Why You Snore and How to Prevent It
Approximately 1 in 2 people snore. A number of factors can contribute to snoring.
The physiological cause is vibrations in your airway. The relaxed tissues in your upper respiratory tract vibrate when you breathe, producing the characteristic snoring sound.
Snoring is often harmless. If you snore occasionally, you may not need an intervention.
More frequent or chronic snoring may be a sign of a serious health condition, such as sleep apnea. If left untreated, this could lead to sleep deprivation, heart disease, and hypertension.
Knowing why or how often you snore can help you determine the best treatment option. Depending on your needs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, medical devices, and even lifestyle changes may help relieve your symptoms.
What Causes Snoring?
There are many reasons why you may snore. Because of this, there isn’t a single diagnosis or treatment plan for snoring.
These factors may put you at higher risk for snoring:
- Age:Snoring is more common as you get older.
- Gender:Men are more likely to snore than women.
- Weight:Being overweight causes more tissue to develop in the throat, which can contribute to snoring.
- A small airway: You may be more likely to snore if you have a narrow upper respiratory tract.
- Genetics:You may be at higher risk for sleep apnea if someone in your family also has it.
- Infections or allergies:Infections and seasonal allergies can cause inflammation in your throat, which can lead to snoring.
- Alcohol consumption:Drinking alcohol may relax your muscles, leading to snoring.
- Sleep position:Snoring may be more frequent when sleeping on your back.
You may be able to reduce or prevent future snoring if you:
Try an OTC medication
Intranasal decongestants, such as oxymetazoline (Zicam), and intranasal steroid sprays, such as fluticasone (Cutivate), can help alleviate snoring. This is especially true if your snoring is caused by a cold or allergies.
Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, which may contribute to snoring. Try skipping alcohol consumption altogether, especially in the hours before you go to sleep.
Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your back may cause you to snore. When relaxed, your tongue can fall back into your throat and cause your airway to become smaller, leading to snoring. Sleeping on your side can help prevent your tongue from blocking your airway.
Use a mouthpiece
If OTC medications aren’t working, you may want to consider a mouthpiece. Removable mouthpieces can be fitted to your mouth to keep your jaw, tongue, and soft palate in place to prevent snoring. You’ll need to have regular checkups with your dentist to make sure the mouthpiece is working over time.
Being overweight has been linked to snoring. Implementing a healthy diet and getting frequent exercise may help you shed pounds and reduce your snoring. If you’re overweight, talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan. In addition to reduced snoring, maintaining a healthy weight can help control hypertension, improve lipid profiles, and decrease your risk of diabetes.
Use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
A CPAP machine pumps air into your airway overnight, decreasing symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. It also helps keep your airway open. In order for the apparatus to work, you need to wear an oxygen mask while sleeping. This may take some time to get used to, but it can help clear your symptoms right away. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your insurance may pay for your CPAP machine.
Explore surgical options
There are also several surgical options that may help you stop snoring. Some involve modifying the airway. This can be done by inserting filament into your soft palate, trimming the excess tissue in your throat, or shrinking the tissue in your soft palate. Talk to your doctor to see if surgical interventions are right for you.
When to see a Doctor
If your snoring is frequent, talk to your doctor. You may have sleep apnea or another serious condition. Your doctor will be able to conduct tests or even a sleep study to determine your snoring patterns.
The following symptoms may be a sign that your snoring is more frequent or severe:
- waking frequently during sleep
- napping frequently
- having difficulty with memory or concentrating
- feeling sleepy during the day
- having a sore throat
- gasping for air or choking during sleep
- experiencing chest pain or high blood pressure
After your doctor establishes your snoring frequency, you can work together to create a treatment plan to help with your symptoms.
All About Magnesium
Magnesium is a crucial mineral for many functions in your body, including energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It also contributes to proper brain function, bone health, and heart and muscle activity.
Magnesium is found naturally in foods like nuts, leafy green vegetables, and milk products.
Supplementing with this vital nutrient has been linked to many benefits, including constipation relief and improved blood sugar regulation and sleep.
Types of magnesium supplements
Many forms of magnesium supplements are available.
The most important thing to consider before deciding on a supplement is its absorption rate, or how well the supplement is absorbed by your body.
Here are brief descriptions of the most common magnesium supplements.
Magnesium gluconate comes from the magnesium salt of gluconic acid. In rats, it has been shown to have the highest absorption rate among other types of magnesium supplements.
Magnesium oxide has the highest amount of elemental, or actual, magnesium per weight. However, it’s poorly absorbed. Studies have found that magnesium oxide is essentially insoluble in water, making absorption rates low.
In magnesium citrate, magnesium in salt form is combined with citric acid. Magnesium citrate is absorbed relatively well by the body and has high solubility in water, meaning it mixes well with liquid.
Magnesium citrate is found in pill form and commonly used as a saline laxative before a colonoscopy or major surgery.
Like magnesium gluconate and citrate, magnesium chloride has been observed to be well absorbed by the body.
It’s also available as an oil that can be applied topically, but further studies are needed to fully understand how well magnesium in this form is absorbed through the skin.
Magnesium glycinate has been shown to have a relatively good absorption rate with less of a laxative effect.
This is likely because it’s absorbed in a different area of your intestine, compared with many other forms of magnesium supplements.
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Magnesium hydroxide, also known as milk of magnesia, is commonly used as a laxative to treat constipation and in some antacids to treat heartburn.
Magnesium aspartate is another common magnesium supplement that is highly absorbable by the human body.
Chardonnay Glazed Carrots
For a fresh twist on this classic Thanksgiving side dish, glaze carrots with verjus, the pressed juice from unripe grapes; it has a sweet-tart flavor and is similar to, but less sharp than, vinegar.
- 2 pounds assorted carrots
- 1 cup Chardonnay verjus or 3/4 cup white grape juice plus 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sliced chives
- Step 1 Peel large carrots. Slice carrots lengthwise and/or crosswise. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add verjus, honey, butter, salt, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling, stirring to combine. Add carrots; return to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring often, until carrots are tender and glaze thickens.
- Step 2 Remove from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 8 servings.
Per Serving:156 calories, (2 g saturated fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 314 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 1 g protein.
10 Health Benefits of Drinking Wine
As you pour a glass of red wine at Thanksgiving dinner, add wine & health to your list of things to be thankful for!
1. IT BOOSTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
While you probably shouldn’t stop taking your daily vitamins, drinking a glass of wine daily can give your immune system a boost. Moderate alcohol consumption can ward off infections and keep your immune system in check.
Don’t get too carried away, though. Excessive consumption can lead to negative effects that defeat the whole purpose or drinking wine for an immunity boost.
2. IT INCREASES BONE DENSITY
As we get older, our bones get more brittle. You could increase your calcium intake by drinking milk, or you can do yourself a real favor and sip on a relaxing glass of wine.
Red wine has high levels of silicon, which is great for your bone mineral density. It increases the density and reduces the chance of osteoporosis. And like warm milk, it may help you doze off at night.
3. IT CONTAINS ANTIOXIDANTS
In the battle against fighting off free radicals that cause terrible health problems such as cancer, wine could be your answer. Wine is full of antioxidants that attack free radicals when they come lurking around. When choosing your wine for antioxidants, go with white.
A study done by the University of Barcelona scientists found that the phenols in white wine had equal, if not higher antioxidants, than those in red wine. This is interesting because wine drinkers commonly believe red wine provides the most health benefits in moderate amounts.
4. IT REDUCES THE RISK OF STROKE
Moderate consumption of wine – and alcohol in general – can prevent blood clotting. Wine acts as a natural blood thinner, breaking up any blood clots that could lead to a stroke. This lower risk of blood clotting is more beneficial to females than males.
Red wine, in particular, contains phenols that act as a blood thinner in a similar regard to aspirin – and resveratrol is mostly to thank. A study done by John Hopkins University Medical Center found that resveratrol found in red grape skins could protect against stroke when the grapes were turned into wine.
Beware, while light to moderate consumption may be good in preventing a stroke, heavy drinkers are more likely to have the opposite effect, resulting in a higher risk of heart attacks, not a lower risk. Like all good things in life, moderation is key.
5. IT REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE
In the battle against heart disease, taking all necessary precautions is well worth it – especially when it involves wine. The tannins found in red wine contain procyanidins – phenols which neutralize free radicals – that have shown to be effective in preventing cardiovascular disease.
According to WebMD, a study by researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa tested the effects of red wine on the health of blood vessels. What they found after 21 consecutive days of consumption was that blood vessel cell health was enhanced, improving the flow of blood. This increases the health of the heart, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
So the lesson is, if you want a healthy heart, bite the bullet and drink a glass of wine. While the American Heart Association does not support drinking for nondrinkers or those at risk of alcoholism, those who already imbibe may continue light drinking for positive heart health.
6. IT CAN LOWER CHOLESTEROL
Have bad cholesterol and no dietary guidelines? Pour a bowl of your Cheerios in the morning and stick to wine at night. Those procyanidins in red wine that promote a healthy heart also promote lower cholesterol.
Resveratrol also decreases LDL – bad cholesterol – while increasing the HDL – good cholesterol. This also means that red wine benefits blood pressure, so if you’re suffering from high blood pressure, it’s best to pour a glass. If you’re having trouble keeping your cholesterol levels on the good side, sip on a daily glass of medicinal red wine.
7. IT REDUCES THE RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Let’s face it, diabetes flat out sucks. You can’t indulge in cravings without first considering the health repercussions that result in more than a larger waistline. The good news is that if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, wine may help.
Resveratrol has been proven to improve sensibility to insulin. With insulin resistance contributing to type 2 diabetes risk, a nice glass of wine makes the list of things you can enjoy.
8. IT REDUCES THE RISK OF CANCER
In the battle against cancer, wine may is on your side. The risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer can be reduced by drinking a glass of wine. The antioxidants combat nasty free radicals that allow cancer to thrive. Red wine especially is beneficial, as the resveratrol that fights against heart disease also fights against cancerous cells.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that:
“Men who drink an average of four to seven glasses of red wine per week are only 52 percent as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who do not drink red wine. In addition, red wine appears particularly protective against advanced or aggressive cancers.”
Not that we need another excuse to drink wine, but if it can help against the vicious battle against cancer, then we’ll happily pour a glass. If you’re looking for a red high in resveratrol, then opt for a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon.
9. IT IMPROVES COGNITIVE FUNCTION
It may sound crazy, but drinking a glass of wine is like food for the brain. Drinking a single glass has shown to improve brain function. The chemicals in red wine prevent the brain’s neurons from dying off.
As a result, it protects the brain from dementia while slowing the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The next time you do your brain exercises, drink a glass of wine to help you gear up.
10. IT PROMOTES LONGEVITY
When you hear about healthy living and longevity, time and time again the Mediterranean diet comes up. At the core of that diet, beyond olive oil and vegetables, is wine. There is something magical inside the daily glass of wine that increases life span. And that magical thing is resveratrol.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that resveratrol activates a protein that acts as an anti-aging agent. The interaction increases overall health, thus promoting longevity. If a decreased mortality rate is not enough reason to drink a glass of wine, then I don’t know what else it.
Speaking of Wine…
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