Snoring is one of the most common sleep related problems, causing discomfort and disturbances not only for the snorers themselves but for their partners too who can say how many relationships have been put to the test by this irritating and sometimes ear splitting phenomenon ?
Snoring is a typical manifestation of hyperventilation , but its cause is still unknown. It is often explained as a sound caused by vibrations of the soft parts of the mouth and throat area, but this is really a
description and not an explanation.
It has been suggested that in the distant past our ancestors were most vulnerable to enemies when they were asleep, and that snoring may have served a useful purpose in keeping them at bay. In the 1980s a four year study on chronic snorers was conducted by Finnish scientists.
Among their findings was the fact that more snorers than non snorers suffered from high blood pressure. A Japanese study carried out in 1996 found that a rise in blood pressure seemed to follow a poor night’s sleep.
Snoring can be exacerbated by sleeping on the back, excessive body weight, cold, flu, a blocked nose, polyps, adenoids, or a heavy meal or too much alcohol before bed. While you may address these contributory factors, you must also treat hyperventilation as a cause, rather than snoring as a noise.
That’s why ‘breathe easy’ patches, and operations on polyps, the soft palate and so on are not the answer. They may be successful in the short term, but cause more health problems in the long run. By using these methods you simply ‘shoot the messenger’ snoring without even bothering to read the actual message.
• While 20 per cent of men under 30 snore, only 5 per cent of women do.
• 40 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men aged 50and over snore.
• S per cent of people who snore go on to develop sleep apnoea , but 95 per cent of cases are undiagnosed.
• In 1993 a Swede, K. Valkert, became the proud holder of the Loudest Snorer record when he hit a deafening and quite astonishing 93 decibels about the noise level of a kalashnikov!
What to Do
In 1915 a Mr George Little of Pennsylvania wrote to House wife Magazine, desperately seeking advice on how to stop snoring in order to save his marriage. The printed reply was from a Mrs D. P., who wrote: ‘Did you know that Indians never snore? . . The secret is that Indians teach their children to sleep with a closed mouth from a young age.’
Indeed George Catlin, author of Notes and Travels Amongst the North-American Indians (1870), made the same observation. He visited 150 tribes (‘more than two million souls’) and noted a striking difference between the health of these people and that of ‘civilised’ society: no stillbirths, hardly any lung or bronchial problems, and strong and beautiful teeth.
To stop snoring you must deal with hyperventilation. The first three of the steps given below should be enough to help 75 per cent of snorers; the remaining 25 per cent will probably need step 4 as well:
• Go to bed only when you are sleepy.
• Tape your mouth with surgical tape .
• Sleep on your left side if not on your front.
• Practise Gentle Breathing and Shallow Breathing for 10 minutes each before you go to bed.
Old Wives’ Snoring Remedies
• Place salt in the mouth and keep it there until it has
• high pile of pillows.
• Bite your pillow for as long as you can.
• Prince Charles has been said to advocate putting toothpaste in the nostrils before going to bed.