No. You are not imagining it. Snoring does get worse with age.
Like a river, we pass through childhood, adulthood and the much dreaded old age. I say much dreaded because no one likes to grow old. We all want to live forever young.
But old age is inevitable. Think of it as both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for you get to see your children get children as those get children too. It is however a curse because it corrodes and wears off your body.
You soon start to lose bodily functioning such as walking, sight, hearing ability and memory too.
You may or may not have known this, but snoring also worsens as your grow old. That would explain why grandma and grandpa snore in their sleep.
Since the fountain of youth remains elusive, man has been forced to seek alternate ways of remaining youthful and to deal with the ‘side effects’ of aging.
This article is dedicated to snoring and age; why it gets worse and what you can do about it, which is not limited to using the best anti snoring devices in the market.
Why does snoring get worse with age?
There are quite a number of reasons. They include;
- Increase in weight
- Hormonal changes
- Change in muscle tone
- Drug use
- Nasal congestion
Let’s discuss each at length, shall we?
1Increase in weight
As you grow older you tend to engage in fewer and fewer ‘demanding’ activities.
Even if you were an active gym-goer, somewhere along the line your gym attendance decreases from daily to weekly to monthly to yearly and finally to neverly.
You are not totally to blame. Increase in age means an increase in responsibilities. Between work and the kids you barely have time for the gym.
Over time, you will notice that you gained a pound or two and simple things like climbing the stairs suddenly become this huge task.
As if that is not enough, you begin to snore and for those of you that were snorers already, it only gets worse!
Snoring is caused by the narrowing of the throat such that air is forced to pass through a much narrower airway than normal.
When you gain weight, some fat is also deposited around your neck. This contributes to making your throat narrower hence your snoring worsens.
By drug I am referring to alcohol, cigarettes and some prescription drugs such as valium.
Here’s a brainer for you; A person (let’s call him/her A) has been drinking, smoking and using valium since her college days. A is now in her midlife. Can you guess the amount of drugs A has consumed?
An exact answer would be had to find so let’s stick with a lot.
As we grow older, we consume more and more of these drugs and when we are in our old age the consequences come back to haunt us.
If you thought that cancer was the only disease you get from smoking, think again! You also start to snore or worsen your snoring. How? You ask.
When you use these drugs, your muscles tend to relax. When the throat muscles in particular relax, the cause the airways to become narrow which makes breathing all the more difficult.
Furthermore, long term use of these drugs make breathing through the nose harder and harder which forces us to breathe through the mouth. That only makes the snoring worse. Read about the effects of mouth breathing here.
3Change in muscle tone
As we grow older, a muscle tone becomes weaker and weaker. This is known as flaccidity.
The uvula and palate are located along the airway. They are responsible for the snoring sound since they vibrate as air passes.
The decreased muscle tone makes them more relaxed and hence they vibrate more. This causes us to snore.
Your nose is active every second of every day supplying you with the much needed oxygen.
However, it’s not just air you breathe in. In the course of your life, your nose is exposed to dust, foul smell, viral and bacterial infections as well allergens.
With time, we find it more and more difficult to breathe normally due to the swelling and congestion of the nasal cavity. This coupled with other factors such as sinuses only make the breathing more difficult.
Blockage or narrowing of the airway is a breeding ground for snoring hence it only gets worse. Consider using anti-decongestants before you go to bed.
I learned from my sister that women, excuse me, ladies, don’t like it when they are ‘accused’ of snoring.
Every time someone asked who snored in the night, I was (somehow) always the responsible one. Yet, I would be double sure that I had my chin strap on throughout the night.
My sister would never admit that she’s a snorer.
Snoring cuts across both sexes as statistics have it that about 30% of women are regular snorers.
Did you know that with menopause comes snoring? This would explain why your wife/friend/mum begun to snore when she hit her late 40’s (menopause).
The commencement of snoring in older women can be attributed to the decrease in estrogen levels which make the neck muscles relax.
Relaxed throat muscles causes the airways to narrow and hence you snore.
So the next time you hear your spouse snore, don’t hold it against her, it’s just age catching up to her.
What can be done about the snoring?
Lucky for you, you don’t have to suffer from the side effects of snoring throughout your old age. A wide range of remedies are available to help you reduce and/or stop the snoring.
Science can do just about anything. That’s the beauty of it. One of the many things it has blessed us with are snoring aids which are never short in supply. You could try
These are devices that stop your snoring by keeping your jaw or tongue in place as you sleep.
A wide range of mouthpieces are available in the market for you to choose from.
The most popular ones include
Snoring is also caused by your sleeping position. People who sleep on their back tend to snore more.
Anti-snore pillows stop your snoring by adjusting your sleeping position. The most popular ones include:
Breathing through the mouth during sleep also promotes snoring. Chinstraps are devices that keep your mouth closed as you sleep which ensures you breathe through the nose hence stopping your snoring.
CPAPs are breathing aid machines that stop your snoring by supplying you with pressurized air.
However, there are meant to treat a more severe form of snoring known as sleep apnea or OSA in short. As such, this should be your last alternative if all other snoring aids fail.
Other snoring aids available include nasal strips, snoring rings and snoring sprays.
Before you think of spending any money on an aid, try these anti-snoring home remedies first.
Lifestyle changes. The way in which you live could be the reason why you snore. This having being said it is time to make some changes;
- Quit drugs; as I said earlier, alcohol, cigarettes and prescription pills contribute to your snoring. Reducing their intake is an effective way to combat your snoring.
Yes, it is not easy to quit a habit, like they, a habit is a disease. However, you don’t have to quit them overnight. Just reduce their intake gradually until you break free from that habit.
- Exercise and diet; if your weight is responsible for your snoring then it’s time to shed some. You don’t have to subscribe to a gym membership. Simple exercises like jogging around the block and a bit of aerobics coupled with a healthy choice of foods will go a long way.
Include these foods for snoring; honey, garlic, soy milk, onions, fish, turmeric and oils such as lavender and oil have been proven to be an effective way of stopping your snoring. Include them as part of your diet will get the job done to give you a snore-free night.
This should be the very last resort after all other non-surgical remedies have failed.
Sleep is vital for any human to perform their day to day activities be it work or school (read about the importance of sleep here). But snoring interferes with our sleep and makes us wake up feeling tired instead of well rested.
Age does contribute to snoring as we have seen but the good news is there are many ways which we can use to stop the snoring.
You can’t control your aging but you can definitely control your snoring!