Snoring is a common problem that can cause a disturbed night’s sleep for both you and the person you share the bed with. But why do you snore and how do you actually stop snoring? Read on for answers that will help you stop snoring.
Why do you snore?
Snoring is often due to the excessive relaxation of the soft palate, which is at the back of the mouth, causing a too narrow a space for air to pass. Vibration then occurs in both the palate and the throat, and these vibrations create the snoring sounds.
Over time, problems with snoring can lead to vibrational damage in the nerves and eventually even the muscles in the throat. Interrupted sleep also results in insufficient rest for you and anyone sharing your bed, which can lead to learning difficulties.
But how do you stop snoring? And what are the most common symptoms of snoring? Read on and we’ll tell you more.
Symptoms of snoring
How do you know if you snore? Snoring is very common and directly or indirectly affects many of us.
It’s easier to find out if you snore if you live with someone. But for those who usually sleep alone, it can be more difficult to tell if you are affected.
However, there are some common symptoms of snoring that may be good to look out for if you suspect that you snore:
- You have a dry mouth or a sore throat when you wake up.
- You have a headache in the morning.
- You don’t feel rested and are tired all day.
- You often need to get up during the night to visit the bathroom.
This is because poorer oxygenation of the blood causes more urine to form at night.
It may also be that those around you complain about your snoring, while you yourself have no noticeable symptoms at all.
There are also a number of different apps that record audio during the night and in different ways help you record your snoring. Look for a suitable app and you’re bound to find one that will confirm you are snoring if you’re not absolutely sure.
Regardless of the symptoms, it’s important to address the problem to reduce the risk of more serious health issues in the future.
Roger had tried most things to help his snoring before he began training with IQoro. Thanks to this new treatment method, effective against both swallowing problems and snoring, Roger at last solved the problem of his nightly noise.
When I began to notice the results of IQoro after just a month, I stopped using the snoring screen because it chafed and was painful. Read Roger’s story
Other symptoms that can be linked to snoring
All these are symptoms of problems in the swallowing process. The swallowing process consists of a chain of a total of 148 muscles that work in a coordinated manner to ensure that food and drink get safely and securely from the mouth down into the stomach.
The muscles that sit in the upper part of this muscle chain, in the oral cavity and throat, can cause snoring if they become weakened. The problems above instead have their root cause in musculature further down the muscle chain – in the diaphragm and in the upper part of the stomach.
Even though they are different muscles, they are part of the same process. That’s why it is not uncommon for those who snore due to weakened musculature in one part of the muscle chain to also have other problems caused by weakened musculature further down the chain.
It also means that the solution to all these problems is in the same process and can be treated through the same daily training routine.
The most common causes of snoring are weakened muscles of the throat and upper airways. To stop snoring, you need to strengthen these muscles, so that the airways can be kept free when sleeping. And this is where IQoro comes in.
Most methods of treatment for snoring only work while you are using them. So they don’t do anything about the underlying cause of the snoring. This is known as a passive treatment method.
In order to eliminate snoring in the long term and avoid temporary solutions, you need an active treatment method that trains the musculature so that snoring decreases and in the long run you can stop snoring entirely. It also means that there’s no need to have oral snoring devices and other gadgets in bed.
IQoro is an active treatment method and you do the training during the day.
Treat snoring with IQoro
The best way to stop snoring naturally is to strengthen the muscles of the throat and neck. Stronger muscles help to open the airways, which prevents snoring and, in the long run, also the risk of developing sleep apnoea.
Use IQoro to strengthen the musculature of the airways and the entire swallowing process.
Treatment with IQoro only takes 3×30 seconds per day and is carried out during the daytime, which differs from many other snoring aids that have to be used while you are asleep.
IQoro has scientifically proven efficacy from studies at Swedish universities published in international journals.
How does it work?
Using IQoro gives all the 148 muscles that are part of the swallowing process a high-intensity workout. It includes the muscles of the throat, soft palate and the upper airways.
In the same way that your arms get stronger if you do push-ups regularly, the muscles of the palate and upper airways get stronger if you activate them regularly.
Regular training gives the musculature better elasticity and thus the ability to keep the airways free when you sleep. This reduces the risk of the throat narrowing and the soft palate relaxing too much and vibrating in the airflow.
The effect of the training increases over time and you reduce your snoring as you go. Just like with regular strength training, you need to continue maintenance training regularly to maintain the results.
Read more: How to use IQoro
How quickly will I get better?
The treatment time for IQoro depends on your unique problems and your state of health. How long it takes to stop snoring depends, among other things, on how long you have been a snorer, how weakened your muscles are and how thorough you are with your daily training routine.
According to customer surveys, many people notice positive IQoro training results within a couple of weeks, while others need to train for a few months to improve.
After the first 3–6 months of training as set out in our manual, maintenance training is then required to avoid the snoring coming back.
If you follow the training routine described in the instructions that come with your IQoro, then you have a results guarantee. If your snoring does not improve within 6 months, we’ll give you your money back.
Multiple problems treated simultaneously
Treatment with IQoro provides a high-intensity workout that strengthens all the 148 muscles that are part of the swallowing process. The treatment works in exactly the same way regardless of whether you suffer from snoring, heartburn, swallowing difficulties or other problems linked to the swallowing process.
That’s why many people who train with IQoro notice positive side effects of their training that they might not have anticipated. For example, if you start treatment to reduce snoring, you will at the same time treat other symptoms, such as that lumpy feeling in your throat or having to keep clearing your throat.
Read more: What is a hiatus hernia?
Can I use IQoro and an oral snoring device at the same time?
If you use an oral snoring device, you can continue using it at night while training with IQoro during the day, strengthening the musculature.
Once the effect of training is felt and you want to stop using your oral snoring device, it’s important to first consult the healthcare professional who prescribed it.
Scientific studies on IQoro
After more than 20 years of clinical experience, we know that IQoro provides marked improvements among patients who have been referred for CPAP treatment or for whom snoring operations have failed.
Here you can read parts of the results of the scientific studies that have been conducted:
- The research available on IQoro was primarily carried out on patients with stroke, reflux and swallowing difficulties. But it is known that the same muscles and nerves that are damaged in a stroke are damaged in people who have snored for a long time.
- From the research on IQoro and stroke, it is proven that training strengthens the same musculature that is central to snoring, even if the studies have not been done on snorers specifically.
- The research shows that the musculature of the upper airways and soft palate is strengthened by training with IQoro. People with total paralysis of the throat regained their function after 13 weeks of training.
- Objective tests with high-resolution manometry and pressure measurements have shown that the neuromuscular treatment method with IQoro accesses musculature all the way from the mouth to the diaphragm.
- IQoro reaches the control system of the swallowing process which is also closely interconnected with respiratory function.
Symptom relief against snoring
Above, we have gone through how training with IQoro works as an active treatment method of the root cause of snoring.
Most of the methods to prevent snoring available on the market are passive treatment methods. These methods reduce snoring during the treatment itself, but do not treat the cause of snoring itself. As a consequence, the snoring comes back when the passive treatment is stopped.
We will now go through various common aids, tips and home remedies for snoring.
Passive aids to stop snoring
- Oral snoring device
An oral snoring device or snore guard pulls out the lower jaw to widen the airways when you sleep.
- Snore spray
Snore spray can reduce snoring by softening the tissue in the throat and thus dampening the vibrations.
- Nasal dilator
A nasal dilator is a small plastic device that is inserted into the nose and widens the nostrils and can help with snoring.
- Snoring strips
Snoring strips are available that you put across your nose and are said to relieve snoring caused by a cold, allergy or blocked nose. The strip works by widening the nasal passages to increase airflow.
- Mouth strips
Another anti-snoring aid are mouth strips. These melt in the mouth and soften the tissues there to reduce problems with snoring.
Using mouthwash to prevent snoring is another passive method of treatment. The method works by tightening up the back of the throat. However, this is only a temporary tightening that does not strengthen the muscles themselves.
- CPAP (overpressure breathing with mask)
Mainly used for patients with respiratory arrest, known as obstructive sleep apnoea.
A final passive aid against snoring is, of course, earplugs. And just like the other options in this list, earplugs do not help with the root cause itself, they only help reduce the problem at the time.
Home remedies and tips to stop snoring
The following home remedies and tips to stop snoring can help reduce the problem temporarily.
Since they do nothing to strengthen the weakened musculature, we recommend using them as a supplement to IQoro training while you wait for the treatment to show results.
- Sleep on your side or stomach – avoid lying on your back.
- Use a thinner pillow to keep your neck as straight as possible.
A bent neck causes the throat to narrow.
- Avoid being overweight.
Just losing a few pounds can make a big difference to your snoring.
- Avoid alcohol.
Alcohol makes the muscles relax and it can contribute to snoring.
- Breathe through your nose.
If you breathe through your mouth even though you do not have a cold, this may be due to a narrowing in your nose. You should ask your healthcare contact to investigate this.
Underlying causes of snoring
The sounds that occur when snoring are often caused by the muscles of the soft palate relaxing too much. When we breathe, the relaxed muscles begin to vibrate with the flow of air. And it is the sound of the vibrating muscles that we call snoring.
What is the cause of snoring?
There are many causes of snoring, but common to many of them is that they contribute to the narrowing of the throat, making it difficult for air to pass. These are some common causes of snoring:
- Alcohol acts as a muscle relaxant and impairs the ability to keep the airways clear.
- Smoking irritates the mucous membranes and can contribute to snoring.
- Narrowing of the throat makes it more difficult for air to pass.
- Fat around the abdomen and throat increases pressure on the airways.
- Large tonsils or polyps can contribute to breathing through the mouth and thus snoring.
- Overbite or small lower jaw.
- Muscle relaxant medications, such as sleeping pills.
Do both men and women snore?
Both men and women snore, and the proportion who snore disturbingly and loudly increases with age. Most snorers are found in the 50–60 age group, of whom 26 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women snore every night.
Women fare better, which may be explained by the female hormone oestrogen – which possibly has a protective effect. Another reason could be that excess weight settles in different parts of the body in women. Men tend to develop fat more centrally around the abdomen and neck, which increases the risk of snoring.
Why do we snore when we get older?
Problems with snoring are more common among the elderly because muscles weaken as you get old.
In addition, many people gain weight with age, which can also make snoring worse.
Finally, hormonal changes in women during menopause can contribute to muscle weakening and this increases the risk of snoring.
Children who snore
It is not normal for children to snore, so the nose and throat of children who snore should always be examined.
The most common causes of snoring in children and babies are large tonsils or a gland behind the nose (adenoid) that clogs up the upper airways. Contact a healthcare professional to perform an examination and get help.
Snoring when pregnant
Snoring during pregnancy is common, especially towards the end when over 20 per cent of all pregnant women snore.
Researchers in Umeå have shown that pregnant women who snore are twice as likely to suffer from high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Talk to your healthcare contact if you are worried.
Snoring as a pregnant woman may be due to an increase in the amount of blood in your body. This causes the blood vessels to expand, making the inside of the nose narrower. This causes you to start breathing through the mouth, which increases the risk of snoring.
Gaining weight during pregnancy can also lead to more pressure across the throat, which can contribute to increased snoring. Having heartburn when pregnant is also common, and IQoro can also help with this.
Get started with your new daily routine. Instruction manual and free support are included.
Neuromuscular training with IQoro takes only 90 seconds a day and strengthens 148 muscles from your mouth to your stomach.
Treatment with IQoro has proven efficacy in internationally published scientific studies.
Serious health problems from snoring
Did you know that the world record for snoring is 111 decibels? This is equivalent to the sound of an aircraft at low altitude.
However, snoring begins to cause vibration damage in both the nerves and soft tissues of the mouth, palate and throat at much lower levels than that.
Vibrations cause damage to muscles and nerves
You may have heard that people who work with machines that vibrate a lot can get numbness in their fingers and hands after a number of years.
That’s because vibrations from the machines damage the nerves in the fingers. This causes control over the muscles to be impaired because the brain can no longer send signals to the fingers in the same way. This can happen, for example, when drilling in concrete.
Snoring vibrations can cause the same type of damage to the nerves of the mouth and throat. There are many important nerves that are linked to our ability to swallow.
When the nerves are damaged, we lose parts of the communication between the brain and the muscles in the throat. In the long run, this can cause people who snore to also suffer from swallowing difficulties.
Weakened muscles cause sleep apnoea
According to a study conducted by researchers at Umeå University, vibration damage from snoring can eventually lead to the muscles in the throat becoming so weakened that they collapse during sleep. This results in respiratory arrest, known as sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea means that the body suffers from a deficiency in oxygen, which should be treated so as not to risk serious complications, such as cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, the body is also unable to heal the nerve damage as long as the snoring continues night after night. This means it’s important to address your snoring before it leads to worse health problems.
Sleep deprivation and snoring
Another indirect health problem that may result from snoring is interrupted sleep and sleep deprivation.
It is important to have good quality sleep. It’s while we are asleep that the brain replenishes its energy. Sleep is also very important for the plasticity of the brain, in other words the brain’s ability to adapt and change, which is a must when learning.
Sleep deprivation can, over time, lead to problems such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type II diabetes
Lack of sleep can also lead to slower reactions and a lower cognitive ability.
It’s difficult to say many hours of sleep a person needs because it is more about the quality of sleep than how many hours you actually lie in bed.
If you feel like you’re alert during the day and functioning as a human being, you’re probably getting enough sleep. If you’re constantly tired during the day and have headaches, it may be that you actually have interrupted sleep due to snoring or sleep apnoea.
Sleeping with someone who snores
Most people know someone who snores or is disturbed at night by a partner who snores loudly.
This is sometimes called social snoring because it’s not always the person who snores who is most disturbed. The problem is many times worse for other people in the home who are negatively affected by the disturbing snoring sounds.
Åke Sonerud, Sweden had snored for many years before he at last cured the problem. After a lecture at his Rotary Club about the neuromuscular training device IQoro’s positive effects on several conditions, including snoring, Åke Sonerud went and bought one. Nothing that he regrets today!
I have got back my night time peace. Wonderful that we didn’t need to go as far as separate bedrooms. Read Åke’s story
Sleeping with someone who snores can be very difficult in the long run. Both you and your partner get less rest and become more tired. For many couples, this leads to separate bedrooms, but this is something that most people don’t talk about out.
We regularly receive reviews and customer stories about snoring in which people tell us about how they stopped snoring or how they are no longer disturbed at night by a snoring partner. Many see improvements after just a few weeks of training.
Seeking medical attention for snoring
Problems with snoring are very common, and in most cases training the musculature is enough for the problems to disappear. If you still feel that you need medical attention, read more in this section about what will happen.
When should I seek medical help?
Seeking medical attention for snoring can be a good idea if you’re worried about how the snoring is affecting your health.
You should also always seek help if someone has told you that you stop breathing for short periods when you sleep – sleep apnoea. You should then visit your local health centre or dentist, and they can help you further.
Examinations and investigations
When you seek medical attention for snoring you will probably be examined by a doctor at your local health centre. You will have to tell them about your snoring. Is it loud? Do you feel thoroughly rested when you wake up? You can also tell them how you and your loved ones are affected by the problem.
When you visit the doctor, it’s also important to mention if, for example, you have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
During the examination itself, the doctor will examine your throat. If you have large tonsils or if you often have a blocked nose, you will most likely be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
If the doctor suspects that you may have sleep apnoea, you may also have to undergo a sleep apnoea investigation. That investigation is done when you are asleep at home in your own bed. You can borrow equipment that allows you to take the measurements needed to see your breathing movements, blood oxygenation and how you position yourself when you sleep.
Surgery for snoring
Surgery for snoring is unusual because few studies have been carried out on the effects of snoring surgery. Side effects are also common after surgery on the soft palate.
If the doctor finds that you have unusually large tonsils, it may be advisable for you to have an operation. This is primarily about reducing the size of the tonsils and secondly removing them, thus reducing your snoring. But that type of surgery is more common in children who snore than in adults.
There are also clinics that do something called pharyngoplasty, a type of snoring surgery. This type of surgery for snoring is mainly done on young people whose anatomy of the throat causes snoring. The operation involves opening up the airways so that air can pass unhindered.
The operation takes a maximum of one hour, but then requires sick leave for one to two weeks while the throat heals. You will need to take painkillers and eat soft food during that time. Some patients may even be prescribed preventive antibiotics.
Text by: Mary Hägg
Associate Professor of Experimental Research in Ear, Nose and Throat diseases at Uppsala University, and Hospital Dental Surgeon specializing in orofacial medicine.
Mary has worked for 12 years as a hospital dentist and for 31 years as Head of the Speech & Swallowing Centre, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hudiksvall Hospital, Sweden.
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