Have you noticed that you’re getting more complaints from your spouse than usual about your snoring? If so, then the holidays may be to blame. There are many reasons why you might experience worse snoring during the holidays.
Maybe It’s Getting Noticed More
The problem might actually not be that your snoring is worse–it might just be that it’s getting noticed more than usual. Maybe your spouse isn’t sleeping as well because of holiday stress. Or maybe you normally sleep apart, but your snoratorium has been converted (back) to a guest room.
Perhaps your spouse is completely immune to your snoring and it’s these new guests who are noticing your snoring. It’s possible that you always snore this much, and you just don’t know it.
Irritants in the Air
Another possible explanation for your worsened snoring is that there are more irritants in the air than you’re used to. At home, this can include festive candles, beverages like mulled cider or wine, pet dander from 4-legged guests, or even dander, cigarette smoke, perfumes, and other irritants from two-legged guests. And if you’re going out shopping, you’re exposed to many more irritants as well. There’s the pollution in the parking lot at the mall. Then there are all the scented candles in the store. And the random perfume sprayers (and wearers) you run into.
All these irritants can cause your airway to swell, making it more narrow, which causes snoring.
Rich and Unfamiliar Foods
One of the joys of the holidays is all the food you get to sample that you don’t have access to most of the year. Unfortunately, some of those foods may not happily interact with your body.
Even if you think you don’t have food allergies, it’s possible there are minor allergies that can trigger a reaction in your airway, causing swelling, narrowing, and snoring.
Holiday Weight Gain
Speaking of rich foods . . . it’s not uncommon for us to put on a few pounds around the holidays. And with that weight gain comes snoring. If you add extra weight to your neck, it’s going to press down on your airway, causing it to narrow, which increases snoring.
Drinking Your Fill
For some, it’s not the food, it’s the drink that’s responsible for snoring. If you drink more alcohol around the holidays than during the rest of the year, it’s likely to increase your snoring. Alcohol relaxes your muscles, and it can affect you for hours after consumption. This will make it harder for your muscles to keep your airway open, causing it to narrow, and increasing your snoring.
Are You Short on Holiday Cheer?
And it might not just be snoring that is increasing during the holidays. Are you finding yourself exhausted every day this season? Are you snapping at family and friends? Is seasonal depression coming on worse than usual?
All these may be signs that your airway is actually collapsing at night, cutting off your air, what we call sleep apnea. With short periods of choking, you are forced to awaken, possibly hundreds of times a night. You’re not getting enough sleep, and your energy and mood are suffering.
If snoring or sleep apnea are stealing your long winter’s naps, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with Omaha sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.