroke
It’s a vicious cycle: mouth breathing puts your health at risk and leads to snoring. This fragments your sleep, further harming your health.
The Problem With Sleep Fragmentation
If you’ve got a wife or husband who snores, you know first hand that snoring causes interrupted sleep. But it’s a much bigger deal than just waking up a few times throughout the night and feeling unrested the next morning.
Fragmented sleep causes your internal clock to fall out of rhythm. In turn, your body may release larger amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
As a result, you’ll experience headaches, mood swings, and even decreased happiness and increased risk for anxiety and depression.
This is because cortisol activates the body’s stress response, putting you in a state of “fight or flight. Furthermore, the elevated cortisol makes it harder for you to calm down, or put your body in a state of “rest and digest.”
The “rest and digest” state is activated by the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings the body out of a state of stress, decreases blood pressure, and activates the immune system.
If you sleep next to a snoring partner (or you are the snoring partner), you’re experiencing fragmented sleep and all of the health risks that come along with it.
So now that we know why we snore and how it harms our health, how do we stop the snoring for good?
How to Stop The Snoring for Good
If your wife or husband snores, the first and most obvious solution is to stop them from mouth breathing. If you’re the snorer, focusing on nasal breathing over mouth breathing is key.
Lifestyle changes and sleep accessories can both help put a stop to mouth breathing and encourage nasal breathing.
Lifestyle Changes for Snoring Prevention
Let’s first take a look at some lifestyle changes that can help reduce mouth breathing and stop snoring in its tracks:
Address allergies - Allergies block the nose, leading to mouth breathing. Try an over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication to improve your breathing quality.
Lose weight - If you’re overweight, you likely have excess tissues around the throat that may cause snoring. Losing weight helps to reduce this excess tissue, helping the airway to remain unobstructed.
Avoid sleeping on your back - Sleeping on your back causes the tongue to fall into the back of the throat. Sleep on your side to increase the chances of keeping your airway open.
Limit alcohol before bed - Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles, causing collapse. Avoid alcohol at least two hours before bed to increase your chances of snoring prevention.
Snoring Devices and Accessories
Most snoring devices and accessories are designed with this goal in mind by either making nasal passages easier to breathe in and out of or by keeping the lips sealed, making mouth breathing virtually impossible.
The following snoring devices and accessories may help assist you in your journey toward snoring prevention:
Chin straps - Chin straps wrap around the bottom of the jaw and are commonly used in combination with CPAP machines in sleep apnea sufferers. The idea is that they keep the jaw held closed, reducing the chances of mouth breathing. However, they don’t seal the lips, so mouth leaks and mouth breathing are still possible.
Nasal strips/external nasal dilators - Nasal strips, also known as external nasal dilators, are adhesive strips that are placed over the bridge of the nose. Made of a stiff material, they help to hold the outsides of the nostrils open, making nasal breathing easier.
Internal nasal dilators - Internal dilators work to open up the nostrils from the inside to encourage nasal breathing by eliminating blockages within the nasal cavity.
Mouth tape - Mouth tape adheres to the lips, keeping them sealed throughout the night. With the lips sealed, mouth breathing and snoring become virtually impossible.
Review these options and try them out yourself or recommend them to your wife or husband who snores.
Of these options, mouth tape is the only one that physically keeps the mouth from falling open. But what kind of tape should you use?
Cure Your Snoring Partner With SomniFix
Whether you or your partner is the snorer, you need a solution that will stop the snoring in its tracks so that you can finally get the restful night you both need to protect your body and mind.
SomniFix Mouth Strips keep the lips sealed, promoting nasal breathing and preventing mouth breathing all with a breathable, comfortable design.
Our strips are made from a hypoallergenic, gel-like material that is gentle on even the most sensitive skin. They’re easy to apply and painless to remove.
Better yet, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them. No matter your preferred sleeping position, you’ll nasal breathe into the night without a second thought.
Plainly put, all you have to do is pop a strip on before bed to get the silent, tranquil night’s sleep you and your partner have been craving!
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