Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.
Research shows that almost everyone snores occasionally. Habitual snoring occurs in around 40% of adult women and 57% of adult men, and some people snore regularly without any other sleep-related symptoms. Also, snoring can be a nuisance to your roommates, especially as students.
However, snoring can be caused by a sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which disrupts sleep and can lead to other health issues. Snoring may also be the result of a person’s natural anatomy and weight, or behaviors such as drinking alcohol or sleeping in a certain position.
Understanding the varied causes of snoring can help you determine whether your snoring is something you should be concerned about, and what steps you can take to address it.
So, what does age have to do it?
Our sleep changes as we age. We find it harder to fall asleep and stay there, get less sleep in general, and crucially, we’re likely to snore more. No doubt, snoring can worsen with age, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. It’s also important to remember that young people snore too. Students in higher institutions cannot be categorized as old, right? Yet, we have some of them complain bitterly about how bad their roommates snore.
“Snoring is an old person’s problem”
This statement is both true and very false. There’s no shortage of changes that take place as we age, and a propensity to snore is one of them.
Whilst age is a significant risk factor for snoring and sleep apnea, increasing numbers of young people and even children find themselves snoring, or even gasping and choking through the night.
Snoring’s association with age is exactly that, an association, not an inevitability. If you’ve found your snoring worsening with age, there are a few things that you can do. Additionally, if you feel you’re too young to be snoring all the time, you’re not alone. It may be time to carefully consider its possible causes.
Older age is associated with several sleep changes, including increased snoring. The tongue and the muscles that surround the airway may become weaker as we get older.
So, what can be done to combat age-related snoring?
Engaging in mouth and throat exercises, also called myofunctional therapy, may reduce snoring caused by weak muscles.
Another way of tightening that loose tissue is to use a mouthpiece that brings your jaw or tongue forward.
You may also try losing some weight. Especially if you feel you overweight for your age.
Despite the evidence for snoring increasing with age, you can tell that, it’s not a problem confined to older people. Yes, fewer young people snore when compared to the older population, but this “fewer” still constitutes thousands upon thousands of people.
Snoring has many causes and we are increasingly seeing that snoring and sleep apnea are a problem for not only adults but adolescents and children too.