There are many potential causes of snoring, such as weight, sleep position, and anatomy. Now, though, a new study has identified traffic pollution as a potential cause for snoring. European researchers found that men living on a busy street were more likely to be snorers. And, not surprisingly, the women that slept with them were more likely to be tired in the morning as a result.
Compared to Cigarette Smoking
Researchers were inspired to conduct this experiment because of previous work that had been done on secondhand cigarette smoke. They knew that these people were more likely to snore (just like smokers), and they wondered whether airborne pollution, which can carry many of the same irritants, might also cause a snoring effect.
To test this, they looked at data from over 12,000 people across Northern Europe. They found that, overall, about 25% of the men snored. Men were significantly more likely to snore if they lived near a major road. On the other hand, about 25% of women reported having difficulty sleeping, with those near the major roads more likely to report daytime sleepiness.
Technically, the men and women are not necessarily linked, but the combination of these two traits is familiar to anyone who is a snorer or who has lived with a snorer.
Researchers noted that living near a major road can have the same impact on the body as smoking 10 cigarettes a day. They also noted that diesel emissions are the main source of toxic air pollutants, emitting particulates that are carcinogenic and highly damaging to the body. The paper was being promoted by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) to help encourage regulation that controlled pollution on these major roads. However, they also noted that the study is preliminary (it was presented at a scholarly conference and hasn’t been subjected to formal peer review yet), and more research would have to be done before firm conclusions could be made.
Can You Keep Pollution Out of Your Home?
When it comes to road pollution, there are a few things you try to reduce your exposure.
Close windows during rush hours. Most heavy traffic roads have the heaviest traffic for only short periods of time. Keep your windows closed at these times to minimize the exposure to airborne pollutants. Then air your home out after traffic has subsided. If you have an air conditioner or other air intake that is near the road, see if it can be moved so that it sucks in cleaner air away from the road.
Don’t walk along roads during rush hours. The worst air quality is experienced right at the level of the sidewalk and cars on the road. If you are walking beside the road during the heaviest traffic times, you are being exposed to much more toxic pollution than being there at other times or when you’re at home. If you have to walk along the road at high traffic times, a protective mask is not unwarranted.
Clean surfaces regularly. You’ve probably noticed that gunk tends to accumulate more in this house than in other houses where you’ve lived. The accumulated grime and dust on counters is partly related to road emissions. But these emissions aren’t safe once they’ve settled on your glass menagerie. Instead, they keep emitting toxic fumes and over time this can make a significant contribution to your toxic load. And don’t forget about pollutants tracked in on boots and accumulating on floors.
Reduce indoor sources of pollution. Traffic is not the only source of pollution in your home. In fact, most pollution in your home comes from sources in the home. Quitting smoking can make a big difference. You can also control pollutants by keeping the air relatively dry, which will reduce the growth of mold in the home. Avoid toxic cleaners. These may remove dirt, but the price is the emission of more toxic fumes in the home. Find less damaging alternatives.
Use quality air filters and change them regularly. Not all air filters can remove the damaging particles, so check the ratings on the filters when you buy them. The finer the filter, the more quickly it will clog up, so it’s important to keep air flowing that you change the filters regularly. Plus, accumulated grime on filters can still emit toxic fumes.
If you’ve tried all these steps and you’ve still noticed that you’re snoring regularly, it may be that pollution and throat irritation is not the main cause of your snoring. For help tracking down the real cause of your snoring and to get a snoring treatment in Omaha that really works, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.