Snoring. It keeps millions of people from getting the restful sleep their body needs, and it affects more than just the snorer.
Partners of snorers are also often short on the sleep they need. A shortage of sleep can lead to difficulty concentrating, work accidents, and frustration. Over time, a lack of proper sleep can even lead to heart issues and stroke.
Many people want to treat their snoring, but few people realize that snoring is a symptom—not a health condition itself. This means there is always an underlying condition causing the snoring.
While many remedies claim relief from snoring, whether they’re helpful often depends on the condition causing the snoring. A commonly suggested remedy offered to those suffering from snoring is the use of a humidifier during sleep hours.
But does this remedy work?
First, What Causes Snoring?
Snoring can be the result of lots of conditions. One of the more serious health problems that cause snoring is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the sufferer stops breathing for short spans of time throughout their sleeping hours. Those with a severe case of sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. This can cause other obvious health problems.
However, not all snoring is this serious. There are many other issues that can cause snoring.
Typically, snoring happens when the air passageways are narrowed. This restricts air flow, making each breath rattle, or rasp. Each of the above conditions can narrow the air passages in your throat, causing snoring.
Allergies and Upper Respiratory Illness
Conditions that affect the sinuses and respiratory system are common culprits for snoring. These issues naturally swell the sinus passages, throat, and airways. Along with swelling of the tissues, they also cause the production of excess mucus. This can make snoring even worse.
Your Mouth and Obesity
It may seem strange to group these together, but they run along similar lines when it comes to snoring that isn’t sleep apnea related. When your palate, sinus passages, and throat are naturally narrow, it can cause snoring. Likewise, obesity can lead to excess tissue in the throat and air passageways, meaning there is less room for proper air flow.
Snoring rates are high among those who sleep on their backs. This is because laying flat on the back will naturally cause the airways to narrow, due to gravity. Changing sleep positions can often help.
Alcohol at Bedtime
Most people would never associate drinking alcohol at bedtime with snoring. However, alcohol can cause muscles and tissues to relax. This reduces the throat’s natural structure, leading to snoring.
Some are at a greater risk than others for snoring. This includes men, those who are overweight, and those with chronic nasal issues. Another risk factor is a family history of sleep apnea. While some of these factors cannot be helped, treating the conditions that can be fixed is a good idea.
So, Can A Humidifier Decrease Snoring?
In most of the cases listed above, the short answer is no. However, the long answer isn’t as cut and dry.
A humidifier is often recommended for those suffering from allergies and upper respiratory illness. If your snoring is due to these conditions, a humidifier may help.
Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air. This moisture can loosen mucus and promote drainage. Less mucus can result in reduced throat irritation and swelling, which leads to less restriction in the air passages. If you find yourself snoring, and you also have allergies or a cold, you may find a humidifier can help decrease your snoring.
Even if your snoring isn’t caused by allergies or respiratory illness, you may want to give sleeping with a humidifier a try. The added moisture in the air can often prevent other symptoms caused by snoring, such as a dry mouth or a sore throat.
Choosing the right humidifier can be important. Humidifiers hold water, and anything that holds water can be a potential breeding ground for mildew and mold. Mildew and mold spores can cause their own array of health problems—including allergies which will worsen snoring.
A cool mist humidifier is more commonly associated with mold. Clean the machine and change the filter regularly can help to reduce mold issues. Warm mist humidifiers are less prone to grow mildew or mold because the water is heated and blown out as steam, killing any spores before they can fester. Those with small children or pets should use warm mist humidifiers with care.
Overall, if you suffer from snoring, it can be a great idea to try a humidifier. Likewise, there are other products that may help.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!