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How To Stop Snoring? These Remedies Help You Sleep Better

How To Stop Snoring? These Remedies Help You Sleep Better

If you’re one of the 45% of adults who snore sometimes, then listen up: Snoring is more than a nuisance to your bed partner. It’s also a threat to your health.

That’s because snoring can decrease both the quantity and quality of your sleep, and sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, memory problems, weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and even an increased risk of death. (If you’re one of the 75% of snorers with obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of heart disease is even higher!) Snoring can also cause tension and resentment between romantic partners, leading to a decrease in emotional and sexual intimacy.

Do I have your attention now? If you’re ready to stop snoring once and for all, read on to learn the common causes of snoring and how to address snoring in both the short and long term.

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      Causes of Snoring

      The basic issue at the root of all snoring is an inability to freely move air through the nose and throat, which then vibrates the nearby tissues and causes that classic rattling sound. A broad range of factors can increase the chances that you’ll snore. Among the most common are:

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      • Pregnancy
      • Allergies, congestion, or other nasal and sinus problems
      • Obesity
      • Smoking
      • Consuming alcohol
      • Drugs and medications (especially muscle relaxants)
      • Aging
      • Genetic factors

      While you’ll need to work with a medical professional to determine the exact cause of your snoring, you won’t have any trouble diagnosing the symptoms. The main sign that you’re a snorer is the loud, rattling sound that we all know and don’t love. Other symptoms include experiencing a dry mouth or sore throat upon waking. If you have sleep apnea, you may even experience:

      • Pauses in breathing (or choking) while you sleep
      • Daytime fatigue
      • Headaches
      • Irritability
      • Trouble concentrating

      How to Stop Snoring: Short-Term Solutions

      Want to decrease your chances of snoring tonight (and on a nightly basis)? Then implement some or all of these strategies every night.

      1. Use a humidifier

      Some folks may be more prone to snoring when the bedroom’s air is dry, because dry air can irritate (or even swell) nose and throat membranes. Using a humidifier will help maintain consistent moisture content in the air, which may relieve snoring brought on by dryness. On a similar note, be sure to stay hydrated.

      2. Switch to a new sleep position

      As anyone who sleeps beside a snorer can tell you, sleeping on the back can often ramp up snoring. The easy fix? Try training yourself to sleep on your side. If you find that you keep rolling onto your back, consider wedging a body pillow behind you or even attaching a tennis ball to the back of your sleep shirt. Bonus: Sleeping on your left side can bring additional health benefits.

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      3. Avoid alcohol before bed

      This might be tough to implement if you’re a fan of hitting the bars on weekends, but eschewing alcohol for the four or five hours leading up to bedtime can help reduce your chances of snoring. It’s also a good idea to avoid taking muscle relaxants unless absolutely necessary; consult a medical professional if you feel that a given prescription is contributing to your snoring.

      4. Try an oral appliance

      Oral appliances (aka mouthpieces) are anti-snoring devices that—much like a retainer—are placed over the teeth during sleep. The concept behind the devices is that they’ll keep the user’s airway open, helping to ensure that breath moves freely through the nose and throat.

      5. Open up your nasal passages

      This can be a particularly effective way to stop snoring if you’re suffering from allergies or congestion. Try taking a hot shower before bed or using a neti pot, nasal strips, or a nasal spray in order to open the nasal passages and make it easier to breathe freely.

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          How to Stop Snoring: Long-Term Solutions

          In addition to the short-term strategies outlined above, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce or eliminate snoring over the long term.

          1. Keep your bedroom and bedding clean

          Dust mites and other allergens (such as pollen, dust, or pet dander) can hide in unwashed bedding and provoke congestion, thereby increasing the chances that you’ll snore. Make sure to vacuum and dust your living space on a weekly basis, and wash your bedding (including your pillows) on a similar timetable. But go ahead and leave the bed unmade—research suggests that making the bed can actually provide safe harbor for dust mites.

          2. Stop smoking

          The smoke from cigarettes has been shown to irritate the throat and nasal passages, thereby provoking congestion and inhibiting air flow. Quit smoking, and you’ll breathe more easily through your nose and throat—making it less likely that you’ll snore.

          3. Practice throat exercises

          There’s some evidence that practicing mouth and throat exercises on a daily basis can strengthen muscles in the respiratory tract (meaning they’ll be less likely to collapse and constrict air flow while you’re sleeping).

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          If none of these short- or long-term solutions is doing the trick, then it’s time to consult a medical professional. A physician will be able to help you determine the root causes of your snoring, rule out more serious issues like sleep apnea, and identify additional avenues for treatment, such as surgery. Be persistent until you’ve found a solution that truly helps you stop snoring—your health and relationships will be better for it.

          4. Exercise

          Regular exercise tones muscles all over the body—including in the throat. That means that throat muscles are less likely to collapse, making it more likely that you’ll be able to breathe freely in your sleep. Exercise may also help with weight loss, thereby reducing snoring that stems from obesity.

           
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              Featured photo credit: Monkey Business Images via shutterstock.com

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              Kenny Kline

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              Last Updated on June 20, 2019

              Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

              Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

              There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

              More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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              Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

              You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

              During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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              Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

              Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

              The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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              This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

              Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

              The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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              This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

              This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

              Conclusion

              While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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              Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

              Reference

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