As you transition into senior living, it is more likely that you'll snore during your sleep. While you and your loved ones may perceive this as a funny habit or a natural rite of passage as a senior, it can have an impact on your health.
Snoring usually occurs in people that are older but doesn't affect everyone. It depends on a multitude of factors, such as your pre-bedtime habits, and overall state of health.
While you are sleeping, all your muscles are relaxed. These are the muscles around your airways, including your tongue. WebMD explains that snoring happens when the base of your tongue and soft palate obstructs part of your airway, so the flow is narrower. Vibrations then occur, which is what causes a rumbling sound we call snoring.
Why should I stop snoring?
You may think that snoring is just noisy breathing but it also affects much of your retirement living.
First and foremost, snoring will disrupt and interrupt your sleep. You've already read the importance of getting enough good-quality sleep. You also know why a decent night's sleep will benefit your heart health. The Sleep Well Clinic explains that when you snore at night, your body sends signals to your brain that you may be choking, meaning that your brain won't rest properly and may even wake you up for short periods at a time.
When the muscles at the back of your throat actually block your breathing continuously, it is called obstructive sleep apnea, as stated by the National Sleep Foundation. This causes an array of problems that'll affect your daily living, including sleep deprivation, lack of concentration, drowsy driving, and can even increase your risk of certain health conditions such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
How can I prevent myself from snoring?
- Adjust the way you sleep – if you sleep on your back, chances are the relaxed muscles fall back into your throat more than if you lay on your side.
- Practise good sleeping habits – this includes avoiding stimulants such as coffee and alcohol close to your bedtime, and getting a decent amount of sleep.
- Clear your nose – you'll breathe through your mouth if your nasal passages are obstructed. Drinking enough water, as well as warm showers can help with this.
- Avoid allergens – a clean room and regular dusting will help to prevent snoring. Wash your pillow case frequently to avoid a build up of dust.
These solutions, as suggested by WebMD, will hopefully help you reduce your snoring to sleep better at nights for rested, happier days.