Snoring;Sleeping or living with a snorer.
So many of us have ever met people who snore while sleeping. It could be your mother, father, spouse, friend or just a neighbor. The challenge is that snoring is a public health issue because it disturbs the individual affected and sometimes his or her neighbors or those who stay with him or her. Frankly speaking, some families or love relationships could even be affected if one of the members snores a lot. But the questions are; is this condition genetically spread or even curable? What is it anyway? How can we help such people? Is snoring harmful to your marriage? How can you deal with a snoring spouse?Snoring is simply the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound is soft and tolerable but it can be too much in other cases (wikipedia, retrieved on 17-October-2015). The major signs are spearheaded by sleep deprivation, and then daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus, and decreased libido
According to Guy Winch (2011), sleep is crucial to our cognitive functioning, our physical health, and our mental health. Disrupted sleep can cause impairments in judgment, decision making, learning and general cognitive function. In addition, disrupted sleep hampers our moods and can lead to irritability, anxiety and even depression. However, a snoring person always has a disrupted sleep and also disrupts the sleep of those close to him. It is on basis of this simple background that we can easily see the impacts of snoring and its burden on both the individual and his neighbors. Unfortunately, while the possible causes of snoring and their remedies have been scientifically suggested, few of us know what to do in case we are affected. In Winch’s words, “We feel helpless”
Snoring is a medical condition and so is not usually the person’s choice to snore. Understanding this information is important because it makes us understand the situation of the victims. The condition involves uvula and soft palate parts of the respiratory system. The irregular airflow is caused by passageway blockage and is usually due to one of the following
1. Throat weakness, causing the throat to close during sleep
2. Mispositioned jaw, always due to tension in muscles
3. Fat gathering in and around the throat
4. Obstruction in the nasal passageway
5. Obstructive sleep apnea
6. The tissues at the top of airways touching each other, causing vibrations
7. Relaxation such as alcohol or other drug relaxing throat muscles
8. Sleeping on one’s back, making the tongue fall back and so many more
According to Lee SA et al (2008) and Amatoury (2006), Snoring is associated with carotid artery atherosclerosis and stroke. Also the loud noise during snoring produces vibrations in carotid artery which can lead to break off of the plaques in the carotid causing ischemic stroke. In the common man language, we are trying to acknowledge that snoring may actually lead to complications of heart attcks. Therefore, not only does snoring affect the social life or mental life of individuals but can predispose to heavy medical complications
If your spouse, friend or neighbor snores, the first thing to do is to express you in love and care and say how disturbing snoring is. Then, advice and support him or her to seek medical care. Since a good number of people face snoring due to positional reasons and using alcohol, then working on these issues may help. Also, efforts should be made to reduce on fats or lose Weight, stop smoking, and sleep on their sides. Some nasal sprays or strips help keep the airway patent enough during sleep, ask these from a clinic. Other options are dental appliances like splints, Continuous positive airway pressure, surgery, bipolar radiofrequency ablation and so many more. Also, drugs like pseudoephedrine help. Exercises to strengthen throat muscles and singing professionally have been proposed to help too.
So, what can couples do to prevent snoring from harming their marriage, their couplehood and their sex lives? (By Winch). There are several factors to keep in mind:
1. The non-snoring partner (the partner most impacted by the snoring) should raise the issue as a serious problem to be resolved. I suggest using the complaint sandwich to do so-a tutorial can be found here.
2. The snoring partner should agree to seek medical help and visit a sleep-clinic (info here), despite the inconvenience involved in doing so.
3. The non-snoring partner should express clear appreciation for their partner's efforts to resolve the problem (once they make such efforts) even if they've been asking their partner to do so for a while. In other words, give the snorer credit for taking action once they do.
4. Couples who with no young children in the home can look into powerful beeswax earplugs (beehives must be very noisy because these earplugs do a great job of shutting out loud noises such as snoring--but make sure you can still hear alarm clocks or smoke detectors).
5. Consider white noise machines. They can often even out the snores of light-snorers.