Not everyone who snores actually have sleep apnea.  In fact Upper Airway Resistance is an independent diagnosis that can disrupt sleeping but you do not stop breathing throughout the night.  The issues are not just that of the person who has the problem but those who live with them. 

Upper Airway Resistance, or AURS is when the back of the throat and soft palate is crowded and causes snoring or vibrations that can be very loud and disturbing. 

In children the solution can be as easy as removing the tonsils and adenoids allowing for more space and easier breathing.  This allows a child to sleep easier and reach slow wave sleep, the time in sleep growth and healing happens, to occur.  It also allow for an easier transition into REM sleep.  This normal sleep architecture helps children to learn and retain information as well as have less behavioral problem. 

In adults the solution is not always as easy.  The airway can be restricted due to issues such as deviated septum in the nose, being overweight or just age causing a relaxation of the tongue when we sleep causing crowding.  One of the easiest solutions is to sleep on your side or stomach.  This allows the tongue to fall forward when you sleep.  Another solution is to elevate the head of the bed.  Again this will help to support the airway and keep it open. 

Some of the more interesting solutions people have come up with that have been shown to work are mouth and tongue exercises. Using a didgeridoo, an Australian woodwind instrument, has been shown to help strengthen the muscles in the throat and help decrease snoring.   Singing has also been said to help. 

My final suggestion is that an oral appliance created specifically for you might be helpful.  Always use a dentist who knows how to create the best device for you.  They should know how to create more than one type of device.  They should also be a fellow of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine.  An oral appliance would allow the tongue and the jaw to be slightly repositioned to eliminate the snoring.

I always suggest that it will be helpful to talk to your doctor about your medical options.  Whether you use a traditional therapy or one of the non-traditional therapies I would suggest that you take care of this issue not for your health but also for those who you live with or vacation with.


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