Snoring can range from being a simple annoyance to a more frustrating issue that leaves you tired and unrefreshed in the morning.
You may be tired of being packed off to the spare room by your other half, or you may be struggling to know where to begin with making lifestyle changes to tackle the problem. Adjustable beds make it easier than ever for you to sleep comfortably and snore-free, helping you stop losing sleep over snoring.
What is snoring?
Snoring is very common, and is not usually caused by anything concerning. Snoring happens when your throat is narrowed, which means air can’t move freely as you breathe. The varied snorts are made by air moving over soft tissues in your throat and mouth, causing them to vibrate as air squeezes past.
If snoring in bed is causing you problems, then there are a few treatments available. These are generally based on what is causing your snoring. Your GP can investigate this for you. They include devices that stop your tongue falling back into your throat, and straps that prevent your mouth opening while you sleep. You’ll often need to make some lifestyle adjustments too.
How is snoring different from sleep apnoea?
Snoring is sometimes caused by a condition called sleep apnoea, which is when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
While snoring is caused by a narrowed throat, in sleep apnoea your throat is completely blocked for short periods, which stops you breathing properly. This can happen multiple times a night, and each time your breathing stops, your body will wake you up to restart it.
The loud snorts associated with sleep apnoea are made when your breathing restarts. This means that these snores are actually made when you’re awake, unlike everyday snoring, which happens while you’re asleep.
So how can you tell if your snoring is sleep apnoea, or everyday snoring? If you snore loudly, regularly wake up with a headache and feel very tired in the day, then see your GP for advice. They can refer you on for tests if needed that can diagnose sleep apnoea. It’s important to get treatment for sleep apnoea, as it can cause other health issues down the line if untreated.
Fortunately, adjustable beds are a good way to help with sleep apnoea.
What can cause snoring?
For you to snore, your airways need to be narrowed while you sleep, causing that vibration of soft tissue (like your tongue) as you breathe. There are many factors that are linked to snoring, including:
- Your tongue and throat muscles relaxing too much
Your muscles are naturally relaxed while you sleep. But in some people, their tongue relaxes too much, allowing it to fall back and partially block their throat.
- Your mouth falling open when you sleep
Your jaw muscles also relax while you sleep. In some people, this means their jaw falls open. The weight of their jaw is then resting on their throat, particularly if they also sleep on their back. This weight can narrow their throat and cause snoring!
- Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose
The airways in your nose can be narrower than normal for many reasons. Hay Fever, nasal polyps and sinusitis, amongst others. Because sinus swelling can force you to breathe through your mouth, it makes snoring more likely.
- Being overweight
Being overweight can put extra pressure on your throat when you’re lying down. Combined with over-relaxed throat muscles, this can mean your airway becomes narrowed while you sleep.
- Smoking, or drinking too much alcohol
Studies show that smokers and those who drink too much alcohol are more prone to snoring. One reason for this is that alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, making it easier for them to relax too much and narrow your throat at night.
- Sleeping on your back
If you sleep on your back, you’re more likely to snore. This sleeping position means your muscles have to work harder against gravity to keep your airways open.
Why don’t we want to snore?
Snoring can leave you feeling groggy and tired in the morning. It can also rob people who share your bedroom of good quality sleep, as we need a quiet environment to sleep well. In fact, snoring can be a surprisingly common source of relationship tension.
Avoiding neck strain from struggling with pillows
Sleeping in a more upright position can be a really simple but effective way to banish snoring. But this often leads to midnight battles with uncomfortable stacks of pillows, which inevitably you’ll either roll off of, or they’ll flatten during the night – restarting your snoring!
Hoisting yourself up on pillows to combat snoring can mean you’re sleeping with your neck and head bent towards your chest too. This can strain the joints in your neck, and lead to pain and stiffness over time.
To reduce the strain on your back while you sleep, you should aim to lay in a neutral spine position. A neutral position means keeping your spine in its natural ‘s’ curve shape. By contouring to the shape of your body, an adjustable bed can elevate your head above your body, while also keeping the rest of your spine in that healthy neutral position.
Letting you sleep on your back
If you’re a back sleeper, you may be dismayed to discover that your side is the best position to stop snoring. Sleeping on your side prevents gravity from pulling your relaxed tongue and jaw backwards into your throat. This means you may have to learn to sleep on your side if you want to tackle your snoring. If you find sleeping on your side painful, due to sore hips or shoulders for example, then trying to sleep on your side can be a real struggle.
An adjustable mattress allows you to sleep elevated with ease. This means you can sleep on your back if that is the position that you find most comfortable, while tackling many of the root causes of snoring.
An adjustable bed helps you sleep on your side, too!
If you do decide that side sleeping is the way forward to combat your snoring, an adjustable mattress will help you do this comfortably too. Particularly if you sleep on your back due to pain in other positions, an adjustable mattress will prevent pain and stiffness when you lie on your side by supporting your spine in a healthy position and reducing pressure points on your hips, shoulders and knees.
Stop losing sleep over snoring with an adjustable bed
Making the changes to your sleep needed to tackle snoring can be difficult to manage alone. Pillows and snoring aids, such as devices that hold your mouth closed, can help – but Adjustable beds make it easy. Browse our range of adjustable beds to discover comfort you control, and start sleeping soundly!