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5 Lifestyle Fixes That Can Help You Snore Less

5 Lifestyle Fixes That Can Help You Snore Less

Snoring is an issue which can often keep partners and loved ones awake, but it can also be a problem for the snorers themselves.

People who snore lightly or infrequently, referred to as grade one snorers, are not as likely to encounter related health risk, but those who snore on a habitual basis (grade two and three snorers) will often find that their daytime function is affected, and their snoring may be indicative of a more serious issue.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where a person’s airways become blocked while they are asleep. After about 10 seconds, the brain, deprived of oxygen, will force the body awake or into a lighter stage of sleep in order to recover the breathing rhythm it needs.

For a person with severe OSA, this process can occur once every couple of minutes, with the nightly number of episodes even reaching the triple digits. While the excessive daytime sleepiness caused by OSA-related sleep disruption is an obvious safety risk for those working with dangerous equipment or getting behind the wheel, it can also lead to raised blood pressure levels and heart problems.

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OSA will require medical attention from a doctor, and usually treatment in the form of a device to assist nighttime breathing. Heavy snorers who don’t have OSA can sometimes benefit from oral devices too, but there are other lifestyle measures they can take to help them snore less.

Here are five healthy changes a snorer can make to give themselves and those around them a better night’s sleep.

Drink Alcohol Responsibly

It’s a long-held misconception that alcohol helps you sleep. It doesn’t. In fact, it can, and often will, make your night much less comfortable, particularly when partaken in shortly before bedtime.

The myth most likely stems from the notion that alcohol is a relaxant, and it is, but it doesn’t necessarily help you sleep better. The relaxing agents in alcohol actually loosen tissues in the palate and airways, which are the surfaces that vibrate and make noise during snoring. This narrows the air passages too, so that the body has to work harder to get the oxygen it needs.

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Alcohol also typically reduces the number of times you’ll enter periods of REM sleep during the night, so that you won’t feel anywhere near as refreshed when you wake up.

Those looking to reduce their snoring habits can stand to benefit by practising moderation. This means keeping to within recommended lower-risk limits (not more than 14 units per week) and having at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Stop Smoking

Snoring and OSA are just two items in the long list of reasons to give up smoking. Tobacco smoke can increase bronchial inflammation and swelling in the airways, making breathing during sleep harder, and in turn making snoring louder.

Several studies have linked smoking with OSA and suggested a level of co-dependence between the two. Stopping is generally viewed as the recommended course of action for those with the condition or at increased risk (just as it is for anyone else).

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Eat Healthy and Exercise

Being overweight plays perhaps the most significant role in snoring and OSA, due to the presence of fatty tissue around the neck and airway causing an obstruction.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting enough exercise are key in tackling snoring and lowering the risk of related problems.

Drink Plenty of Water

Many of us have learned the lesson of not drinking too much water before bedtime the hard way, when we have to rise several times in the night to go to the toilet.

However, getting enough fluids earlier on throughout the rest of the day is essential for those who want to limit their snoring. Dehydration can cause tissues in the nasal channels and throat to become sticky and cohere to airway walls, again leading to obstruction and more noise when air passes through.

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Those looking to get snoring under control should try to meet the recommended two litres (which is about eight cups or four small bottles) of water per day.

Keep a Clean Bed

A dirty, unkempt sleeping area, aside from being a hygiene issue, can cause several health problems — snoring is one of these.

Over time, dust mites collect in duvets, pillows, and bed sheets. These can cause irritation when breathed in, particularly for those with allergic rhinitis. The more inflamed the airways become, the more likely snoring is. To prevent this, maintain a clean bed. Bed sheets should be washed once a week and pillows should be fluffed every couple of days and washed every couple of months (as should your duvet).

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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