If you or your partner snores at night, you are sure to know how annoying it can be, but did you know that you can help stop snoring with acupuncture? Let’s first look at snoring and what causes it.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is happens when air flows past relaxed tissue in the throat, causing the tissue to vibrate and make a hoarse or harsh sound. The truth is nearly everyone snores, albeit some much more than others. For some people, snoring can be a chronic condition and may also indicate a severe health risk. However, the main concern associated with snoring is that it can be a significant nuisance to your partner.
You can help alleviate snoring by making specific lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding drinking alcohol before bed, and sleeping on your side. While not suitable or necessary for everyone who snores, there are medical devices such as a continuous positive air pressure machine (CPAP) used to treat sleep apnea or even, in some cases, surgery.
A sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is often associated with snoring, and while not all snorers have it, there are some telltale signs such as:
- Pausing to breathe while asleep
- Being tired all the time during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headaches in the morning
- A sore throat when you wake up
- Waking up at night gasping for air
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
Bouts of loud snoring followed by periods of silence when you stop or nearly stop breathing are signs that you may have OSA. Eventually, a lack of oxygen will force you to wake up suddenly gasping for air. This pattern of waking up during the night can steadily get worse.
Another medical condition associated with snoring is sleep apnea. People diagnosed with sleep apnea tend to stop breathing and wake up at least five times during every hour of sleep.
You may not even be aware that you are waking up as it is such a minuscule amount of time before returning to sleep. If you feel tired, visit a specialist clinic and have a sleep study done. You will spend the night hooked up to devices that monitor your heart, lung, and brain activity at the clinic. It will be apparent whether or not you suffer from sleep deprivation in the morning.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will most likely be given a CPAP machine. The machine works like a mini ventilator forcing air into your lungs as you sleep. However, the device does nothing to cure the underlying causes of the condition, and it can be uncomfortable having to wear a face mask.
Acupuncture can help alleviate snoring
While still not fully understood, acupuncture may be a solution to help alleviate snoring. In studies, acupuncture has been shown to help relax the muscles involved in breathing. Acupuncture releases chemicals into the body that dilate the airways, making it easier to breathe.
In a random trial of 200 people with sleep apnea, the use of acupuncture to treat the condition proved more effective than a CPAP machine when it came to breathing and oxygen levels.
If you think acupuncture for snoring might be right for you, get in touch with us at the Backcare & Acupuncture Clinics. Whether you have the symptoms of a sleep disorder or snoring, we can tailor your treatment accordingly.