Almost half of all adults snore – if not you, then me. Loud and persistent snoring can be a symptom of apnea, a serious sleep disorder that requires medical attention. They say that you can get rid of snoring if you sleep on your side. Is it so?
To begin with, let’s recall this. Snoring is the result of airway obstruction during sleep. When you fall asleep, your mouth, tongue and throat relax. The soft tissue in the throat can relax to the point that it partially blocks your airways. When air passes through this narrow gap, it causes the tissues to vibrate, producing a characteristic hum. The thinner the passage for air, the stronger will be its flow, and hence the vibration, which turns into snoring.
How to stop snoring?
The underlying causes of snoring are different for all people. It can be obesity, as overweight on the neck and chest compresses the airways. Among other causes are allergies and drinking alcohol at bedtime (it relaxes the throat muscles). Some people are born with a thick, soft palate or a low hanging tongue that prevents airflow into the throat.
How to sleep, so as not to snore? Sleep experts agree that sleeping on your back aggravates snoring. Because when you sleep, your tongue, soft palate and throat muscles automatically relax. If you sleep on your back, these relaxed muscles will fall down and back, blocking the airways.
Sleeping on one side will help get rid of a relaxed tongue that blocks the airways. But if the problem is allergies or obesity, this is unlikely to help.