Snoring affects sleep patterns, including the restfulness attained during sleep time and the length and quality of the night’s overall rest. Studies have shown that interrupted, ineffective and shortened sleep patterns — often caused or accompanied by snoring — will indeed lead to weight gain. And weight gain also can lead to various health problems, including hypertension, elevated sugar levels (which can result in diabetes type 2) and other conditions that would probably not be present in the absence of the weight gain.
A pioneering and lengthy study of 68,183 women with habitual sleep problems was started in 1986 and then conducted for 16 years. Women sleeping five hours or less gained 30 pounds more than women who slept seven hours or longer. These astounding results were published by the American Journal of Epimediology.
Gaining weight because of poor sleep and snoring is a double-edged sword. As one gains weight, one’s snoring worsens, and thus a vicious cycle sets in, whereby snoring leads to weight gain, which in turn leads to worsened snoring.
Weight gain can also turn snoring into sleep apnea, which causes interruptions in breathing during the night that can last for up to 10 seconds each occurrence– and can occur as many as 100 times during the night. As one’s breathing stops, it triggers a notification in the brain, and as a result, the person suffering from sleep apnea often wakes up, further interrupting what is already an awful sleeping experience.
To say the least, preventing or reversing sleep apnea is thus of primary importance to one’s health.
If you do snore, there are things you can do that will help you get a better night’s sleep. For instance, some people recommend using pajamas with a tennis ball sewn into the back. This forces you to sleep on your side, which is better for preventing snoring bouts.
If your snoring is caused by sinus congestion, you can try using a humidifer. The extra humidity will cause your sinuses to drain, shrinking your nasal mucous and improving airflow, which should in turn reduce snoring.
Some people use extra pillows to prop them up and thereby keep their airways open better. The Mayo Clinic sleep center also recommends using something to raise your feet higher while you sleep.
Dentists can fit you with mouth guards that push the lower jaw out, thus allowing more air in and preventing the throat from collapsing. Cheaper snore guards are also available. Nasal strips are also used to pull open the nasal passages in the nose to increase air flow.
On the weight front, diet and exercise can obviously help, and as your weight recedes, often your snoring will as well. Exercise can also help bring about a more rapid falling-asleep experience, though neither diet nor exercise can in and of themselves generally eliminate snoring.
If snoring is leading to daytime problems with tiredness and loss of mental focus, you need to do something Starting with professional medical help is always the safest route to go, despite the home remedies mentioned above, which may or may not help at least partially, depending on the individual and his or her level of snoring problem.