As we age, it has been proven that snoring increases; studies have shown that there is a more than two percent increase in snoring as we enter middle age.
41.5% of the population snores, this increases to 43.75% with middle age.
Men are also more prone to snoring and more studies have shown that men begin snoring in their late 20’s and their early 30’s.
After men reach 50 years of age and beyond, the problem becomes even worse.
There is a valid explanation for this issue that progressively gets worse over time. As studies by medical professionals and researchers have shown, there is not only one correct answer, but there are many different answers.
For the partners of snorers, this is an especially difficult problem. It can be increasingly frustrating to hear our significant other complaining about our snoring problem getting worse and worse. However, there is a solution, and they are not merely nagging us.
Dr. Rafael Pelayo, a physician, expert in sleep sciences and professor at Stanford Medical School says that snoring can begin at any age:
“[Snoring] is not normal at any age. When we’re awake we don’t snore. All snoring is abnormal and is caused by some degree of obstruction in your breathing.”
First, we must comprehend why snoring gets worse as we get older. To understand that we must find the root of the problem.
Structural problems throughout the nasal passage and the back of the throat is almost always the root cause of chronic snoring.
As the structure of these airways break down and get worse over time, snoring increases (and our partners notice it more).
Some Reasons why This Occurs.
- Getting older causes a decrease in muscle tone as well as the ability for muscles to rebuild themselves. When we are young, we can weight train and get bigger muscles, or gain bulk. However, as we age our bodies do not respond to weight training as they once did. Bulking up does not happen like it did when we were younger. This also translates to our airways. The upper airway has muscles, and those muscles become lax as we age. This causes them to vibrate harder, which causes louder and more intense snoring. To reverse this, you can try singing lessons or vocal exercises to keep the muscles tight and strong.
- Getting older also creates changes in men and women and how their bodies are composed. Specifically, this can mean gaining weight as we age. Research has shown that gaining weight is a large contributing factor to a plethora of bad health conditions. Snoring is one of those conditions. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States today, only behind tobacco use. Pelayo says “As we get older, we put on weight. The pattern of weight gain changes and we often gain weight around the neck, so the throat space becomes narrower”.
- If you fall into this category of an unhealthy lifestyle, battling obesity begins with changing your diet and increasing physical activity or exercise. If you have tried fad diets, or yo-yo weight loss, try speaking with a qualified professional such as your healthcare provider to determine if you have any medical conditions which may be creating your obesity. One example of something you would have no control over is a hormonal imbalance.
- As we get older, we tend to take more medication as well. Medication can contribute to an increase in snoring; a wide variety of medications are proven to make an existing snoring problem much worse. Prescription drugs can cause the muscles to relax, including the neck muscles; when this happens, snoring occurs.
- Nasal congestion also gets worse as we get older. Every day and every second we are alive, our noses are working; breathing in air to supply our bodies with oxygen. Often times this air is accompanied by dust, pollution, viral or bacterial infections. Over time this effects our sinuses, and causes a breakdown in how they operate. The nasal cavity swells and congestion occurs more easily as we age, thereby making breathing more difficult. If the airway is blocked or narrower as we go to sleep this can cause snoring to worsen.
- Hormonal changes in women can also cause snoring. As women go thru menopause their chances of snoring increase. Studies have shown that over 30% of women are regular snorers, and many women begin snoring in their late 40s when menopause occurs. As estrogen levels decrease due to menopause, it is assumed that this causes the neck muscles to relax more. This relaxation of the neck muscles causes the airways to be narrower which then creates snoring.
Before stopping the medication completely, speak with a healthcare provider first. You should never self-diagnose or adjust your doses before speaking with and being under the supervision of your physician.
Consult your doctor if you believe your medications are making your snoring worse.
Ask him or her what you can do about it, and they will probably have alternative treatments for you to try.
If you have been suffering from snoring and noticed that the condition has been getting progressively worse, review the reasons listed above as there might be a simple solution to remedy the problem. This will not only improve your quality of life but the quality of life for your partner as well who also suffers from your snoring.
You can try other home remedies for your snoring, or one of the many available snoring mouthpieces on the market today too which I have written extensively about on this website.
If you first try the solutions above, however, you could reach a quality night of sleep quicker than you thought possible.
Which Product Should I Choose?
Every person has a unique mouth and needs, so one that is perfect for one person may not be the best option for another.
There are well over 100 products on the market, so making a decision can be quite daunting.
You will find a lot of helpful information in the comparison chart, and I have written reviews of several products.
If you would rather not spend a lot of time reading reviews, please consult my article titled “My Mouthpiece Recommendation”. I have compiled a list of three products that I believe are the best options, based on my experience.