Snoring occurs when oxygen squeezes through narrowed or blocked airways during breathing. The natural process of pulling air causes the throat tissues to vibrate, producing a familiar hoarse sound.
While this issue can be mild, snoring immediately after falling asleep could be the result of another major condition.
From restless nights to becoming a nuisance for your bed partner, the effects of snoring are diverse. Making a few lifestyle changes could solve the problem. For instance, weight loss, no alcohol before sleeping, or even sleeping on your side are effective methods to prevent snoring.
Why Do You Snore Immediately After Falling Asleep?
Snoring can be the result of many factors. For example, your mouth anatomy and sinus conditions are often the primary cause.
Other reasons for snoring include consuming alcohol, suffering allergies, having a cold, or being overweight.
Normally, the human body transitions between light to a deep sleep state while dozing off. During this stage, mouth muscles like the soft palate, throat, and tongue become highly relaxed.
This level of relaxation at the throat level causes the tissues to slightly shut your airway. When you have a narrowed or blocked airway, your breathing muscles increase efforts to pull in air. Thus, you experience tissue vibration and produce loud snoring sounds.
A low and thick soft palate is often responsible for narrowing your airway. If you have excess weight, there could be some extra tissues located at the end of your throat, which also interrupts the airway. Lastly, an elongated uvula can obstruct proper airflow and increase vibrations.
Consuming Alcohol Before Bed
Drinking alcohol excessively before sleeping is another potential cause of snoring. Alcoholic beverages allow your throat muscles to reach maximum relaxation, affecting your ability to prevent airway blockages naturally.
Nasal Cavity Problems
Problems like nasal congestion and significant nostril partitions are other factors that lead to snoring.
You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Failing to rest properly can cause relaxation in throat muscles, resulting in snoring issues.
Sleeping on Your Back
Sleeping on your back is another potential cause of snoring. Gravity affects your throat tissues and muscles, causing them to narrow your airway.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleeping Disorder
Snoring is one of the common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome occurs when the throat muscles relax, incapacitating your body to breathe effortlessly. Oxygen squeezes through the narrowed airway and may produce snoring due to the effort required.
Not all OSA cases include snoring, but it remains a possibility. Normally, you treat obstructive sleep apnea using therapies like continuous positive airway pressure.
What are Risk Factors for Snoring?
Certain elements can increase your likelihood of snoring while sleeping.
· Gender. Males have a higher likelihood of having snoring problems when compared to females.
· Excess weight. Overweight individuals are more prone to suffering sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, which causes snoring. Additionally, snoring without OSA is also a possibility.
· A naturally narrowed airway. In some cases, the individual could have a naturally narrowed airway. This problem occurs when there’s a long soft palate, oversized tonsils, or large adenoids.
· Consuming alcohol. Actively drinking alcohol before going to the bed increases your risk of snoring.
· Inherited obstructive sleep apnea. A history of OSA disorder within the family increases the risks of developing it. Consequently, snoring may be a side effect.
What are Snoring Complications?
Mild snoring can be a nuisance, but the complications can be severe if you snore excessively. For instance, a family member or bed partner sleeping close to you will not rest either.
If have loud snoring immediately after you fall asleep, the problem could be a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea might consequently deal with other health conditions. For example:
· An elevated risk of suffering from high blood pressure.
· Heart problems like inconsistent heart rate and rhythm.
· Increased risk of having strokes.
Other complications of snoring and mild sleep apnea are:
· Excessive daytime sleepiness.
· Constant mood swings, usually between frustration and anger.
· Problems concentrating properly, affecting your performance at work.
· Behavior issues that could lead to uncommon aggression.
· A lack of rest, which can affect your surrounding awareness and elevate accident risks.
· Children with OSA can have learning skill problems.
Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the many symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea OSA. This sleep disorder can also produce breathing pauses during sleep, affecting your ability to rest.
Besides sleep deprivation, OSA can worsen heart disease conditions, hard to treat headaches and more. Thus, treatment is necessary. The process usually goes as follows.
Diagnostic to Confirm Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There’s no specific sign that indicates you may have OSA. Therefore, a doctor must perform physical tests to confirm the severity of the symptoms. The doctor may also refer you to a polysomnography sleep study for further evaluation of your sleep disorder.
Evaluation of Treatment Options like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Many treatments exist to take care of obstructive sleep apnea disorders. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common. Under this treatment, a machine introduces oxygen through a mask into the mouth and nose. This treatment completely relieves symptoms sometimes, but not always.
· Other treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea include:
· Bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP).
· Oral devices to regulate breathing.
· Surgery if the disorder calls for a surgical procedure.
· Sleeping on your side to prevent the effect of gravity on your throat muscles.
· If the cause is excess weight, losing even 10 pounds can make a difference.
Treatment-Emergent Central Sleep Apnea
Undergoing positive airway pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnea can result in the patient developing central sleep apnea. This condition is rare and does not occur regularly. Only between 5% and 15% of the subjects develop it. Normally, this disorder does not require particular treatment.
When is it Necessary to Consult a Doctor?
Consider consulting with a doctor if you notice the snoring relates to common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. Snoring is not exclusive to this sleep disorder, but is a potential sign that you may have it. Learn about other OSA problems to identify if your condition is indeed sleep apnea.
Normally, you experience the following issues when you have obstructive sleep apnea.
Breathing pauses while sleeping. This sign may be clear to your bed partner or yourself. Sometimes, the body wakes you up during the night if you stop breathing for a few seconds.
Cardiovascular problems. Obstructive sleep apnea causes unexpected blood oxygen level drops. This reaction elevates blood pressure, which impacts your cardiovascular functions. Hypertension and heart diseases are other consequences of this disorder.
Eye problems. Glaucoma and other eye conditions may have a connection with obstructive sleep apnea. Normally, treatments can solve these problems.
Nuisance to bed partners. Snoring and OSA can become significant problems for bed partners. When you snore or experience breathing pauses, your partner is less likely to rest peacefully. This combination of issues can affect a relationship severely.
Is Living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Possible?
Proper treatment effectively diminishes the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on your daily activities. Alternatively, you can implement measures like losing weight or sleeping on your side to control the disorder. Therefore, living with OSA is more than a possibility.
Another thing you can do is learn about the disorder. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and consequences of OSA allows you to tackle this condition. Online websites and forums share detailed information to help you navigate through OSA problems and find potential relief.
Additionally, avoid triggers if possible. Don’t drink alcohol, and avoid consuming sleep medication unless you have to. Talking to your doctor can help you find medicine appropriate for your condition without increasing OSA risks.
Snoring immediately after falling asleep is a nuance, but not a permanent problem. Under the right conditions and proper treatment, you may solve this problem or at least reduce its occurrence. This way, you will have a restful night and let others near you rest as well.
Sometimes, snoring is not the problem itself, but a symptom of another condition or disorder. If you or a close one points out excessive snoring, don’t hesitate and consult a doctor. Finding the root of the problem is the first step to potentially solving snoring issues.