Do you Snore?

Do you suspect that you might be snoring at night, or wondering whether you keep your partner awake by snoring loudly? If yes, then you would want to put an end to this mystery, once and for all. There are a few ways that can help you find the answers to your questions.

Read on to know about the ‘not so technical’ techniques, that will provide you the answers to your sleep routine queries:

Talk to your bed-partner- Remember how it is said that talking solves half the problem. Well, this philosophy work fine to tackle snoring too. It is difficult to know on your own whether you snore or not. Therefore, you can easily take the help of your partner to do the job for you. Who knows - they might just be waiting for you to address the issue by initiating a conversation about it.

Get your recorder on- More often than not, technology doesn’t fail to provide the answers, when there is no one to turn to. If you sleep alone, getting an audio/video recorder to take an account of your sleeping and snoring patterns, is a great way to assess the situation. Record your sleep, and evaluate the results the next day.

Daytime indicators of snoring- Snoring can result in lethargy, headaches and irritability the entire day, after one wakes up. If you experience these issues quite often, it might be a key indicator of snoring issues. You can also keep a close watch on your mood-swings. If there are any, or sometimes even the difficulty to hold your attention for longer duration, they might be a direct result of snoring.

Night-time indicators of snoring- if you wake up in the middle of night, and feel out of breath or a sudden choking sensation – snoring might be the reason to blame. A restless sleep is also caused due to snoring in many cases.

Snoring can be classified into many types, based on where it originates from. Following are four different types.

Mouth-based snoring- This happens when you breathe (inhale and exhale both) through your mouth, instead of the nose, while sleeping. To avoid this type of snoring, you can use devices such as an adhesive tape especially designed for this purpose, or mouth guards to help you to keep your mouth closed.

Tongue-based snoring- When the tongue falls back on the throat, it becomes difficult to breathe and thereby, causes snoring. Mandibular Advancement Device is especially designed to be used as a remedy for tongue snorers. It helps by moving your jaws forward to avoid the tongue blocking the back of throat, to interrupt breathing.

Nose-based snoring- This happens when the nostrils are blocked or congested, which block your airway, and this results in snoring. Nasal dilator strips can help in keeping the airway open, and thus, stop snoring. In cases of nasal snoring, quitting to smoke also helps in improving the condition.

Throat-based snoring- The vibration of soft tissues in the throat, can cause this type of snoring. These extra soft tissues form excess weight, and therefore - weight loss will help in this condition.

CPAP Treatment

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is one of the treatment options to cure the problem of snoring/sleep apnea. The person wears a nasal or face mask during sleep, and the device helps to keep the airway open by providing positive airflow through a pump

Other self-help remedies include:

  • Avoiding heavy meals or alcohol consumption before 3 hours of sleeping can reduce the chances of snoring.
  • Raise the head of your bed, to a position in a way that your head is elevated. You can use pillows to do this or place boards under the legs of bed, towards the side of your head.
  • Keep your room dust-free, to avoid congestion of the nasal airway.


Sleep Revitalizes your Mind, Body, & Heart

The body goes under many transformations, while it is in the state of rest during sleep. There are many essential functions that take place in the body such as tissue repair, memory and energy restoration, release of essential hormones, muscle relaxation, and others. While you are asleep, the brain releases indispensable hormones that promote tissue growth. This process helps your body rejuvenate from the daily hustle bustle. Moreover, tissue growth aids in the recovery from wounds or cuts. Sunita Kumar, Co-Director, Centre for Sleep Disorders, Loyola University Medical Centre, aptly remarks that during sleep the body produces more white blood cells, to fight countless bacteria and viruses1. The heart rate also registers a dip during sleep, which according to Ms. Kumar, strengthens the heart as it is at rest with lowered activity. Moreover, a good night’s sleep also reduces the chances of getting afflicted with heart diseases.

Good Sleep = Sharp Memory

Sleep is a time, when becomes sharp and strong. Sleep quantity and quality play a fundamental role in determining what one remembers and what one doesnt. Therefore, development of long-term memory (LTM) from short-term memory (STM) happens during sleep.  Scientific researches state that the brain follows a different mechanism for storing memories through the hippocampus and neo-cortex areas. Hippocampus helps you to remember your life experiences (childhood memories), while the neo-cortex is responsible for remembering the concepts you learn (name of a color). Communications and sync between the two, helps in learning new data and updating old ones.

Sleep Steers Hormonal Hunger

Sleep not only affects your energy levels and mental functions, but also regulates your body weight. Improper sleep is related to the increasing cases of obesity, worldwide2. Many hormones which regulate the feeling of hunger (ghrelin) and signal the feeling of being full (leptin), are all influenced by the quality of your sleep.  Leptin: This is also known as satiety hormone, which is produced by the fat cells of the body. It prevents overeating by sending signals to the brain that the body does not require more food, as there is enough to fuel the body.  Ghrelin: This hunger hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which signifies the body that there is need for food. This hormone rises in the body, when you feel hungry and decreases when you have consumed some food.  Studies show that people who have disrupted patterns of sleep - have larger appetite, because of higher ghrelin secretion and lowered secretion of leptin. This imbalance in the secretion of these hormones is a result of improper sleep patterns3.