> by Dana Blalock, DDS <

It’s an unspoken problem plaguing many couples. The unmistakable sounds that pierce the sound slumber of the sleeping partner—leaving the partner to seek relief in another room. In essence this behavior causes ‘sleep divorce’, where the couple settles for sleeping apart rather than seeking treatment which will lead them both to a better night’s sleep.  

Snoring is extremely common, and in some cases, relatively harmless. It is estimated that over 18 million people in the United States are affected by snoring. Loud and habitual snoring can disrupt your sleep and may be a sign of a much more serious sleep disorder—obstructive sleep apnea.  Snoring is a sound that occurs in the upper airway as you breathe in air. The unmistakable sound is a sign that your airway is partially blocked, usually by soft tissue in your throat. The volume of snoring depends on the person. You may snore so loudly you wake yourself up. Snoring may also cause you to have a dry mouth or to wake up with a sore throat. 

Snoring Facts

• Snoring can affect almost anyone

• Habitual snoring has been found in an estimated 24% of adult women and 40% of adult men

• Alcohol, drugs, muscle relaxers and tobacco products contribute to snoring

• Obese or overweight people tend to snore because there is more fat tissue in the back of their throats, although thin people can also be affected by snoring

• An estimated 10 – 12% of children snore

• Snoring appears to run in families


Self-Help Cures to Stop Storing

• Lose weight. Losing even a little bit of weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease or even stop snoring.

• Exercise can also help to stop snoring.  Working out to tone your arms, legs, and abs, for example, also leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring.  Throat exercises are also available to increase muscle tone.

• Quit smoking. If you smoke, the chances of snoring are high. Smoking causes airways to be blocked by irritating the membranes in the nose and throat.

• Establish regular sleep patterns. Create a bedtime ritual with your partner and stick to it. Hitting the sack in a routine way together can help you sleep better and often minimize snoring.


Snoring Red Flags

• You snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day.

• Your bed mate complains of an inability to sleep peacefully.

• You stop breathing, gasp, or choke during sleep.

• You fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while sitting quietly at your desk or while having a conversation, or relaxing at the end of the workday.


Treatments For Snoring

• Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). To keep your airways open during sleep, a machine must be used every night.  Itblows pressurized air through a mask that you wear over your nose or face. Consider gearing up for bed every night.

• Surgery to reduce the soft tissue.

• Alternative medicines and or drugs.

• Dental Appliances. Several appliance are available that can help prevent snoring. These appliances are worn at night and will open up the airway so that you may no longer need to strap a CPAP machine to your face. They also are much easier to travel with, and are less cumbersome.

Benefits of the Appliances For Snoring

• Effective for both adults and children

• Has the ability to corrects the root causes of sleep apnea, not just symptoms

• Painless and comfortable

• Has the ability to improve facial development, and open the upper airway

• Proven to reduce snoring


Laura Olsen

Houston, TX