Men, we owe you an apology. For years we’ve been blaming our sleepless nights on your incessant snoring, but turns out we’re just as much, if not more, to blame.
Yep despite the middle-of-the-night growls being mainly associated with overweight middle-aged men, it is actually younger women who are doing the slumber-time snore.
A survey of sleep disorders conducted by the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital and published in the Journal Sleep Medicine uncovered a shift in snore suspects.
The results revealed that while 31 per cent of men snore “hard” three times a week, that figure was 34 per cent for females in the 25-34 age group.
Study authors suggest the rise might be attributed, in part, by increasing rates of obesity.
But men aren’t completely silent snoozers, however, as in the older age groups it was men who were causing a nasal nuisance throughout the night.
In the 55-64 age bracket, 45 per cent of the men studied snored while only 35 per cent of females were breaking the slumber silence.
It was also found after 75 the number of those snoring drops dramatically.
According to the NHS snoring is caused by things such as your tongue, mouth, throat or airways in your nose vibrating as you breathe.
It happens because these parts of your body relax and narrow when you’re asleep.
Experts believe you’re more likely to snore if you are overweight, smoke, drink too much alcohol or sleep on your back
Sometimes snoring is caused by a condition like sleep apnoea, which is when your airways become temporarily blocked as you sleep.
Steps to take to limit your snoring
The NHS suggests some lifestyle changes to help cut the after-dark decibels including maintaining a healthy weight and diet as fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air flowing out freely, sleeping on your side, avoiding alcohol as this can cause your muscles to relax while you sleep which can lead to snoring.
They also suggest cutting smoking because smoke irritates the lining of your nose and throat, causing swelling and catarrh which decreases your airway meaning you’re more likely to snore.
Trying to keep your nose clear could also help silence the snores. If an allergy is blocking your nose, the NHS suggests trying try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. “Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you’re affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis,” the site reads.
Lifestyle changes aside there are some other suggestions for a more peaceful night’s rest.
Last year Asda claimed to have come up with a snoring solution. The supermarket chain suggested its pineapple plants could help prevent the problem.
Asda’s Plant Buyer, Phil Smith, said: “Snorts, snuffles and splutters affect a quarter of Brits, so for those 16 million snorers, Asda’s Pineapple Plant could be a dream come true – even more so for sleep deprived partners.”
Back in 2015 it was also revealed that simple mouth and tongue exercises can work wonders on a noisy sleeper.
Researchers found that exercises can reduce frequency of snoring by 36 per cent and total power of snoring by 59 per cent.
The study, published in the journal Chest, was conducted on 39 patients who were randomised for three months of treatment with nasal dilator strips plus respiratory exercises (Control) or daily oropharyngeal exercises (therapy).
“The exercises significantly reduced snoring in our study group,” said study author Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
And lifestyle changes and mouth and tongue exercises don’t help, you could always try something to drown out the noise of your snores, like the indiegogo-funded Silent Partner which claims to be the world’s first smartpatch to quiet snoring noise.
While most snoring devices reduce snoring by opening the airways and allowing air to flow more freely through the nasal cavities, this takes a different approach, letting the snorer snore all he or she wants, but using active noise cancellation to silence the sound.
Of course if all else fails you might just have to sleep alone. Sorry snorers!
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