If you think you know everything there is to know about snoring, think again. Conventional wisdom has led to some odd beliefs regarding snoring. Test your snoring knowledge with the following.
1. Snoring is normal.
NOT NECESSARILY. Heavier breathing at night is normal due to relaxation of the throat, mouth and jaw muscles and due to changes in how deeply we breathe as we move through the stages of sleep. However, rumbling snores, stoppage of breath or gasps are NOT normal sleep conditions for anyone, and should be reported to a physician.
2. Only men snore.
FALSE. According to the National Sleep Foundation, men are almost twice as likely to snore as women, but since 90 million adults in the U.S. snore, it’s not like the women’s snoring faction is chump change. In addition, snoring in women tends to increase after menopause, experts warn.
3. Only overweight people snore.
FALSE. Although overweight people are significantly more likely to snore, a person of any weight might snore, due to anyone of a number of issues including obstruction of the throat by polyps or other growths, a deviated septum, allergies, illness, heart issues or another condition.
4. A child’s snoring is not harmful to him/her.
NOT NECESSARILY. A child should not be snoring. As with adults, she may breathe heavily at night, but if snoring is loud enough to be noticed, she may have some issue that needs to be addressed, so make an appointment with the pediatrician to have her health checked out.
5. Insomnia aids can help with snoring.
FALSE. Actually, chemically-induced sleep may make breathing even harder for the sleeper and can temporarily make a snoring condition worse.
6. Sleeping on one’s back is best/healthiest.
FALSE. Sleeping on the back can make snoring worse in some individuals, as the muscles in the palate (top of the mouth) and throat close down with gravity. If you’re trying different sleep positions for your snoring (and sleep apnea has been ruled out), try your side instead.
7. There are operations that can stop snoring.
NOT ALWAYS TRUE. If your snoring is caused or made worse by obstructions – such as a deviated septum or polyps – their surgical removal may improve the condition. However, not all snoring conditions are caused by obstructions, and even when they are, many sufferers continue to snore post-removal.
8. If you snore, it’s because of one part of your system – your nose, throat or palate, for example.
NOT NECESSARILY. Some snorers snore because of one specific part being swollen, too large, having growths or overrelaxing during sleep, but in many cases, snoring can not be pinpointed this precisely.
9. An alcoholic drink before bed will relax the body and help lessen snoring.
FALSE. The overly-deep but frequent self-interrupting sleep drinkers experience may actually make snoring worse.
10. Snoring is annoying, but not dangerous.
NOT NECESSARILY. Snoring will not definitely harm you, but sometimes, snoring points to a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which results in oxygen loss at night and has been linked to serious health issues. Snoring could also point to another undiagnosed condition. See your doctor if you suspect you snore or if your partner has told you that you snore.