If you do a quick Google search for snoring, you’ll find nearly all the images have one thing in common: men. Despite what many people think, snoring is not just a man’s problem. Women snore too, and with the same associated health risks. Sadly, snoring in women is often downplayed, ignored, and overlooked.
According to the British Snoring & Sleep Apnea Association, research has shown that men are twice as likely to be referred for a sleep study than women. Why? Is it because men snore and women don’t? No! This is largely due to the fact that physicians often rely on self-reported snoring, and men are more likely to seek help about snoring. On the other hand, almost half of women do not report their snoring symptoms. This is often due to embarrassment or shame. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your snoring, you’re going to have a tough time solving the problem.
Based on this knowledge, there is no surprise that another study found that Sleep Apnea was undiagnosed in more than 90% of women with moderate to severe cases. This is a really big deal! When you’re not sleeping well, your overall health suffers greatly. Let’s make today the day we change this! Today, we want to talk about what causes a woman to start snoring as well as what can solve the issue.
What causes snoring in women?
Loud snoring is a hallmark of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which affects between 3% and 7% of adults in the United States. If left untreated, OSA profoundly impacts sleep quality. This then leads to many other health issues, both mentally and physically.
When a person sleeps, either male or female, the muscles in the mouth, tongue, and throat relax. This exacerbates any other anatomical issues that then cause snoring. Snoring can be caused by a number of things, like oral anatomy, sinus anatomy, allergies, a cold, weight, neck size, or even their jaw. Beyond these, there are a few factors leading to snoring that are exclusive to women. These include:
Pregnancy: Your body goes through some pretty remarkable changes during pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy can cause expanding blood vessels in the nasal cavity, which can become problematic. You don’t need less sleep when you’re pregnant, you need more! Plus, snoring can cause high blood pressure, which puts both the mother and the unborn baby at risk. This means waiting until you’re no longer pregnant isn’t the solution.
Menopause: After this stage in a woman’s life, she can become just as likely as a man to start snoring. Menopause can reduce muscle tone in the throat. During this time, women report issues like hot flashes, insomnia, mood disorders, and sleep-disordered breathing.
When do women usually start snoring?
You never snored before, and now you do. What happened? There are several times in a person’s life they could start snoring. This includes:
Aging: As women age over 30, snoring problems can increase. It continues to increase as you grow older, especially into Menopause. Why? Much of it has to do with the fact that women typically gain weight and lose muscle mass in their older years, both of which contribute to snoring.
Weight Gain: At any stage of your life, gaining weight leads to snoring. Greater weight adds excess fat around the neck area, and this can narrow or partially block the air passage. If your snoring started around the time you gained weight, losing the weight can help.
Exhaustion: Do you know any moms who are not exhausted? When you are really exhausted, muscle tissues are a little more relaxed and make snoring worse. The larynx gets very relaxed when a person is exceptionally tired, and it causes the snoring effect. A pattern develops because snoring makes it difficult to sleep well, leading to more exhaustion the next day.
How to stop snoring for women
Making lifestyle changes like losing weight can help with snoring, but losing a serious amount of weight takes time. You don’t want to go for months without sleeping well as you try to lose the excess pounds. Plus, there’s nothing you can do to change the fact that you’re now in Menopause, so lifestyle changes aren’t always the solution. Clearly, there isn’t only one way how to stop snoring for women. In addition to being healthy, you’ll also want to ensure you have the right bedroom essentials to stop snoring.
You’ll want to turn your bedroom into a slumber oasis! This can be done with a few sleep essentials, like a high-quality mattress, a great new pillow, and of course- an adjustable bed base. Adjustable beds are by far the best way to prevent snoring. If you’re not able to buy an adjustable bed base right now, try a wedge pillow instead. Wedge pillows elevate the upper part of the body and aligns your spine to keep your air passage fully open. When you lie flat on your back, gravity pulls on your throat and constricts your airway. Raising your head can help keep your airway clear. This is why both an adjustable bed base and a wedge pillow work so well!
We encourage you to shop for the sleep essentials you need in order to eliminate snoring. If you’re in the market for an adjustable bed base, we carry options from PranaSleep, Nectar, Sealy, Serta, Tempur-Pedic, and our very own City Mattress brand. When it comes to pillows, we have dozens of great choices, all from top name brands.
Don’t let another night of snoring ruin your health and happiness. Make today the day you finally break your silence on female snoring and shop for the essential items you need to get a better night of rest.