Roses, candy, and a candlelit dinner are romantic gestures that many of us partake in for Valentine’s Day. In addition to these gifts, consider a lifestyle change that will benefit both you and your partner: gain control of your snoring.
“While snoring is disruptive to bed partners and can cause frustration in a relationship, it can also be an indicator of a serious health problem,” says Kelly A. Carden, MD, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), in a release. “Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic disease that involves the repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep. When sleep apnea is untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other health problems.”
The AASM recommends the following tips for occasional snorers:
- Weight loss: Weight gain can make snoring worse and may even lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Shedding pounds can help reduce or eliminate snoring for some people, and weight loss should be a top priority if you are overweight or obese.
- Positional therapy: For some, snoring mostly occurs while sleeping on the back. To reduce snoring, try changing positions by sleeping on your side.
- Avoid alcohol, muscle relaxants and certain medications: These substances can relax your throat or tongue muscles, causing you to snore.
- Medical diagnosis: If snoring is loud and frequent, talk to a medical provider about your risk for obstructive sleep apnea or seek help from the sleep team at an AASM-accredited sleep center.