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Are seasonal allergies making your snoring worse? (Picture: Getty)
The weather is warmer and the days are getting lighter and longer – which is all great news, unless you have hay fever.
We are heading into peak allergy season, which can mean misery with thousands left sniggling, sneezing and congested as plants, grass and trees come into bloom.
Hay fever doesn’t only have an impact on our spring days either, it can disrupt our sleep and even lead to snoring and difficulties breathing at night. And snoring can have an impact both on the sleeper and anyone who happens to be in the same room.
The experts at bed retailer Happy Beds, has teamed up with Katherine Hall, a psychologist in sleep from Somnus Therapy, to share their top tips to help snorers, and their sleep-deprived partners.
Some of the anti-snoring techniques are a little bit unexpected:
Repeat your vowels out loud
‘Anti-snoring throat exercises are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your throat and stop them from vibrating as you sleep – the cause of snoring,’ says Katherine.
‘A few times a day spend a few minutes repeating each of the vowels (a-e-i-o-u) out loud and over time you’ll strengthen those all-important muscles.’
Take a hot shower before bed
Katherine explains that in many cases, snoring is caused by allergens irritating the nasal passages and causing them to narrow.
‘Have a hot shower before bed and the steam will help to moisten those nasal passages and help you breathe better during the night, in turn, this should ease any snoring problems,’ she suggests.
How to tackle snoring caused by allergies
- Sleep with your head slightly raised: By sleeping with an elevated head, it can decrease the amount of nasal congestion that can be caused by allergies. Use an extra pillow to keep yourself propped up for a comfy nights sleep.
- Use an air purifier: At night, dust, pollen, and other pollutants remain in the air. Using an air purifier at night can minimise the impact of allergies, especially in the spring and summer months.
- Dust furniture and vacuum regularly: Keeping on top of cleaning in your bedroom will help to keep allergies at bay, with carpets, bedding and dust on surfaces contributing to snoring, sneezing and other reactions to air pollutants.
‘If you go to bed on a full stomach, extra pressure is exerted on your chest and lungs, which can in turn lead to snoring,’ says Katherine.
‘Try to eat your evening meal at least four hours before you go to bed, this way it’s well on the way to being digested by the time you go to sleep and this extra pressure is relieved from your body.’
Keep pets out of the bedroom
Pets may not seem like something you would commonly link to snoring issues, however Katherine says there is a link there, particularly where allergies are concerned.
‘Snoring may result from allergies and can be caused by flakes of skin that pets shed, something which worsens respiratory problems,’ she says.
‘It’s recommended that pet owners try keep their fur babies out of the bedroom.’
Do mouth workouts
‘Much like the first tip, this tip is designed to help exercise the muscles in your mouth that control snoring,’ Katherine adds.
‘One way to do this is to slide the tip of your tongue backwards along the roof of your mouth as far back as it will go, or alternatively, just press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and push.’
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