It's the age old problem; a partner who snores. What can you do about it for both you and your partner's sake?
Dr. David Volpi founder of Eos Sleep in New York City and the author of Wake UP! You're Snoring, offers holistic suggestions based on his 20 years of practice:
A doctor will look for life style patterns, polyps, allergies, a deviated septum and physical attributes that may contribute to snoring. In the mean time you can establish a sleep routine to prepare for a good night's sleep:
1. Unplug an hour before bedtime. That means avoiding email, texting, computer usage, etc. The artificial light produced from cell phones, PDA's and computers can inhibit the natural sleep-promoting hormone of seratonin from being produced in the brain.
2. Ensure you have the right environment for sleep - A comfortable bed, a bedroom that is cool, dark, and quiet, and free from too much artificial light.
3. Talk to your partner openly. They should see a sleep specialist who understands the upper airway anatomy (such as a board certified otolaryngologist.
4. Herbs. Chamomile tea has been found to be soothing for some, but be careful with the timing of its consumption and make sure to allow proper stomach emptying before lying down at bedtime.
Melatonin, as a natural supplement, has been helpful for some but no supplements should be taken without the prior approval from your physician.
5. Finish eating early One should eat no later than three hours prior to bedtime. This is important to allow the stomach to empty.
6. Tell Yourself to Stop Snoring This may seem unusual, but a friend of mine is doing just this. On the advice of healer friends of hers, before she goes to bed at night she tells herself, "no snoring tonight." And so far she reports that this is actually working.
So, set your intention and see (or listen) to what happens. This falls under the category of "It Can't Hurt." And please let me know if this works for you.
Snoring can be Caused by Some of the Following:
So what causes snoring in some people? During sleep, the throat relaxes and the tongue falls into the airway in the back of the throat causing a vibration in the soft tissue.
Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues in the back of the nose and throat. This vibration is often caused when there is an interruption to the free flow of air through the nose and throat.
Deviated Nasal Septum A nasal septum separates the nasal cavity into right and left partitions. A nasal septum may take on an abnormal shape from a birth defect or when the nose is broken. A deviated nasal septum is one that has an uneven shape that may block breathing.
Nasal Polyps A polyp is a small benign tumor that grows inside the nose or sinus cavity. One or more polyps may block breathing through the nose.
Nasal Turbinates Bulgy structures inside the nasal cavity covered by mucous membranes that clean, moisten, and warm inspired air. If the mucous membranes become infected or inflamed, the air passages in the nose can become constricted and breathing may be blocked.
Sinusitis or Sinus Disease A prolonged bacterial infection in the nasal passages can cause a nasal obstruction.
Abnormally Relaxed Muscles Relaxed throat and tongue muscles can potentially block breathing during sleep.
A Large Tongue or Tonsils If the tongue or tonsils are large in comparison to the windpipe, breathing may be blocked.
Shape of the Head and Neck The shape of the head and neck may be small.
Excessive Weight Extra soft fat tissue can cause a narrowing of the windpipe.
Smoking Smoking leads to irritation and dryness of mucous membranes.
Alcohol, Sedatives, and Sedating Antihistamines These lower muscle tone in the upper airways, causing an increased airway resistance and snoring.
Sleep Position For some people, and increased amount of obstruction occurs when they sleep on their backs. Described as positional snoring, this type of snoring explains a snorer's common complaint of being "frequently assaulted" through the night and implored to roll over.
Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea is the most common sleep disorder, and it’s also the most dangerous. People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing dozens of times during sleep and may not breathe for as much as three fourths of the time they’re asleep.