What are the Scientific Anti-snoring Solutions?
Let’s start with a story. Tonight, like last night and the night before, the noise has not let him sleep because of the annoying snoring sound with which his roommate gives him daily. Although it is not a consolation, he knows that it is not an exclusive problem of his bedroom: half of the men snore and 25% of women also, according to data from the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (Separ). Many people are surprised when one good day (or a bad night), their partner starts snoring. It may be a temporary episode caused by a cold or allergy; and, in women, because of pregnancy. But the most common is that snoring becomes everyday.
Is the snorer born or made?
Then he asks himself: is the snorer born or made? “Both things are true”, responds Diego García Borreguero, director of the Sleep Research Institute. “On the one hand, there are genetic factors that indisputably predispose to snoring, although snoring is not common in childhood. It is in adulthood when the respiratory tract develops when it begins to manifest.
Overweight and obesity aggravate the problem “due to the accumulation of fat in the neck muscles, which narrows the airway and makes it difficult for air to escape,” as Eduard Estivill, director of the Estivill Sleep Clinic, adds. Age gives the snorer a disadvantage, since, as García Borreguero explains, “over the years, the airway becomes narrower, and muscle tone in the throat is lost. Ultimately, it increases the resistance to the inspiratory airflow, and this favours snoring”. In addition, “during menopause snoring women increase due to hormonal and physical changes (redistribution of adipose tissue),” he adds.
What should a snorer do?
This is what the snorer should do to lower the volume of his roars: These are some Scientific Anti-Snoring Solutions:
1- Lose weight.
“Losing weight, when the cause of snoring is overweight, is the most effective treatment,” stresses Estivill. A review work published in the Archives of Broncopneumology highlights that “it is a proven fact that obese people are five times more likely to snore”, and that small weight losses imply a significant reduction in snoring: three kilos less can reduce by half the number of snores per hour, and losing weight 7.5, snoring disappears. If, in addition to losing weight, you manage to exercise at least four hours a week, your chances of success increase, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine. This is the only one hundred percent effective method, as long as the extra kilos besiege you. If your weight is adequate (or you do not plan to lose weight). The following tips may help but do not guarantee success/silence.
2- Avoid sleeping on the back
Although the snorer can do it in any position, it is more frequent when sleeping on his back because the tongue and other tissues go backwards and constrict the airway. Try sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pyjamas (recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine) or prop your head up with a higher pillow.
3-They did not have the last drink.
All sleep experts know that alcohol is a snoring magnet. Sanjay Patel, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an expert on sleep disorders, says: “Couples of snorers say that snoring is intolerable when their partner has had a couple of beers .” Alcohol relaxes the muscles of the mouth and throat and makes it difficult to breathe, and its effect is noticeable from the first drink and can last for hours, according to the document from the Archives of Bronconeumology. The advice: avoid the drinks from the last hours of the afternoon.
An effect similar to that of alcohol is caused by muscle relaxants, tranquillizers, and some antihistamines.
4-He is resorting to clicks of the tongue, in the case of the bed partner
Even if he feels like a muleteer, he doesn’t need to be shy about clicking his tongue when his partner starts snoring. It’s not a very fancy device, but it works. According to the expert from the Sleep Research Institute, “by making noise, or also by lightly touching the snoring person, they are briefly alerted, and the brain increases the respiratory drive and activates the tone of the muscles (dilators) of the pharynx, with what the snoring disappears temporarily”.
5-Use anti-snoring products, but without expecting miracles
Specialists agree that oral devices that advance the jaw are effective for many snorers. In the opinion of Sanjay Patel, the drawbacks are their price (200 euros, approximately) and that they have to be custom-made by a dentist familiar with this type of splints. “Nasal dilation adhesive strips [7.5 euros for a box of 10 units] are cheaper and simpler and help to open the nasal passages,” he says. According to the Archives of Bronchopneumology report, these strips are useful when there is nasal congestion, although the effectiveness varies between brands available in the market.
On the contrary, nobody should be fooled by the promises of anti-snoring pillow manufacturers. The Estivill Clinic has participated in a clinical trial with these devices, in which it has found that the type of material can help keep the airway more open, but that it is only useful for a small group of snorers, as indicated by the director. from this centre. “We must investigate more about this matter and not confuse people by ensuring that the pillow is suitable for all types of snoring,” insists Estivill, who also denies the effectiveness of other remedies (including some foods): “Except to lose weight, there aren’t scientifically proven natural remedies. Using these products often means ‘throwing away the money. And in the same vein, an analysis published in the journal Sleep concludes that the manufacturers of these elements do not offer enough scientific evidence and that their studies are carried out in few people.
6-Do gymnastics with your mouth before sleeping.
This is what a Brazilian study published in the journal Chest says. According to the authors, repeating this routine every day could reduce snoring by 36% and power by 59%:
- Press the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth and drag it back.
- Press the tongue to the roof of the mouth and press.
- Have the tongue stay on the floor of the mouth while the tip is in contact with the front teeth of the jaw (bottom).
- Raise the soft palate and uvula by pronouncing the vowel A.
Diego Sánchez Borreguero proposes stronger training, to repeat several times throughout the day:
- Say the vowels out loud for 3 minutes.
- Place the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth and slide your tongue back for 3 minutes.
- With the mouth open, move the jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same to the left.
- With the mouth open, contract the muscles against the back of the throat for 30 seconds.
- Facing a mirror, move the uvula (uvula) up and down.
These proposals help, but if during sleep the snorer stops breathing for a few seconds, wakes up tired and continues to be sleepy throughout the day, see the doctor because perhaps there is obstructive sleep apnea. A review will rule out anomalies.