How many hours of sleep should we get every night? The answer is—it depends. At the end of the day, it depends on various factors, one of which includes your age.
As an example, children require more shuteye than adults. The reason is simple—they’re still in the progress of growing. As far as adults go, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal.
As much as we’d like to be well-rested, however, several things can affect our sleep. Take snoring, for instance—it can disrupt your sleep and your partner’s sleep!
Want to learn more about how that works? Curious to know what the different types of snoring are? If so, you’re on the right page!
We’ll be going over all that you need to know about the topic below. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is a noisy sound that’s produced by the structures of the upper airway. More specifically, it occurs when the flow of air to the lungs is disturbed—this causes the tissues to vibrate.
A common condition, it can happen to anyone no matter their age. However, it is more frequently seen in men and those who are overweight. Fortunately, most cases are harmless. With that said, it is sometimes linked to other health problems.
Causes of Snoring
When we’re awake, air flows easily through the throat and upper airway. During sleep, however, the tongue and soft tissues relax. As a result, the airway becomes narrower, which affects the movement of air.
Ultimately, it’s this change in airflow that causes the vibrations.
What causes this to happen? Various things. For instance, it might be due to allergies, alcohol consumption, or the anatomy of your mouth. Not only that, but snoring is linked to certain conditions such as sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes as well.
Habitual snoring is typically benign. With that said, it can put you at risk for some complications.
For instance, it can cause daytime sleepiness. This isn’t too surprising when you think about it—after all, snoring can disturb your sleep. Due to an increased risk of accidents, it’s best not to drive if you’re feeling drowsy.
Another thing is that it can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease over time. Given that, it might be a good idea to consult with a doctor if you’ve had the issue for a while.
4 Different Types of Snoring
As mentioned earlier, there are multiple causes for snoring. Here are a few types that you might want to familiarize yourself with.
1. Nasal Snoring
Nasal snoring occurs when there is a partial block in the nasal passages. More often than not, it is triggered by allergies.
Some of the most common allergens include dust, pet dander, and mold. However, nasal abnormalities such as a deviated septum can also contribute to the problem.
Due to the partial blockage, air has to squeeze through the nasal passages, which leads to loud rumbling sounds. In some cases, the narrowing of the airways can also lead to whistling noises.
2. Mouth Snoring
Mouth snoring is similar to nasal snoring in that it involves blocked nasal passages. As they continue to narrow, an individual may start to breathe through their mouth. This causes the soft tissues to vibrate, which produces a rumbling sound.
Over time, this can lead to infections as the mouth is not capable of filtering the air like the nose. One way to prevent this is by wearing a specially designed mouthguard.
3. Tongue Snoring
Tongue snoring occurs when the tongue becomes too relaxed. Essentially, what happens is that the muscle relaxes so much that it ends up blocking the airflow to the lungs. This often leads to a high pitched sound during sleep.
Generally speaking, this is often seen in those who use sleep medications or drink alcohol. Those who are obese are also more prone to this type of snoring.
4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which an individual stops breathing intermittently during sleep. Ultimately, this is due to the relaxation of certain muscles, such as the soft palate and tongue. As a consequence, the airway becomes partially blocked.
As a result, air has to squeeze through the airway, which causes snoring. Some individuals might also experience choking or gasping (often accompanied by abrupt awakenings).
Generally speaking, these sounds are loudest when you’re sleeping on your back. Daytime drowsiness, headache, sore throat, and irritability are also common the following day.
How to Stop Snoring
Depending on the cause, you might be able to treat your snoring with a few lifestyle changes. For instance, you might want to avoid alcohol. Why? It relaxes your throat muscles, which can lead to symptoms.
Sleeping on your side, as opposed to your back, can also help. In that position, your tongue will be less likely to block your airway.
Other treatment options include medications and medical devices. For example, you can use a CPAP machine, which will continuously pump air into your lungs while you sleep.
Treating Your Snoring
As you can see, there are multiple types of snoring, some of which are more serious than others.
Given that, it might be a good idea to visit the doctor if you have frequent episodes—they’ll be able to conduct tests that will help determine the underlying cause.
Are you someone who snores? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments section below!