In the past few months several polls have been done in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on bedroom habits.
Results were quite varied from one poll to the next, but can you guess what the number one annoying habit was consistently throughout the polls? Snoring!
While partners can often overlook and learn to get used to bad breath, teeth grinding, hogging the covers, fidgeting, and sleep talking, snoring is a habit no one can easily get past.
It is estimated that between 30% and 50% of the population snores, but interestingly, the prevalence of the habit varies according to geographical location. It is also suggested that snoring can ultimately wreak havoc on a relationship.
Some couples choose to sleep in separate rooms just so the non-snorer can actually get some sleep. This may seem extreme, but if you are a snorer or the partner of someone who snores, then you understand.
Understanding Positional Therapy
You may not know it, but your sleeping position can influence your snoring. If you have a spouse constantly waking you up and telling you to roll on your side, then you might be a positional snorer. If you are, then an act as simple as changing your sleeping position could make a huge difference.
It could at least stop you and your partner from being driven apart by a wall, just so they can sleep. Unfortunately, changing your sleeping position is not always easy. Like any other habit, you probably do not realize that you are doing it, and even if you start out on your side, you could move to your back while you are half asleep, just before you drift away to dreamland.
So, you are probably wondering why changing your sleeping position makes such a monumental difference. Well, breaking the habit is actually called positional therapy. This is a snoring solution that has been recommended by doctors for many years, because it helps keep your airway open.
See, when you sleep, all of the muscles and tissues in your body relax, and this includes those in your throat. When throat tissues relax they start flapping around, and even vibrate against one another as air passes through. This is often amplified when you sleep on your back because gravity pulls everything toward the ground, which means tissues drop toward your throat and block the airway.
In some people the flow of air becomes cut off because the airway gets completely blocked. This interrupts breathing and can become very dangerous. This condition is known as obstructive sleep apnea, more commonly called OSA.
Due to the decrease in oxygen levels the individual wakes up gasping for air. This can happen several times per hour. It is an involuntary action, and the affected person rarely remembers it happening in the morning. While you may not remember it happening, this interrupted sleep pattern can leave you tired and feeling run down.
This same concept applies to snoring. You may not realize that your body is not receiving adequate oxygen or resting peacefully, but you may notice that you never feel fully recharged after a night of sleep. You might even catch the cold and flu more often than people you know because your immune system is weaker from lack of sleep.
Right about now you are probably trying to figure out how you are supposed to learn to sleep on your side after all these years, especially since you cannot control what you do in your sleep, right?
Believe it or not, there actually is a product manufactured for this purpose. It is called the Rematee Bumper Belt, and although expensive, it has been clinically tested and FDA-cleared.
Basically, it is a large wedge that sits at your back. The wedge is attached with elastics and held in place with a strong piece of Velcro.
The wedge makes it impossible for you to roll over, even when you are sleeping.
If you are not ready to shell out $110 for the wedge, you can always try a very old trick that has been passed down through many generations. Grab a needle and thread, scrap piece of fabric, and a few tennis balls.
Sew pockets into your pajamas that are just big enough for the balls. When you try to turn on your side, the balls should stop you.
If you are extremely overweight, you may need baseballs. Adding a piece of Velcro or a button closure on the pockets will help keep the balls from falling out during the night.
There is actually a large assortment of snoring pillows on the market. They do not force you to sleep on your side or prevent you from rolling over, but they do make it more comfortable to lie on your side so you can fall asleep this way.
In most cases, they are shaped in a way that allows your arm to fully extend.
The downside is that your arm may fall asleep from lying on it in this position.
Noteworthy Solutions worth Mentioning
There are some people who are able to stop snoring by sleeping on their side. Lifestyle changes can be quite beneficial, too, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and stopping smoking.
Even if these three changes do not stop your snoring, they will still affect your health in a positive way, which makes them worth doing anyway.
In other cases, a stop snoring mouthpiece may be the best solution. There is a wide variety to choose from, and they are surprisingly inexpensive.
It is important to always discuss your snoring with your medical care provider before using any type of device to address it. Only a qualified physician can decide if further testing is needed to determine if you have OSA or some other underlying medical condition.