Why We Snore More at Christmas & How to Stop?
Snoring is one of those conditions that many of us feel embarrassed about, mainly because it feels like there is nothing we can do to change it. Snoring is actually extremely common and affects around 40% of adult males, and even though it’s mainly associated with men, sorry to say ladies that roughly 24% of women are also habitual snorers. One thing you may not know is that snoring often runs in the family as well.
Snoring is especially common at Christmas due to the lifestyle changes that we all make to get into the Christmas spirit. If you’ve found this page, the chances are that you’re looking for ways to stop snoring, or you’re looking for ways to stop your partner from snoring and get back to a good night's sleep.
What is snoring?
To remedy any issue, we first need to understand the issue at hand. So, what is snoring? Why do we snore? Snoring is a loud or harsh sound that occurs as you sleep. The sound of snoring is caused when the flow of air as you breathe makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate. The sound is mostly on inward breathes and can affect breathing through the mouth or nose.
Why do I snore?
Snoring can be triggered by a number of key factors:
- The build of the inside of your mouth: A low, thick, soft palate can give you a narrow airway, this can also be affected by being overweight or having an elongated uvula. Anything that has the potential to obstruct airflow, has the potential to cause you to snore.
- Alcohol: Alcohol and other depressants can relax the throat muscles which is why we snore more when drunk.
- Nasal Congestion: If your nose is congested or if you have a crooked septum, this can narrow your airways.
- Sleep Deprivation: Another thing that can cause your throat muscles to relax is not getting enough sleep.
- Sleep Position: Sleeping on your back is when you are most likely to snore, and to snore loudest. This is due to gravity naturally narrowing your airway.
Why do I snore more at Christmas?
With the festive period in full swing, excessive eating, drinking, smoking and a lack of sleep will undoubtedly add up to more restless nights. For those that snore, this is an embarrassing problem. Conscious of visiting family members, keeping everyone else awake, whilst those on the other end, you dread the snorer coming to stay. So why do we snore more at Christmas? Well, to put it simply, we live a lifestyle over the festive period that we often won’t lead through the year. Healthy diets and fitness regimes go on hold ‘because its Christmas’ and because of that, the snoring increases.
We will be eating more and exercising less, which can contribute to weight gain and have a knock on effect on our sleep. During the festive season we often tuck into several Christmas dinners, with work, friends and family, with 70% of the UK tucking into turkey dinners and 33% of us opting for Christmas pudding. Not to mention the increase in snacking!
We all love a tipple or two over the Christmas and New Year period, consuming more than 600 million units of alcohol in December alone as a country! Alcohol has sedative-like properties which at night time relaxes the muscles, resulting in the lowering of the bottom teeth and jaw, which narrows the airway.
More social engagements can result in an increase in smoking for smokers. Work, family and friend parties and social engagements can often lead to more smoking or passive smoking. Tobacco often leads to further irritation and narrowing of the airways, making it more difficult to breathe.
Lack of sleep during the festive period; we often fall victim to late nights out and early morning get ups resulting in a lack of sleep. The more tired you are the more likely it can lead to an increase in snoring.
How do I stop snoring?
You won’t listen to us if we tell you the answer is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and fitness routine over Christmas, you won’t listen to us if we tell you to drink and smoke less, we understand that, it is Christmas after all. So there are anti-snoring devices on the market that you can buy to help stop snoring, with different solutions for the different causes of snoring.
Here at Tower Health, we have a range of award winning and proven treatments to help stop snoring, which could be the perfect gift for anyone that has to sleep in the same room as a snorer.
With over 1 million of the TheraSnore mouth guard sold worldwide, the TheraSnore and Somnofit range of mouth guards have been proven 93% effective in treating snoring. The self-fitting devices are easily moulded to the shape of your jaw and come with five adjustable settings to find the right level of comfort for you. If used correctly and as part of a daily regime, the TheraSnore adjustable and the Somnofit mouth guard can last up to two years, that’s 730 nights of pure interrupted sleep!
Nasal Strips are a low-cost remedy that can help you improve the airway in your nose. The strips push down on your nose, widening your nostrils and giving you more room to breathe. Simple!
If your partner is forever waking you up to tell you to roll onto your side, or even trying to roll you from your back onto your side themselves, then a positioning pillow may be the perfect solution. The Posiform Snoring Pillow is designed to encourage side sleeping, the pillow’s apex design allows the head to rest comfortably in a slightly forward tilting position, which encourages the tongue to move forward, making it easier to breathe.
Shop the full range of snoring aids available online from Tower Health.
Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea
In some cases snoring can be caused by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to temporarily stop breathing while you sleep. If your snoring is paired with choking or gasping sound or you are regularly tired during the day even after sufficient sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is manageable using several approaches including CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), oral appliance therapy and surgery.
If you have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to talk to your GP who may recommend that you visit a specialist sleep clinic for tests.