One of the things the holidays do is bring together friends and family like no other time of the year. Many times, this means you may have additional people staying at your house, or perhaps you’re staying at a relative’s house. In either case, the result is the same: more people living in closer proximity than most of the year.
And when this happens, you might get some unpleasant news: you’re a snorer. In fact, you snore so loud that many people in the house can’t get any sleep, and that can fray nerves even more, disrupting the fragile truce that keeps peace in your family.
Since this is news to you, you might feel like there’s something about the season that makes you snore. It’s true: there are some things that might make you snore more around the holidays, but you also have to consider that you actually snore year-round, and that you might benefit from professional help.
Is Your Snoring Seasonal?
Allergies Could Be a Problem
Snoring can be caused by many things, but they usually relate to narrowed airways, which cause restricted airflow. The restriction leads to burbles that vibrate the airway, which is the sound of snoring.
One thing that could cause seasonal snoring is allergies. If you travel to be with family for the holidays, consider that you might be exposed to different allergens in a different part of the country. Also think that if family members brought pets with them, that might also cause an allergic response. You might not notice it much during the day, but at night the effect could be more pronounced.
Don’t forget food allergies, either. Around the holidays, we’re eating a lot of special foods that we only prepare and consume at this time. This means exposure to many potential allergens. If you’re mildly allergic, the only response might be mild swelling of the airways and/or increased mucus production, but that might be enough to narrow your airway and cause snoring.
If you’re not normally around smokers, but some of your relatives smoke, you might also experience swelling from the irritation.
Pay attention if you feel more mucusy than usual or if your nose or throat gets irritated.
Too Much Wassail
Another thing that’s different about the holidays is that people tend to drink more alcohol than at other times of year. While this can sometimes help people enjoy the holidays, it can lead to more snoring. Alcohol is a muscle relaxant, and it causes the muscles of the throat to relax, too. This leads the throat to sag more, which narrows the airways, causing the turbulent airflow and noise of snoring.
It’s always best to consume alcohol in moderation, but it’s also a good idea to pay attention to timing. If you want to reduce your snoring, make sure you quit drinking for 2-3 hours before going to bed.
We also have to consider the unfortunate truth that many of us put on weight over the winter. The holidays play their part, encouraging us to eat and drink more, but it’s also related to the way we tend to be less active in the winter.
And that additional weight can cause snoring. Being overweight or obese can make you more likely to snore, especially if you tend to store weight in your tongue or throat.
Do You Really Snore All Year?
Will all these factors to consider, you might be able to determine that your snoring is likely seasonal, only becoming significant for part of the year. However, you should also make sure that your snoring isn’t a chronic problem.
You can ask your spouse and/or kids if they have observed your snoring. They might be able to tell you that you always snore, and then you’ll know that it’s time to get treatment for your snoring. But just because your family can sleep through your snoring—or if you live alone–it doesn’t mean that snoring isn’t a problem. The truth is the sound of snoring is just one of the reasons it’s a problem.
Snoring is also important because it:
- Is a sign that you’re not getting enough air in your sleep
- Can put you at increased risk for car accidents
- Can damage your arteries and increase stroke risk
- Interferes with your sleep
So it’s important to try to figure out if you still snore at other times of the year. There are many smartphone apps that let you check whether or not you snore, and ways to consider whether your snoring is serious. In addition, you can talk to a doctor or a sleep dentist about the problem. They can help you get a home test that can track both snoring and sleep apnea–a very serious condition linked to snoring.
Breathe Easy at Night
If you snore, it’s important to get treatment to protect your health. If you are looking for snoring treatment in Rochester, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at Contemporary Dentistry in Rochester, NY.