Many people are dismayed to learn one day that they are snorers. This can be quite startling for some people, who were always proud that they slept quietly and now find that snoring has completely changed their self-image.
What is the cause for your sudden change in sleep behavior? What causes snoring? Here are a few common reasons why people discover that they’re snorers and what you can do about it.
There’s Someone to Listen Now
This may seem obvious, but it has to be said. Many snorers don’t know they’re snoring simply because there’s no one there to tell them.
You might wonder, why wouldn’t my snoring wake me? The answer is that it probably did, but you fell back asleep. You don’t realize how much your sleep is suffering as a result of your snoring.
Alcohol and Medications
Another reason why people suddenly start snoring is that their habits have changed. If you have started drinking alcohol in larger quantities, drinking more frequently, or drinking at different times, it could contribute to your snoring. Try switching your drinking back to previous levels to see if it helped.
Also, if you’ve started a new medication, it could contribute to your snoring. Snoring is a known side effect of certain medications, so talk to your doctor. If it is your medication causing your snoring, sometimes your dosage or its timing can be adjusted to reduce snoring.
Weight and Exercise
Sometimes you might start snoring because of changes in your health. If you’ve put on even a small amount of weight (perhaps as little as 5 pounds) or stopped exercising, you might notice that you’re snoring a lot more.
Weight that accumulates on the throat or tongue can make your airway more likely to collapse. A lack of exercise can contribute to a loss of muscle tone that also makes your airway more likely to collapse. A narrow or constricted airway is what causes snoring.
You can try to reverse this, but it can be harder than you think. When your sleep is disrupted, it can be hard to exercise and even harder to lose weight. Many people like to get treatment for snoring before starting exercise or weight loss programs.
Age and Hormones
Aging can also contribute to your development of snoring. In particular, hormonal changes impact the way the body functions. When they are younger, women are much less likely than men to snore, but after menopause women are just as likely as men to become snorers.
It’s not clear whether hormonal therapy will improve a woman’s snoring.
Another reason you might start suddenly snoring is if you’ve picked up a smoking habit. Smoking cigarettes can cause inflammation in the upper airway which can make snoring more prevalent when sleeping. If you started snoring when you started smoking, simply quitting smoking can help relieve snoring symptoms, although it won’t provide immediate relief. Some studies suggest it may take up to four years for smokers who quit smoking to stop experiencing snoring symptoms.
Neck and Head Anatomy
Your head and neck anatomy may also be the cause of snoring. The size and shape of certain structures may restrict airflow and cause snoring. For example, a deviated septum can cause snoring because it bends or skews the wall between the nostrils to one side. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or having a small jaw can also cause snoring. Even injuries to the jaw that cause misalignment can cause snoring. If the head and neck anatomy are the causes of your snoring, you may require a medical procedure to treat the underlying cause as well as an oral appliance.
Allergies, colds, flues, and sinus infections can all cause nasal congestion that can contribute to snoring. Taking medications and using a humidifier can help bring relief when nasal congestion flares up. If your nasal congestion is constant, there may be something else going on or an allergy you’re unaware of. We recommend speaking with an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist to rule out all possible causes.
The last factor that may cause people to start snoring suddenly is your sleep position. If you regularly sleep on your side and now tend to sleep on your back, or sitting upright, this can be the cause of your sudden snoring. When you lay on your back, all the soft tissue in your upper airway falls back due to gravity. Laying on your back can cause obstructions in your airway and thus cause you to snore. Sleeping on your side can help prevent you from snoring.
Get Snoring Treatment in Omaha
If you’re unhappy now that you’re a snorer, the good news is that there are options to help reduce or prevent your snoring. We offer effective snoring treatment in Omaha so that you can resolve your snoring quickly. We can also evaluate your snoring to learn whether it’s just snoring or if it’s a more serious related condition called sleep apnea.