What are the causes and how to stop snoring? The head of the sleep medicine center explains why snoring is not funny at all, but very serious.
What is snoring
In the existing gradation of sounds that irritate a person and act on the nerves, the crying of a child takes first place – this is how nature intended to attract the attention of the mother. But snoring may well compete, because like any factor that interferes with sleep, snoring is always perceived negatively. Extremely negative.
While some women claim that they sleep better when a man snores nearby, in fact, such examples are rare. Back in the early 90s, snoring was viewed more as a paramedical topic that aroused irony among professionals and ordinary people. But now more and more people understand that this is a very common, and in some cases complex problem that negatively affects the quality of life of both the snoring person and those around him.
From a medical point of view, snoring is a sound phenomenon associated with the vibration of the soft tissues of the larynx. During sleep, the muscles of the laryngopharynx are excessively relaxed and the airways narrow when inhaling and exhaling, which leads to turbulent flows and vibration of soft tissues – a person begins to snore.
It should be said right away that everyone snores, but snoring is different – for someone it is one minute for the whole night, and for someone – all eight hours of sleep. And the louder the snoring, the more dangerous it is . The maximum recorded snoring power record is 130 decibels, which is comparable to the sound of a roaring jet engine. So the notorious “heroic” snoring is not a reason for pride, but for fears and a visit to a doctor.
Causes of snoring
There are many reasons for snoring. If we take the period of childhood and adolescence, then snoring indicates various phalopathologies – an increase in adenoids or tonsils, anomalies in the structure of the upper respiratory tract.
If we talk about an adult man, the most common reason is being overweight, which leads to an increase in body fat not only in the abdomen, but also in the upper respiratory tract, which provokes their narrowing and increases the likelihood of snoring. Women on average snore 8-10 times less often than men, but with the onset of menopause, due to changes in hormonal levels, they may snore.
The main danger of snoring is that it is directly related to the problem of respiratory arrest during sleep, which today is one of the main mechanisms for the development of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and heart rhythm disturbances.
If snoring does not last long and is not accompanied by respiratory arrest, if it does not lead to a violation of the very structure of sleep, then there is no reason for concern.
How snoring is associated with respiratory arrest during sleep
Breathing pauses during sleep , or otherwise apnea , are present in almost any person, but usually their duration does not exceed 10 seconds, and pauses that go beyond this limit are considered pathology. Yes, respiratory arrest is not always fatal, but it significantly increases its likelihood.
During such a dream, a person is literally in a state of suffocation – the airways collapse, he tries to inhale, but cannot. The night for him turns not into rest and recovery, but into the destruction of the body.
Each prolonged cessation of breathing ends with a micro- awakening of the brain. If this did not happen, the person would die from the very first respiratory arrest. Now imagine that there are several hundred such revivals in one night.
If a person lives alone, then, naturally, he cannot diagnose either snoring or apnea in himself, therefore the main symptom by which he can determine that he slept badly is his state of health. He seemed to have slept for 8-9 hours, but got up in the morning not rested and not slept. He has a headache and always wants to sleep.
Although immediately after waking up, he may feel good, but after half an hour or an hour he will begin to feel weak and tired. This suggests that he did not recover during sleep, but, on the contrary, experienced a serious stress. A healthy person with normal breathing at night wakes up in a good mood – he is very efficient and active.
Remember, sleep is the most important vital state of the body, both the quality of life and its duration directly depend on the quality of sleep. Any disturbance – whether it be snoring, respiratory arrest, sleep deprivation or fragmentation (interruptions), insomnia – increase the risk of developing other diseases several times.
For the treatment of snoring, you need to consult a somnologist , he will prescribe a special polysomnographic study, which will determine the structure and quality of sleep. This will allow you to determine whether there was snoring, whether there were respiratory arrests, how they affected the heart rate, blood pressure, and whether there were heart rhythm disturbances.
Based on the research, the doctor will decide whether this snoring needs to be treated or whether it is a sound phenomenon that does not lead to the development of dangerous diseases. Although, of course, there are patients who want to get rid of non-pathological snoring, as it causes discomfort to their partners.
So far, very few special medications are known that could help eliminate this problem – the mechanisms for the development of snoring and respiratory arrest at the level of the brain are not fully understood and identified. There are types of positional therapy – for patients who, for example, snore only while lying on their back or stomach, changing the posture of the body and choosing a special pillow can help.
But the effect will be short-lived, since the pathology usually progresses and snoring occurs already in other body positions. This is due to the fact that most often the main cause of snoring is various pathologies of ENT organs , so the patient needs to get advice not only from a somnologist , but also from an otolaryngologist.
Based on the conclusions of both doctors, a treatment strategy is developed, and in some cases even surgery may be prescribed. But so-called CPAP therapy, or breathing under positive pressure, is still more commonly used, due to which it is possible to restore and expand the lumen of the airways.
This therapy is considered the “gold standard” for the treatment of snoring and respiratory arrest, as it is close to 100% of the result and helps to solve associated problems with blood pressure and heart rhythm disturbances. And if a patient’s snoring is associated with overweight, then he first needs to get rid of those extra pounds.
How to wake up in a good mood
How to wake up in a good mood? It doesn’t matter which foot you stand on. Just start the morning with a smile, and then it’s up to the little
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast should not be skipped for many reasons: it starts the body’s work, speeds up metabolism, allows you not to overeat at lunch. What we like most is that it is thanks to breakfast that you can improve your mood. How? First, this meal should be done in a relaxed atmosphere and not in a hurry.
Secondly, prepare something healthy and delicious, lay out beautifully on a plate or tray and garnish with fresh vegetables and fruits. Don’t have time to cook? Not scary. Indeed, in five minutes, even from yogurt, you can make a real masterpiece that will cheer you up for the whole day.
Do your exercises
Even a simple warm-up can have a huge impact on our well-being and mood. Simply because exercise propels blood throughout the body and releases endorphins – hormones of joy. A couple of push-ups, a dozen squats, a few minutes in the plank – and the morning won’t be so dark.
Do not rearrange the alarm clock
We know, we know, we are now talking about something unreal. But you really should forget about those “three minutes” (which actually always turn into half an hour). Remember, setting the alarm for 10, 20, 30 minutes, you inform your brain that after a certain time you will have to wake up again. Because of this, you will not be able to fall asleep soundly, and later you wake up even more tired. Just remember that sleep without pauses is much more beneficial – so you have a better chance of feeling rested and refreshed.
Place fresh flowers next to your bed
To a greater extent, this point applies to the fair sex. One study found that seeing flowers when they wake up makes women much happier and less nervous throughout the day.
Is it worth it to say once again that this has a positive effect on both the work process and personal relationships? So men, we just gave you a great excuse to please your soul mate today.
Sleep on your right side
Believe it or not, some researchers have shown this pattern: if you sleep on your right side, sweet dreams and easy lifting are provided.
Surround yourself with bright colors
If in the first minutes of your awakening you see objects of bright colors, then a good mood for the whole day will be ensured. The fact is that bright shades induce an adrenaline rush, you become more energetic and more cheerful, and it is also he who best fights the stress hormone cortisol.
Also, adrenaline promotes the release of hormones such as endorphin and dopamine , which improve the overall well-being of a person and raise mood. But do not furnish the whole room with bright details, otherwise you will get the opposite effect.
Bright colors have an exciting effect on our nervous system. Do not forget that before waking up in bright pillows, we first have to fall asleep in them. And it will be more difficult to do because of this excitement. The ease of awakening is more influenced by how we fell asleep and how much we slept than the color that we see when we wake up.
Moreover, bright colors can be too harsh and perceived by the body in the morning as unnecessary stress. Therefore, it is better to surround yourself with bright objects outside the bedroom, for example, at the expense of bright towels in the bathroom or your favorite cup.
Sleep without clothes
Sleeping without pajamas has many benefits:
firstly, it makes you more free and liberated;
secondly, without clothes you fall asleep faster;
third, cortisol levels remain normal .
If you are wearing pajamas, your body temperature may rise, along with the increase in the amount of stress hormone. This is fraught with the fact that the level of cortisol will remain high even after waking up, which will lead to a bad mood, irritability and even the desire to eat something harmful.
Let go of your worries and problems
The day does not add up, problems do not let go, worries are growing every minute – is that familiar? Most likely, this load will hang on you until the night and even until the morning. How to get rid of it?
So that the problem does not bother you in the morning, you must leave all the worries of the past day in this day. A good way is to summarize. Remember your day from the very morning: what events happened, what was important, what was successful and what was not.
Try not to get involved in it emotionally, but analyze it a little detachedly. Be sure to find those situations for which you can praise yourself – you did something, proved yourself, you did it.
These may be small achievements, but they are very important. All questions and concerns that have not been resolved, write down on paper and deal with them as soon as possible. So you free your head from unnecessary information and you are unlikely to forget about something. This, in turn, will allow you to sleep peacefully.
Do not pick up your phone or computer immediately after waking up
Likes, comments, new letters, notifications – all this creates a whole cloud of unnecessary problems and questions. Why do you need this in the morning, when you have a light exercise, a warm shower with aromatic soap and a delicious breakfast? Woke up – don’t grab your devices for at least an hour.
Anyway, keep all your gadgets in a room you don’t sleep in. Well, instead of a phone, use a ringing alarm clock with which it is impossible to sleep. These little tricks can help you separate your social life from your personal life and let you really enjoy starting a new day. Social media, messages, notifications, news – it all steals from you the time you can devote to yourself. And when is it better to do it, if not at the moment of awakening? When you are still in a state of morning bliss, you can think about your desires, goals, imagine how best to spend this day and how to fill it. This is the best time to contact yourself.
If you immediately get into your phone or computer, you plunge into the web of other people’s news, thoughts, words, charge someone else’s energy and other people’s desires.
Set your alarm 15-30 minutes early
Waking up even 15 minutes earlier will save you much more time in the packing process, which will help you stay on track and stay positive. In this short time, you can calmly think about what you will have for breakfast, what you will wear, remember the list of to-do’s and appointments, and mentally prepare for the day that begins.
Read and listen to music
Sometimes days turn into a real routine, and then it is very easy to lose inspiration and motivation. In this case, if not books (by the way, here is a whole selection of motivating books for you), then at least quotes from successful and great people will help you. Sometimes even a couple of words can cheer you up and set you in a good mood. Catch a motivational quote from Napoleon Hill for this day:
Desire is the starting point of any achievement, not hope, not will, but only a sharp, throbbing desire that overcomes everything.
Take a cool shower
It is not necessary to overturn a basin of ice water, just stand for a couple of minutes under streams of cool water (about 20 degrees) before getting out of the shower. Cool water releases neurotransmitters , or rather serotonin, the hormone of happiness, which improves your mood and fills you from head to toe.
Don’t go to bed in a bad mood
It is sometimes very difficult to control your emotions. But you need to try to moderate your ardor at least for the sake of sound sleep and good mood in the morning.
When we experience strong emotions, be it anger, irritation or great joy, it is difficult for us to fall asleep because our brain is in an agitated state. It is important to calm yourself down and, if possible, end this emotional situation. If this is not possible, try to postpone it for the next day.
At the same time, it will be helpful to do a simple meditation to calm your nerves. Sitting with your back straight or lying on your back, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. It’s important to just breathe and listen to yourself, letting your thoughts flow as they should. One minute is enough to calm down and disconnect from worries.
Kiss all your family members
A simple kiss, but how much it will mean to you and your loved ones! Renowned American psychotherapist Barbara Bartlane believes that kissing helps relieve stress and provides a great start to the day.
Meet the sunrises
Morning light signals the body to stop producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. In addition, this light increases serotonin levels. But do not despair for those who get up too early and cannot watch the awakening of nature. Now you can buy special devices that will fill a dark room with pleasant morning light at a precisely set time.