Lots of things can make people snore. Sleep apnea is a major cause of snoring, so is too much alcohol consumption. People also snore when they have a cold, and guess what, people snore when they have allergies. Unfortunately, it might not bother the one snoring too terribly much, but if you are sleeping with a snorer, it’s probably affecting you.
Why do allergies make people snore? For the same reason people with a cold snore – the nasal passages are inflamed and enlarged and air flow is more strained. As people fall asleep, “the muscles in the roof of the mouth, tongue and throat relax.” If the tissues in your throat relax to a certain extent, they vibrate and can partially obstruct the airway, hence, snoring. When there is congestion and inflammation from allergies, the more narrow the passages are already and the vibration and obstruction becomes worse, and snoring becomes louder.
People who have had consistent allergies or other nasal problems have higher degrees of snoring. It’s recommended to take decongestants instead of antihistamines at night if this is a problem for you. The decongestants reduce the swelling of nasal passages and therefore let the air flow more freely and reduce snoring. Of course, avoidance of your allergen is always good if possible. For instance, make sure you aren’t allergic to anything in your bed or pillows. Wash your sheets and pillowcases frequently and if traveling, ask for an allergy free or hypo-allergenic pillow. And stay away from alcohol and sleep aids before bed.
Also, sleeping on the side instead of the back can help. Another thing to try is the strips to help you breathe that are place across the nose. These are good to help congestion and nasal swelling due to allergies, anyway, and if this is the cause of your snoring, you will probably find some good relief here.
Snoring doesn’t just affect your partner, but affects you as well. The sleep you are getting probably isn’t good and if your partner is poking you or rolling you over or waking you up to stop your snoring, your sleep is disrupted just as much as your partner’s (well, almost).
Treat your snoring with your allergies and perhaps you will feel better already. So many experts say that when we are more stressed or tired, our allergies are apt to kick in a bit more. Keep yourself rested in the fight against allergies, and perhaps it will be easier to get that rest!
- Heather Legg