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Why Snoring is a Health Concern & Exercises You Can Do to Help

February 01, 2016

Why Snoring is a Health Concern & Exercises You Can Do to Help

You believe that you’re doing everything possible to live a healthy life style. You eat right. You exercise and you think your health is in great shape. What’s the last thing you’d consider to derail all that? Would you believe snoring?

Snoring occurs while you’re asleep and your throat muscles relax, your tongue falls backwards and your throat becomes narrow. As you breathe in and out, your throat walls begin to vibrate. The narrower your throat becomes, the greater the vibration, and the louder the snore. A more serious complication of snoring is sleep apnea where the throat will completely collapse. If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, this should never be ignored. Unfortunately, snoring is the brunt of many jokes but put all joking aside, because it’s not only your sleep that’s being disrupted, it’s affecting your health too.

Poor Daytime Functioning

Who doesn’t love sleep? After a great night’s sleep, we’re refreshed and ready to take on the world. Yet, so many of us are sleep deprived and we don’t fully appreciate how important sleep is to our long-term health and wellbeing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 90 million Americans snore, it affects men and women, young and old and can actually get worse as you get older.

It’s annoying when your sleep gets disrupted, but there’s more and more evidence that it can translate into poor daytime functioning and it can actually implicate some serious health conditions from increased stress, mood disorders, and it has a severe impact on gastrointestinal symptoms. Maybe it is time to wake-up and talk to your health care practitioner, especially if you have any of these symptoms:

Mental Health Issues

Do you feel that you or your partner are cranky in the morning? Well it could be because there’s a lot behind that question asking if you “got up on the wrong side of the bed” according to some research. In fact, it’s well established that there is a link between sleep apnea, snoring and crankiness. Not surprisingly, depression and anxiety are two other well-documented symptoms. While more research is needed, it’s been noted that symptoms will improve when the “snorer” is being treated.

Injury

When you’re not getting adequate sleep, daytime sleepiness can become very intense that not only puts you at risk, but others around you. One of the very serious consequences of daytime sleepiness is that you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. According to studies on health and driving data, that tracked a combined total of 618 adults over 10 years, the sleepier people felt during the day, the greater their risk for a car accident. The risk was also greater if people were driving alone. If you’re plagued night after night with sleep deprivation that’s caused by snoring, know when it’s time to listen to your body. These types of injuries are very preventable.

Excess Weight

Being overweight leads to numerous health conditions and contributes to snoring. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone also contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight, just carrying excess weight around your neck or throat can cause snoring too. Sometimes, all it takes is exercising and losing weight to eliminate your snoring.

GERD

A common complaint in people with sleep apnea is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. One possible reason is due to the disordered way that their throat closes while air moves in and out during sleep. This causes pressure changes that can suck the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus. Once people return to a more normal, healthier weight, GERD and sleep apnea seem to ease.

Oral Myofunctional Therapy

If you’re in good health, a mild to moderate snorer, and have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea, there’s a new sleep therapy called oral myofunctional therapy that may be something that helps you get a good night’s sleep tonight. According to a recent study released in May 2015, certain tongue and mouth (oropharyngeal) exercises, outlined below, effectively reduce snoring frequency by 36 percent and “total snoring power” by 59 percent. If you have ten to fifteen minutes to spare, the exercises are simple, safe, inexpensive, and effective – not to mention you can do them just about anywhere. However, be patient, as you may not see results immediately, you will need to practice regularly.

  • Push the tip of the tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide the tongue backward. Repeat 20 times.
  • Suck the tongue upward, pressing the entire tongue against flush with the palate. Repeat 20 times.
  • Force the underside of the tongue against the floor of the mouth while keeping the tip of the tongue in contact with the bottom front teeth. Repeat 20 times.
  • Say ahhhhh – As you do for the doctor when she inspects your throat, lift the soft palate (the back of the roof of your mouth) and uvula. Repeat 20 times.
  • Wash your hands and then insert your right index finger into your mouth, pressing the inside of your finger against the length of your left cheek. Engage your cheek muscle and return the pressure against your finger. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides, repeat 10 times.
  • Whenever you’re eating, remember to alternate the side of your mouth that you chew and swallow food with.

Sweet Dreams

There can be no doubt that lack of sleep caused by snoring can have a profound effect on our digestive health and vice versa. While we sleep, our body repairs itself from all the damage we put it through the previous day and performs routine maintenance. So you see, when we’re unable to catch enough restful zzzzs, uninterrupted that is, our body is unable to repair itself properly. That’s why it’s important to restore proper sleep habits and improve your sleep hygiene, which is a very important part of your digestive health regimen. Wishing you a blissful night’s sleep tonight.

The post Why Snoring is a Health Concern & Exercises You Can Do to Help appeared first on Natren Probiotics Blog.




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