- Personal Health Information & Self-Help»
- Self-Help for Sleep Issues & Sleeplessness
Snoring is Contagious
Stop early snoring to avoid accidents and weight gain
Go to Google and type in Losing Weight. You get About 36,100,000 results (0.84 seconds)
No, I haven’t read all 36,100,000 entries, but I am certain none of them tell you about snoring and weight gain.
When you snore, you often don’t get good sleep. So, you wake up tired; but you need to get to work, get the kids ready, etc. So, naturally, you eat an extra cookie for energy. As you continue to take the cookies, you put on weight. This can fatten your uvula – the guy that hangs down in the back of your throat – and also the back of your tongue. Both these areas fall backward by gravity when you lie on your back, and block good breathing.
For most persons, there is a vicious circle: the more cookies, the more sleep blockage, the more fatigue, the more cookies. In addition to the uvula, soft palate and tongue, there is also fat deposited in the throat tissue itself – which also blocks the breathing and impairs sleep.
But you can solve this problem by sleeping face down, or on your side. When you do that, the tongue and soft palate fall forward and no longer block the airway. Then, good sleep and no more cookies.
The 20,000 Dollar Cure
Among the 1,700,000 results (0.59 seconds) when you google sleep cures, is a $20,000 machine that senses when you are not on your back. It sends an electric charge to you to remind you to sleep on your side. I suppose it works: most mammals – that includes us, don’t like to get an electric charge, much less like to be awakened by one. Much better is to sew a used tennis ball to the back of your shirt, and when you lie on your back, that gentle pressure will nudge you to turn to your side, gently without waking you up.
Actually, today I saw a device for only $299 that sends a charge to awaken you to turn on your side. But, in addition to the tennis ball only costing 50 cents, it happens to work better and it doesn’t disturb your sleep cyclel.
Willpower and Weight
When persons gain weight because of poor sleep, it is not because they are bad, are not strong willed, etc. There is a built-in mechanism that demands food when you are fatigued from poor sleep. That drowsy feeling may last all day and cause you to do the extra cookies all day – not because you are “weak,” but because your body seeks extra energy.
As a matter of fact, one weight loss method is to artificially put someone to sleep. That way they don’t take the extra food and do lose weight! This is because even in sleep, you are consuming calories.
Snoring? Don’t laugh
When you laugh about snoring, just remember that about 1/3 of all traffic and industrial accidents are due to insufficient sleep. Many marriages dissolve for this reason too.
When there is poor sleep, the brain puts out chemicals to get more air: you get hypertension. When there is poor airway, the body struggles to get more air: the diaphragm pushes way down, forces the stomach contents up into the throat, called gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. That eventually weakens the normal stopcock or muscle that prevents acid into the throat. The constant acid in the throat further inflames the throat and further reduces the airway.
Another non-laughing matter is the onset of diabetes that follows obstructed breathing in sleep. We are not sure exactly why this happens. Is it the weight gain, or the poor airway?
Catch a cold. Catch snoring
Snoring is contagious, just like the common cold! Partner loses sleep because of the snoring; next morning is fatigued, takes the extra cookies and after a few months, has gained weight and snores too. When the wife drags her husband into my office for his snoring, invariably the husband announces that she is snoring now too! But she didn’t snore when they first got married! And, she has put on weight since the wedding. Surprise! Her husband’s snoring is the cause!
If the nose is blocked by chronic sinus or allergy, that needs to be cleared. For most chronic sinus conditions, pulsed irrigation clears that by restoring lazy cilia that no longer beat well enough to remove bacteria. It the nasal valve blocks the airway, elevating the depressed tip – costs ten cents – is a cure.
For flabby throat, or enlarged tonsils, pulsed throat irrigation is like a massage that reduces that swelling. Throat exercises have been proven to build strong throat muscles and reduce extra flab and fat.
What is important
Any snoring can become worse and cause serious consequences such as Sleep Apnea. You read about these consequences daily: the driver that crosses the midline and smashes head on to a school bus; the train driver who speeds around the curve and derails. You can avoid these consequences, and it may only cost you a 50 cent used tennis ball.