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How and why do we snore? The main reason we snore of course is to attract a mate and then
to ensure that that mate is incapable of sleeping long enough to contemplate running off with
The good news is that snoring like belching or blowing your trousers off with a massive
guff of ***-wind is perfectly natural and that most of us, if not all of us will do
it sometime or another.
Snoring is caused by vibration in our air passageways, as we sleep and as we relax.
Basically, it's an unconscious version of the same noise we make to express mild derision,
or to imitate a pig.
The bad news for anyone trying to sleep next to a snorer, is that it's one of the loudest
noises a human being can make. Noise levels of up to ninety-two decibels have been recorded,
which means if your actually trying to share a bedroom with a snorer, you might as well
doss down next to a chainsaw.
The physiology of snoring is simple enough. We snore when our air passages are slightly
blocked, nose or the throat, which causes vibration in the soft palate and the ovular,
is that dangly soft bit at the back of your throat. The bit that's usually misidentified
as the tonsils.
This obstruction can be caused simply by sleeping at the wrong angle, lying on your back for
example makes you far more likely to snore and it can also be caused by taking too many
relaxants, which is a very very polite 'Youtubey' way of saying going to bed drunk.
Another common cause is fatty deposits around the throat, which is why one of the common
cures for snoring is to do some exercise and lose some weight. But, it can also be a symptom
of obstructive sleep apnoea, which is when your body struggles to breathe while you're
Snoring is something we tend to do, as we get older. Not many children snore. But a
study of elderly Italians showed that over the age of sixty, forty per cent of women
and sixty per cent of men snore. Which is not very 'va bene'.
Snoring isn't good for us. Loud snorers have an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
But fortunately, for us and for those who have to sleep next to us. There are many ways
to combat it.
To stop snoring we have to reverse the process. Basically unblock the air passageways and
the most drastic way in achieving this is through surgery. With the rather terrifyingly
named, wait for it, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty process, which basically involves, trimming
excess fat out of the throat.
Less drastic solutions include none surgical implants, which suggest hold the airwaves
open or even braces to hold your teeth and your tongue in the right position and even
in the cases of severe apnea sufferers, a positive flow of pressurized air, to make
sure you breathe.
Or there are those little plaster things you wear on your nose. But they make you look