Many people reading this right now have let out a long groan or sigh, maybe even both.
First your doctor or loved one is nagging you to eat healthier and exercise, and now here I am, too.
I understand that the first step is the hardest, but exercise really can be a helpful snoring solution.
Not to mention, it will do positive things for your health, as well.
The Link Between Obesity and Snoring
First things first; you do not have to be considered obese to be more prone to snoring.
Even an extra 20 pounds can affect your body in ways you might not realize, especially if you have a small frame. You may be able to hide those extra pounds in your gut with a baggy sweatshirt or a loose t-shirt, but you cannot hide your neck.
Excess fat in the neck does not spread outward; it simply gives you extra chins. It also pushes inward on your throat, which applies pressure to the lining of your airway. As you gain weight, the tissues in your upper throat get softer.
This means that they are able to sag and flop around more. So, when you go to bed and lie flat on your back, your tongue falls back toward your throat, partially filling the airway.
At this point it is in a position to flop around and vibrate against other tissues as air pushes through your airway. Do not forget that the airway is narrower, too, because the fat has pressed against the lining. A narrow airway and flopping tissue equals a lot of snoring.
If all this is not enough to make you snore, you also have to consider that the extra weight makes your chest heavier. So, your lungs have to work even harder to fully expand during an inhalation. This oppresses your body while you sleep.
Are you still trying to make the connection?
It is easiest understood if you go through the motion. Take a breath.
Do you notice how your chest rises? Now take a really deep breath, and you see the expansion goes down to the diaphragm.
As you inhale deeply the diaphragm has to push downward to provide your lungs with the room they need to expand. The diaphragm pushes against your stomach and other nearby organs.
If you have excess weight in your midsection, there is not as much space to allow the downward expansion of the diaphragm. Your belly may expand, however the breathing apparatus has to work overtime to push the air down, so the cycle of lungs expanding and diaphragm dropping can take place.
As your body struggles to breathe deeper the tissues in the airway are more likely to vibrate and cause snoring.
How Losing Weight Helps
If you have ever seen a cutaway model of the human abdomen then you know that there is literally no wasted space. Your stomach, small and large intestines, spleen, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and a substantial amount of blood vessels are packed in there like a jigsaw puzzle. When you have extra weight that you don’t need, it tends to form around all of your abdominal organs.
When you lose weight, the fat that was once wrapping your organs disappears. When this happens, the diaphragm does not have to work so hard to move out-of-the-way of your lungs, so they can contract during the breathing process.
This also means your body will not need to take such forceful deep breaths to get oxygen to your lungs. At the same time, the circumference of your neck will be reduced, so less pressure will be applied to the airway, thereby helping to decrease the obstruction that is causing the snoring sound.
Tips for Losing Weight
Losing weight should not be viewed as a monumental task that you are being forced to do. If you look at it as something beneficial you are doing for your health then you will be able to stay positive and motivated throughout the your weight loss journey. The focus should be to make healthy lifestyle changes, which in return may help you stop snoring as a bonus.
Below are a few tips to get you started:
Eat More Often
Okay, you are probably saying that eating more is the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard. How are you supposed to lose weight, if you eat more often? Well, the goal is to eat five or six small meals rather than three large ones. By doing this your metabolism constantly stays active and burning calories. When you eat large meals there is a higher chance of some getting stored as fat, and you are more likely to binge on unhealthy food between meals.
Get Excited About Food
Some view dieting as the dreadful act that will force them to give up all their favorite foods. Instead of looking at things you are giving up, look at the countless healthy recipes you will be able to try. As your body starts to feel better, you will crave more healthy food. Pretty soon you will not even want to walk down the snack isles at the grocery store.
Make Exercise Fun
If you absolutely hate the thought of going to the gym, then don’t! There is no rule that says you have to step foot in a gym to lose weight. Do something you love. Walking is the easiest exercise to incorporate into your daily routine, and you can do it anywhere. Get up an hour earlier and take your four-legged friend for a walk. He will be happier and you will start your day with more energy. Jogging, cycling, kayaking, rollerblading, skiing, dancing, yoga, playing tennis or racquetball, and swimming are all great ways to burn calories. Even skipping the golf cart and walking the course is an easy change.
Drink Plenty of Water
Absolutely nothing can replace H2O. This means your morning coffee and nighttime glass of wine do not count toward your daily recommended intake. Water increases the rate at which you burn calories. It affects the metabolic rate by increasing it 30 percent within 10 minutes of consumption and maxing out at 40 minutes. Plus, water makes you feel more full, alert, and energized.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Individuals who do not get enough sleep are more likely to reach for sugary or high-carbohydrate treats the next day. Wearing a quality snoring mouthpiece will help ensure you feel rested the next day. Eventually you may find that you do not even need it anymore.