Snoring is a common health concern for many people. We snore for all sorts of reasons. One of the most common reasons behind snoring is sleeping with an open mouth. When you sleep with an open mouth, you are at a greater risk of snoring. Let's have a look at what you can do if you sleep with an open mouth.
What Happens When You Sleep with An Open Mouth?
Breathing through your nose when you sleep is much better. However, there are reasons why some of us can't do this. For instance, we may suffer from nasal polyps or allergies. Allergies affecting the nasal cavities can cause us to sleep with an open mouth. You can reduce your risk of mouth breathing by identifying allergies and using anti-histamines.
One of the most common reasons you snore when sleeping with an open mouth is that your throat membranes dry out. When they become dry, snoring is often the end result. Other reasons include air getting trapped in your windpipe causing vibrations, dust and other particles irritating your airway and a narrowed airway. If you have identified that you are an open mouth breather when you sleep, it is important to do something about it.
Can You Force Yourself to Breathe Through Your Nose?
There are ways you can help yourself to breathe in the correct way. Practicing yoga and tai-chi may help. When you practice yoga, you often do breathing exercises that involve the entire airway including the nasal passage. But, when your problem is more immediate, more physical means may help, for instance, a mouthguard.
Coping With Open Mouth Breathing
The first thing you should do is to visit a doctor. A medical professional can help you identify your health conditions including allergies and nasal polyps. Once they have been ruled out, you could try more direct physical methods.
A chin strap will help you to keep your mouth closed when you sleep. As well as preventing snoring, a chin strap can also help to reduce jaw ache and neck pain often experienced by open mouth breathers. Mouth strips can also help, they hold your lips together when sleeping. It is a low tech and often seen as only a temporary way of making sure your lips stay together as you sleep as a mouth guard is definitely the better option.
As you take these physical measures, you should make sure your bedroom is well ventilated. When you suspect hay fever or a grass pollen allergy is the root cause, you could try one of the many cortisone based sprays available.
This is not a problem that you need to be embarrassed about. The best thing you can do is fix it, using one or more of the recommended methods, results are often seen fast and even just a simple mouth guard can make a huge difference.