Approximately one in three people snore in their sleep, not only disturbing their partner's sleep, but also reducing their own quality of sleep. This is often followed by a lack of restful sleep, difficulty sleeping through the night, headaches and daytime tiredness. Find out here how annoying noises arise at night and which simple tips can help reduce annoying snoring and sleep more restfully.
Table of Contents
- Snoring while sleeping
- This is how snoring occurs
- The simplest tips against snoring
- Please do not wake us
1. Snoring while sleeping
Basically describes snoring (med. Rhonchopathy) the obstruction of the upper respiratory and airways, which manifests itself in noisy and labored breathing during sleep. This makes it more difficult to sleep through the night and disrupts the important deep sleep phases, which can particularly result in daytime tiredness, headaches or difficulty concentrating.
Almost one in three Germans snores in their sleep, with men with approx. 60% are affected slightly more often than women (40%). In principle, simple snoring is considered harmless as long as there are no complete pauses in breathing. In the so-called Sleep apnea, health-threatening pauses in breathing occur, which are often accompanied by wheezing. And even though snoring is harmless, it can have numerous negative effects on your own sleep and your partner's rest. And of course this in turn harms our well-being and daily performance.
2. This is how snoring occurs
Annoying snoring noises mainly occur in the upper respiratory tract when the air encounters resistance while breathing and we have to exhale and inhale more forcefully. Then the air flows through the throat at increased pressure and causes the soft tissue (such as the tongue, soft palate or uvula) to vibrate audibly - we snore.
Especially when we sleep, our entire body muscles relax, which essentially narrows the throat area. Various factors then create an additional blockage of the airways and promote snoring. Colds, hay fever, smoking, adenoids, a large tongue or enlarged tonsils, but also the wrong sleeping position or swelling of the throat mucosa have a negative effect on breathing and increase the risk of snoring.
Here you will find simple and helpful tips against snoring so that your airways stay clear and you can get a restful sleep.
3. The simplest tips against snoring
#1 Choose the right sleeping position
The supine position is known to trigger or increase snoring at night. In this sleeping position, the lower jaw drops slightly due to gravity, the tongue slides back into the throat and narrows the airways. Changing to the side position can quickly help ease breathing and stop snoring. You can find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of different sleeping positions here.
To get better air, it can also be helpful to position your upper body a little higher using a firm pillow or a special “anti-snoring pillow.” Specially shaped pillows such as the smart® SILENCE PILLOW ensure optimal positioning of the head during sleep and thus make breathing easier at night.
#2 Keep your airways and nose clear
A stuffy nose causes us to breathe in and out with increased pressure or to stop breathing through the nose and breathe through our mouth. This means the mouth is open and the tongue is drawn more easily into the throat. Especially during a cold, hay fever or a dry room climate, the mucous membranes of the nose become severely irritated, swell and narrow the airways. Therefore, try to clean your nose thoroughly regularly and keep the mucous membranes moist.
#3 Pay attention to your diet before bed
In order to sleep peacefully, you should eat light food in the evening, because a full stomach pushes the diaphragm and lungs upwards and hinders the flow of air in the body. And certain foods and nutrients can also influence sleep patterns or help improve breathing and prevent heavy snoring. Peppermint or olive oil, honey or cardamom have an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect on the mucous membranes and help reduce swelling and keep the airways clear.
#4 Avoid alcohol and nicotine
Alcohol has a negative effect on sleep and snoring and should be taboo 2-3 hours before sleep. It relaxes the muscles, thus encouraging the tongue to fall back into the throat and disturbing the quality of sleep due to the resulting breakdown products. And Smoking should also be avoided, as inhaling the harmful substances irritates the mucous membranes and causes them to swell, impairing breathing.
#5 Remember good sleep hygiene
Good sleep hygiene and a regular sleep-wake rhythm are crucial for a restful sleep. Therefore, make sure that the temperature in your bedroom is rather cool (16 - 18 degrees) and that the room is sufficiently ventilated to avoid excessively dry air and irritation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.
#5 Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise supports not only general health but also peaceful and restful sleep.Obesity, on the other hand, is a common trigger for nighttime snoring because it causes the diaphragm to become elevated and prevents the lungs from expanding, which weakens breathing and promotes snoring.
4. Please do not wake up
Even if it provides a brief moment of peace, you should avoid waking a snoring person at night. Anyone who snores primarily does so during the phases of falling asleep and in light sleep, while breathing difficulties decrease again during the phases of deep sleep. If we are repeatedly woken from sleep, it is difficult for us to reach the deep sleep phases that are important for our recovery and we repeatedly fall into a light sleep. In this way, not only is the quality of sleep significantly reduced, but it actually promotes snoring.
Snoring disrupts sleep and regeneration and has numerous side effects such as difficulty sleeping through the night, daytime tiredness or headaches
Snoring sounds occur when the airways are narrowed and the air pressure causes the relaxed throat tissue to vibrate
The best sleeping position for snorers is lying on your side, optionally with your upper body elevated for easier breathing
Clean or rinse your nose regularly to prevent mouth breathing and keep your airways clear
Make sure you eat light, balanced meals in the evening and use anti-inflammatory, antibacterial foods such as olive oil, honey or cardamom to soothe the throat mucous membranes
Avoid alcohol and nicotine at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
Remember good sleep hygiene and ensure a well-ventilated, rather cool sleeping environment
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being overweight is one of the most common reasons for snoring and is also bad for your health
Do not wake up snorers, otherwise you will disturb their sleep and, on the contrary, further promote snoring