If you thought snoring was an exclusive male problem, you are seriously wrong. For women, snoring is not a serious problem though definitely an embarrassing one. Studies reveal that not just women in their 50's, but also those in the 20's have reported to be habitual snorers. Dr Sunaina Rawat, a sleep disorder specialist, explains what snoring is for the common person to understand, "Snoring is produced by vibrations of the soft tissues at the back of the node and throat. The noise is created by turbulent flow of air through narrowed air passages."
According to the specialist, "Snoring is not a risk to life but it can get serious when the same soft tissues block the air passages at the back of the throat interfering with the ability to breathe; it becomes risky as it happens while the person is sleeping and also affects the health."
Obesity: Obese women snore and there are some who snore too loudly for the rest of the people in the room to find sleeping a daunting task. "If one gains weight considerably then snoring can be a side-effect. Extra weight means extra fatty tissues and the fatty tissues obstruct the opening in the throat, leading to 'high vibrations' or snoring."
Heredity: Ancestors can pass down the problem of snoring to their children. "It is fascinating but if we have a family history of people with smaller throat opening, then the future generations will most likely have smaller throats too," says Dr Sunaina.
Also read: Stop Snoring with These 5 Yoga Asanas
Gender Bias: Studies reveal that the rate of snoring in men is always higher than women; this is because men have narrow airways than women. "Yes, the biological body structure of men is the cause of louder and more snoring in them."
Age factor: A common belief that the older members in the family snore more than the younger ones is true only to a certain extent. Dr. Sunaina states that as one ages, his/her throat muscles become weaker and smaller, thus increasing the possibility of snoring during sleep though this can occur to any person of any age.
Hangover snoring: Very few may be aware of the fact that too much of alcohol leads to snoring at night. "Alcohol actually relaxes the body's muscles, which also includes the tongue and throat muscles, leading to higher chances of snoring," adds Dr. Sunaina.
Heavy medication: Heavy medication and sleeping pills lead to snoring. "Yes, sleeping pills help a person to sleep but the ones sleeping nearby lose sleep. Sleeping pills and other cough medicines relaxe the body's muscles and lead to snoring,".
Blockage of the nasal passage: Blocked nasal passage or a cocked bone can trigger snoring. "Crooked nose bone in medical language is the deviated septum, which can cause snoring. Such cases should be consulted with the doctor," suggests Dr Sunaina.
Sleeping on the back: "Yes, in early days grandmothers used to advice their kids to avoid sleeping on their backs because apparently, sleeping in this position leads to snoring, which is true," agrees Dr Sunaina.
Soft pillows: A little slant of the neck causes the air passages to get blocked leading to snoring. Therefore, one must try to avoid sleeping on soft pillows no matter how comfortable they are.
Cold and blocked nose: It has been said and seen that people who have cold or a blocked nose tend to snore when they are sleeping. This is because the blocked nose makes it difficult for the person to breathe effectively and with ease.
Care at home: Initial self help at home should be tried to overcome the problem. Here are a few suggestions from patients who have or are dealing with snoring.
Try not to sleep on the back: "I wear a pocket T-shirt backward with a tennis ball in the pocket. You will be less likely to sleep on your back because it is very uncomfortable to sleep on a tennis ball," says Rachna Sukhlani, PR executive, Lajpat Nagar.
Losing weight: "This actually works wonders. Try to lose at least 10 kg, only then will be there be some difference," says Rajat Mihan Kaul, sweet shop owner, CR Park.
Avoid alcohol: "If you cannot quit alcohol altogether then follow what I do. I do not consume late into the nights, I keep at least three to four hours gap between my alcohol consumption and sleep," shares Vivek Das, event manager, GK.
Snoring can be an embarrasing problem for women, especially if they sleep with someone else in the room. But, it is not hard to deal with it and fight it through. Try to keep away from the possible triggers and you should be fine.
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