Does your snoring get worse as the seasons change? If you find yourself snoring more during a particular time of the year, you could be a ‘seasonal snorer’.
Everything from allergies and colds to changes in the weather could affect how much noise you make at night. If your snoring fluctuates throughout the year, these might be the reasons why.
Allergies are often a cause of snoring, and a pollen allergy – better known as hay fever – can make it hard to sleep at night. Because allergens get into the body mainly through the nose, this is the area that’s most affected. Blood flow is increased, and inflammatory molecules are released; this gives you a blocked nose, and forces you to breathe through your mouth. Mouth-breathing can dehydrate the tissue at the back of your throat, and this leads to snoring.
Here are some useful tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Get in the shower. Pollen is sticky and can stay in your hair until it’s washed out properly. It can also stay on your clothes for hours after you’ve been outside. Shower before bed to remove any pollen from your skin.
- Get the feather duster out. Keep your windows shut, and hoover to remove any pollen that has settled on the floor or in your carpet. Using a damp cloth when you dust will also help to make sure that dust and pollen cling to the cloth, rather than just being spread around.
- Decongest your nasal passages. Pollen allergies can cause your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen, making it hard for you to breathe through your nose. As well as making it hard for you to fall asleep, this congestion limits airflow, increasing air turbulence and making you more likely to snore. A nasal decongestant – will help to open your nasal passages, meaning that you can breathe easily again.
Although you can catch a cold all year round, you’re more susceptible to viral infections in colder temperatures. That’s because you tend to spend more time indoors where infection can spread more easily, and you’re less exposed to sunlight/protective vitamin D. It’s also thought that cold weather can dampen the initial immune response.
When you get a cold, different viruses attack your upper respiratory tract. Combined with your body’s own defense mechanisms, the blood vessels in your nose swell, and your nose becomes blocked. This causes you to breathe through your mouth, which narrows your airway and makes the air you breathe more turbulent. As a result, you might start to snore.
Here’s how to get a better night’s sleep.
- Elevate your head. Sleeping flat on your back isn’t a good idea. Use an extra pillow to help drain your sinuses, and reduce congestion.
- Use a humidifier if you can. If you have a humidifier, try and use it while you have a cold. This will help keep the air in your bedroom moist.
- Have a hot shower before bed. The warm water can help open your nasal pages.
- Use a nasal decongestant. The SleepDoctor Nasal Strips work by opening the airways in your nose to provide snoring relief for up to 8 hours.
If you’re a seasonal snorer, it’s worth following some of the simple steps outlined above to help reduce your snoring. Your partner, your health, and your sleep will thank you.