Millions of Americans have a snoring problem. If that’s you, don’t worry, it’s quite common and there are many things you can do to about it. This article intends to benefit others from the many years of research I’ve done on the subject of snoring and sleep apnea, and to help you avoid the pitfalls and common misconceptions when seeking a solution to this condition.
While sleep apnea and snoring may not kill you directly, when left untreated they can contribute to far worse conditions like cardio vascular disease, stroke, toxic stress, and heart attacks.
This is why it’s best to do something about it now while you still can.
Prevention: Common Causes of Snoring
First things first, let’s take a look at your sleeping position and how it affects snoring. And the winner of “best sleep position for snoring” is: sleeping on your side.
One of the biggest causes of snoring and sleep apnea, however, is a person’s weight. The more a person weighs, the more likely they will have an issue with snoring.
Instead of trying to lose weight and reduce risk factors like alcohol, smoking and medications, many folks will run out immediately and try to get a CPAP.
Why a CPAP or Surgery for Snoring/Sleep Apnea May Not be the Best Course of Action
When you go to a doctor about snoring, one of the first things they may suggest is that you undergo a sleep study. This a study where they will measure the severity and frequency of apnea episodes during your sleep. This is to get a gauge on how serious of a snoring problem you have, and if it’s indeed sleep apnea.
There are 2 types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive sleep apnea, where the airway becomes physically blocked during sleep, is the most common, and central sleep apnea, where the brain fails to emit signals to continue involuntary breathing while sleeping, is actually quite rare comparitively speaking.
While some people who snore may not have sleep apnea, most people who have sleep apnea do snore. In other words, snoring is often a solid indicator that it may only get worse, and going without air during sleep is not only annoying to your partner, it is bad for your health. Snoring and sleep apnea practically guarantee you miss out on all-important REM sleep, where your body heals physically and emotionally.
Many people quickly rush to get a CPAP device (continuous positive airway pressure), which is often a mistake. For one, the CPAP does not address or correct underlying risk factors for sleep apnea and snoring (which we’ll address in a moment), and 50% of people who start CPAP actually quit.
Even Super Bowl Champion Defensive End Reggie White died in his early 40’s, his CPAP lying next to his bed unused, and Stanford medical doctors believed his sleep apnea was a factor in his early death.
Once you start CPAP, you’re pretty much expected to continue for the rest of your life. So think about that long and hard before making a lifelong commitment to a machine that is dependent on electricity to operate, and forces air down your throat while you sleep.
Next, many patients who have had sleep apnea surgery have complained after the procedure that their lives were permanently changed, and not for the better. Now they gag on their own saliva at night because parts of their throat and mouth have been removed, with other severe consequences taking the place of the issues of snoring.
Risk Factors for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
One of the hardest pills to swallow for people with sleep apnea and snoring, is the realization that the primary contributor is the person’s weight. The majority of Americans are overweight, with a significant percentage actually qualifying as obese.
“If we can get people to lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems [such as heart disease] go away,” says Dr. Lawrence Epstein of Harvard Medicine. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.”
Other risk factors include drinking alcohol, prescription medications (which often depress breathing), as well as smoking, genetics, sleep position, sinuses, and overall health of the person’s breathing (if they breathe deeply while awake during the day, and if they regularly exercise).
Ultimately, CPAP may be most effective at treating sleep apnea and snoring, however without major groundwork correcting underlying issues, it may be an easy out that without constant use can actually present a dangerous situation. Additionally, medical research has confirmed that alternatives to CPAP and surgery can also be viable treatments, like stop snoring mouthpieces, which are a fraction of the cost and require much less commitment.
I Tested Some of the Top FDA Cleared Stop Snoring Mouthpieces Available OTC
Two of the best over-the-counter, FDA cleared stop snoring mouthpieces are the VitalSleep Mouthpiece and the Good Morning Snore Solution. While they both work effectively to stop snoring, each has its own specific benefits that people may find desirable according to their own preferences.
Product Benefits and Differentiation
The VitalSleep Stop Snoring Mouthpiece is a mandibular advancement device, which means that it helps keep your jaw in place during sleep so that your chin and jaw do not slip back towards your throat and constrict your airway at night.
The Good Morning Snore Solution is a tongue retention device, which holds your tongue at the front of your mouth during sleep to ensure that your jaw, chin, and mouth do not slip backwards towards your neck and cause a blocked airway.
Both mouthpieces are effective, made from safe BPA-free material, and made in the USA or Canada. Both companies offer the option to try their product risk-free so that if you do not like the product after buying and using it, you may return it and get your money back within a certain timeframe.
Note: these are not the cheap made-in-China low quality mouthpieces being sold on Amazon.com, which illegally claim to be “FDA Approved”. These are the real deal FDA cleared stop snoring mouthguards which can help you get rid of your snoring problem immediately, with zero financial or physical health risk.
Most of the Time, Losing Weight WILL Greatly Reduce Snoring and Sleep Apnea Symptoms, According to Harvard Doctors
Conclusion on Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea can cause a whole array of other potentially life-threatening consequences if left untreated. We hope that whatever option you choose, that you will still commit to doing the work to take care of all contributing risk factors under your control.
Making the decision to exercise only 3 times a week will have far-reaching positive benefits on your health and well being, and may even inspire the people around you in your life. The best thing is, you don’t have to start by running a marathon to get fast results. You can simply make the conscious choice to go to the park or take a brisk 30-minute walk around the neighborhood.
You might just be surprised by how good you feel.
Good luck and take care 🙂