Good Question: Can Snoring Be Stopped?

— Two-thirds of adults say their partners snore. It can be a pain in the neck for the partner as well as the snorer. So, is this a life sentence for both of or is there hope for silencing snoring?

There is always hope. A Minnesota company is even testing an electrical stimulator to tighten throat muscles with every breath during sleep. Even simple things like eliminating alcohol near bedtime can make a big difference — if your spouse doesn’t try to suffocate you in your sleep first.

Neurologist Jason Cornelius is one of the medical directors at North Memorial’s Sleep Health Center.

For about 18 million Americans, he says, snoring is actually Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which causes sleep to be interrupted as the body is starved for oxygen. And it can cost more than a good night’s sleep.

“Everything from hypertension to abnormal heart rhythms to congestive heart failure, diabetes, weight gain, mood disorders like depression — there are far reaching impacts to this,” he said.

Cornelius says it’s very common for partners of his snoring patients to sleep separately.

As far as any cure, Cornelius says losing weight may be the number one thing you can do to reduce the severity of your snoring.

“One of the major risk factors for snoring is weight gain, particularly weight gain around the neck,” said Cornelius. “(It also can be) just be the way a person is built, the shape of their lower jaw, the shape of their soft palate, how their tongue falls back into the airway when they sleep at night.

If your partner or you believe that you stop breathing between snores, it could be sleep apnea and a night at a sleep clinic is the way to diagnose it for sure.

  • K.

    Put him on a diet!

  • Beer Guzzling Redneck

    Fat people snore. There is no excuse for being “OBEAST.”

    • Courteney

      How would you know. Do you know how hard it is to lose weight after having been raised in a “fat” family? I used to think like you. I’ve always been healthy, I run 4 miles a day, I eat right (most of the time), and I didn’t really understand why people let themselves get so out of shape.

      However, I have now been married to a man who is 300+ pounds for over 8 years. He wants to be healthy and he knows it is all up to him to actually do it. But I see how engrained it is in him to eat bad. Any time we are around his family they only have bad food (sausage, cake, cheese, desserts, pizza, etc). They are wonderful people but have no idea about nutrition (and don’t seem to really care). After being raised in that environment for almost 40 years, it is REALLY hard for my husband to change his habits. He tries to walk 3-4 times per week and tries to eat healthy when he has the will-power to do so. But I see this man try really hard and yet always fall short because it is so hard to change habits that were taught to you as a kid. It is very hard to see someone who is so wonderful and who I love so much always try so hard and then still have to deal with people like you who only look at weight instead of effort and all of the other wonderful characteristics that make up these “obeast” people you comment about. They are still PEOPLE!

      I’m no excusing anything. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior and health. However, I think we should have more understanding and compassion for the people who are overweight; especially if they are trying.

      • Terry

        One cure, Tell them to keep there mouth shut. Plain and simple. Obese people are that way because they eat to much of the wrong food.

      • Beer Guzzling Redneck

        I do understand. My inlaws are a fat family and so are their kids and their grandkids. They taught poor eating habits, no exercise habits, and now have this as a result. My wife was able to break free and is now quite thin and in shape. My sister in law is a 5 foot 4 blimp.

        Lack of willpower is not something I have compassion for. You either want to be a fat person, or you absolutely refuse to accept being a fat person and don’t become one. Nobody is forced to eat poorly or not exercise. Having a poor example set by parents is only a valid excuse for about the first 16 years of someone’s life. After that, they decide upon their self-image and live out that image.

        I know you love your husband, but unfortunately he will not probably live a long, healthy life and grow old with you unless that “willpower” is something he can find within himself and act upon.

        Best of luck and best wishes to you, and thank you for sharing your story.

  • John Stenzel

    I want to share a solution I have for the snoring/heavy breathing problem that kept my wife awake… I went through the sleep clinic evaluation and the results indicated very minor apnea issues so I did not warrant getting the CPAP device. Since my son is a dentist, I asked him about a dental appliance and he obliged and I was fit with a “Thornton Adjustable Positioner” or “TAP 3”. The results have been remarkable! I have had it a year now and I sleep better, and, to my wife’s delight, I sleep silently! It really works for me. This device consists of an arch that fits over the upper teeth, and another that fits over the lower jaw and the two arches have a hook that draws the lower jaw slightly forward and holds it forward so that the air passage at the back of the throat stays open. It is a very simple solution, and for me, a Godsend!

  • Taylor

    If you find out put a post up. My dog also snores

  • Paige

    Wow – a lot of unkind words out there. Here’s my story – I was fitted for a CPAP machine – my husband says I still snore. I lost 55 pounds & got down to my doctor’s prescribed weight for my height & age. My husband says I still snore. I have a dental device for snoring. My husband says I still snore. We now sleep in separate rooms. I’ve tried everything I can. When I am with my girlfriends on occassional weekends – they say they don’t hear me snore. Maybe hubby is hearing his own snoring – which is a bit like a freight train. I’ve done all I can at this point.

    • Beer Guzzling Redneck

      You may want to consider setting up a video camera (no home love tape in mind here) and see what position you are sleeping in, and if it’s actually true you’re snoring. If you’re rolling onto your back, you could add a body pillow to keep you more on your side, while providing extra support.

      I can’t imagine sleeping in separate rooms. That just wouldn’t work for us I don’t think.

      Best of luck to you.

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