If your spouse snores, you may have just endured another sleepless night. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are steps you can take - or at least have your spouse take - that could end the snoring and perhaps even save your spouse's life in the process.
"A lot of people think of snoring as something that's just annoying because, with couples, it can cause the non-snorer to lose sleep", says Dr. Gene Sambataro, DDS, author of the book Stop the Snore: Dental Solutions for Healthy Sleep. "But it's also possible that something serious is going on."
Sambataro's suggestions to help your spouse end the snoring include:
GET TESTED FOR SLEEP APNEA
The National Sleep Foundation reports that about 18 million American adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which can be a dangerous condition. "People have literally choked to death or died in their sleep because of sleep apnea", Sambataro says. If a patient has sleep apnea, one potential solution is an oral appliance that a dentist can provide. But many people never even know they need to take care of the problem because it's estimated that about 90 percent of obstructive sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health.
CHANGE SLEEPING POSITIONS
"Sleeping on your back will increase snoring and, in addition, worsen your sleep apnea if you have that", Sambataro says. Try sleeping on your side instead.
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
Yes, extra weight can lead to #snoring. Weight gain can cause a person to develop a thicker neck, which contributes to a narrowing of the airway. That narrowed airway can cause snoring as well as wake the person up as the tongue obstructs the airflow, Sambataro says.
PRACTICE GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE
You might expect a dentist to talk about oral #hygiene, but sleep hygiene isn't a phrase that typically comes up for most people. "Sleep hygiene is really about getting better sleep by creating a well-coming environment in which to sleep, and then by having habits throughout the day and evening that prepare your mind and body for a peaceful night's sleep", Samabataro says. Poor sleep habits, such as staying up too late, can lead to more snoring.
It may be time to clean the house - or at least the #bedroom. Not only will you get rid of clutter, but you could also get rid of snoring. Sometimes people have trouble breathing through their nose because of an #allergy, so when they sleep they breathe through their mouth, and they snore. The culprit behind the #allergy could be dust, which collects on books, papers, and other items.
"It's important, though, for anyone who snores to get evaluated by a qualified professional", Sambataro says.