You get enough sleep if you don't feel tired during the day
Last month I wrote about pain and pain relief because I know this is something that concerns so many of us.
The same is true of sleep and sleeplessness. The reasons for sleeplessness can be pain, it can be worries, it can be bad habits and it can be that we just don’t need more sleep that night.
We know that sleep patterns do not change much as we get older. All through our life we require more or less the same amout of sleep. The only significant difference is when we are babies, and when we are going to die.
The reason we think we need less sleep as we grow older, is very often because we take little naps during the day, and therefore need less sleep during the night.
But often our sleep is disturbed during the night.
There may be noises from the nearby discotheque, there may be traffic and it may be that the person next to you is snoring. Snoring is only directly dangerous to the person who snores in about 10% of the cases. That is when the snoring turns into loss of breath for shorter or longer times.
This will make him (yes, eight times as many men than women snore) wake up as many as up to several hundred times a night. This of course inhibits deep relaxing sleep and will most likely cause tiredness and reduced concentration during the following day.
If this is happening to someone you know, you should advise them to see the doctor.
For all the rest of you whose snoring is a problem only to your partner, I have some advise that you might follow. You might not like the remedies, but here they are:
- Reduce weight because the fat tissues in the throat are part of the reason for snoring and snoring increases as weight increases.
- Stop smoking – smoking irritates the mocous membranes and can be a direct reason for snoring.
- Stop drinking alcohol in the evening because it reduces the muscular tension in the throat and makes breathing through the nose more difficult.
- Don’t sleep on your back because it reduces the space in the throat by 20%. To prevent the soft tissues in the throat vibrating and causing snoring, it may help to sleep lying on the side and sometimes also to lie with the body slightly elevated.
Sleep regularly and try to get enough sleep without the help of sleeping tablets, as they may also lead to snoring.
- There are also some aids available that open the airways and help some people to eliminate or reduce the snoring. Sometimes the doctor will recommend an operation, but there is no guarantee that it will be a success. Some studies indicate that 60% of patients have some benefit from the operation, but the snoring may come back after some time.