The sound that occurs due to the vibration of soft palate, which relaxes when one, sleeps is called snoring. It is a rough, rattling sound that comes from your mouth and nose when one is asleep. Snoring is very common. It affects as many as four in 10 people.
Though snoring is not particularly harmful, except for the disturbance that it causes to the snorer and the people around, it could probably lead to serious sleep disorders like the Upper Respiratory Resistance Syndrome or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, wherein breathing could stop periodically while sleeping. Snoring often seems like a problem without a solution. It is caused by a narrowing of the airway, either from poor sleep posture or abnormalities of the soft tissues in the throat. A narrow airway gets in the way of smooth breathing and creates the sound of snoring. People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of the tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids and other physical attributes which contribute to snoring can be hereditary. In middle age throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. Blocked airways due to allergies, asthma, a cold, or sinus infections make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Smoking (or exposure to second-hand smoke) relaxes muscles and creates nasal congestion. Alcohol and medications increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring. Sleeping flat on the back enables the flesh of the throat to relax and block the airway.
Self help tips and remedies: Avoid sleeping on your back. “Tennis ball trick” can help in it. Sleeping with a tennis ball or any ball of approximately the same size attached to the back of the pajama top helps to check the sleep in this posture. A pocket can be sewn on back of the pajama top for putting a tennis ball in it. The tennis ball will not allow sleeping on the back side. Soon the person develops side-sleeping as a habit and not need the tennis ball. Losing weight is often a very effective cure for mild to moderate snoring. Even a little bit of weight loss can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease snoring. Elevating the head of the bed four inches makes breathing easier and encourages the tongue and jaw to move forward. Sleeping without a pillow to ensure that neck muscles are not crimped. Avoid milky drinks before bed as this leaves a layer of mucus on the throat reducing the air passage. High-fat milk products or soya milk products cause mucus to build up in the throat which can lead to snoring as well. Use of sleeping pills, sedative antihistamines or alcohol should strictly be avoided. Singing can increase muscle control in the throat and soft palate, reducing snoring caused by lax muscles Extra weight should be lost through regular walks or any such exercise, which helps an obese person to breath easily. Pour three to four drops of warm Brahmi ghee or plain ghee into each nostril in the morning and prior to bed time. Use of Shandbindu oil is also helpful in it. For stubborn cases surgery can be of some help.
H.O.D. Deptt. of Rog Vigyan,
Dayanand Ayurvedic college,