can not tell you how many times someone has come to me asking for help with their snoring. Most say it's ruining the relationship with their sleep partner. Others ask for help as they've come to understand their snoring is/may cause serious health problems.
For most people, snoring is a breathing problem and in most cases it's easy to stop through breathe training. Client's often say their snoring has lessened or stopped within a week or two of starting breathe training. Let's take a look at why breathe training is so effective.
The common definition of snoring is a sound created by the vibration of loose skin in the nose or throat. As we inhale, the air causes the skin to move and vibrate.
Snoring can range from a gentle purr to what seems like the sound of an airplane taking off. On average, the snoring sound is around 60 decibels, or roughly the same volume as we speak, however, it can go to 90 decibels, roughly the volume of someone yelling at you. For the snorer's sleep partner, it seems someone is talking or yelling at them all night long.
A lot of people snore. Estimates range from 40%-60% of the population depending on age. And the stereotype snorer, an older, overweight male, seems to be way off the mark. I see snorers that are elite athletes, women and unfortunately even children and teens. Snoring knows no boundaries.
Social and Health Implications
The social implications of snoring are seen often. Many relationships have been ruined by snoring, forcing a sleep partner to leave the relationship or sleep in another bedroom.
Those who snore are predisposed to several moderate to serious medical conditions such as sleep-apnea, daytime fatigue, low energy, low sex drive, strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Women who snore during pregnancy may cause harm to their fetus.
An Engineer's Solution for Snoring
An engineer was once asked how she'd stop snoring. She thought about it for a few minutes and responded … “Oh that's easy! I'd either make the size of the throat bigger or reduce the volume of air going through the throat.”
While making the size of the throat bigger seems like a painful and ugly process, her idea of reducing the volume of air going through the throat is a more plausible solution.
And for sure it works. When the snorer reduces the volume of air inhaled, the level of snoring decreases or stops altogether.
Two Ways to Reduce the Volume of Air Inhaled
Taking the advice of the engineer, there are two ways we can reduce the volume of air going through the throat or nose: 1) breathe through the nose all the time and 2) teach the breathing center of the brain, the medulla oblongata, to breathe less air with each breathe.
If you stand in front of a mirror with your mouth open, you'll quickly realize the mouth is a much larger opening than the nostrils of your nose. Breathing through the nose has to reduce the volume of air you breathe with each inhalation. And this is a good start.
Most snorers breathe a lot of air both day and night, usually 2-3+ times what the medical community considers normal. Snoring is big breathing. Ultimately, the key to stopping snoring is teaching the medulla, the breathing center of the brain, to breathe a normal volume of air. This is goal of breath training.
In most cases, snoring is a breathing problem, large inhalations that cause throat and nose tissue to vibrate. Reducing the volume of air breathed is key to reducing or stopping snoring. Teaching yourself to breathe the right amount of air can ensure you get a good night sleep, avoid potentially serious health problems and help your sleep partner get a good night's rest ... in the same bed as you. How you breathe matters a lot.