At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 113
G E N E R A L H E A LT H ▲
Sleeping with the
SNORING CAN MAKE NIGHT-TIMES A NIGHTMARE FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT
OTHER. HERE'S HOW TO BANISH THE BEAR FROM THE BEDROOM
WORDS: JANE FARRELL, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
oar like a bear at bedtime?
You're not alone. Snoring
is a common condition,
affecting around 40% of
Brits. It is caused by
vibration of the soft palate (the soft
part of the roof of the mouth) as your
lungs strain to inhale oxygen through
partially blocked airways.
Typically, this occurs when the
throat muscles that keep your airway
open become too relaxed or excess
tissue accumulates nearby and
obstructs the flow of air.
While snoring often disturbs the
sleep of your partner, it can be a sign
of a serious medical condition, such
as obstructive sleep apnoea. This
makes you stop breathing for a few
seconds, resulting in decreased oxygen
in the blood, which can lead to fatigue
and headaches the following day.
Sleep apnoea is associated with
chronic medical conditions including
high blood pressure, obesity, heart
disease and stroke. It also increases
the risk of accidents. Research in the
US has even linked snoring and sleep
apnoea to type 2 diabetes.
If you're a regular snorer and the
self-help measures suggested on the
right do not work, you should see your
GP. They will refer you to a consultant
ear, nose and throat surgeon, who will
get to the root of your snoring and may
offer treatment such as a continuous
positive airway pressure (CPAP)
respirator, or nasal surgery in the form
of septoplasty, nasal polypectomy or
endoscopic sinus surgery.
SNORES TYPICALLY OCCUR WHEN
THROAT MUSCLES BECOME TOO
RELAXED AND OBSTRUCT AIRFLOW
Do not drink alcohol in the three hours
before going to sleep.
If you're overweight, reduce your calorie
intake and take regular exercise, as fat
around the neck can exacerbate snoring.
Sleep on your side.
Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette
smoke irritates the lining of your nose and
throat, causing swelling and catarrh. This
means airflow is decreased and you're
more likely to snore.
If you have allergies, try to eliminate
allergens in your bedroom, such as
banning family pets from the room and
regularly washing your bed linen.
Keep your nose clear, so that you
breathe in through that, rather than your
mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose,
try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray
during the day.
Try a mouth guard or snoring spray or
strips to reduce the problem. Many are
available over the counter - speak to your
pharmacist for advice.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk FEBRUARY 2018 | 113