A recent study which was carried out by researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Barcelona, and was funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness says that scientists believe low blood oxygen levels seen in some snorers may encourage the growth of tumours, and that stopping snoring could help people fight cancer.
Rather than looking at snoring alone, the research assessed “sleep-disordered breathing”, a condition where a person has repeated complete or partial obstructions of their airway during sleep (called apnoeas or hypopnoeas), which are linked with snoring.
The researchers found that participants with severe sleep-disordered breathing showed a significantly higher risk of dying of cancer than those with normal sleep breathing.
People with less severe sleep-disordered breathing had no significantly increased risk of dying of cancer.
There are ways to stop snoring, but there is no miracle cure for snoring, however lifestyle changes may help.
Below are tips to stop snoring, however the best option is to see your doctor.
• Maintain a healthy diet and weight. Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
• Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin will probably relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
• Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night's sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
• Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it's difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
• Keep your nasal passages clear so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. Try rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus or olbas oil onto your pillowcase. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, and see your GP if you're affected by an allergy or condition that affects your nose or breathing.
Commercial Stop-Snoring Device
There are a range of stop-snoring treatments and devices on sale. These include nasal strips, which encourage you to breathe through your nose, throat sprays to ease air flow, and devices that reposition the jaw. Your pharmacist can tell you what's available, or visit the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association's website for a list of available products.
For serious cases of snoring, surgery to correct snoring can include fixing structural problems in the nose and removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat.
Researched and Written by Elizabeth SamCoffie (former Animashaun)
NHS Choices, “Snorers 'have higher cancer risk'”
Accessed From - http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/05may/Pages/snoring-sleep-apnoea-cancer-risk.aspx
Accessed – 24/05/2012
NHS Choices, “5 ways to stop snoring”
Accessed From - http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/snoring/Pages/snorertest.aspx
Accessed – 24/05/2012
Javier, N. F., Peppard, P.E., Young, T. (2012), Sleep disordered breathing and cancer mortality: results from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Accessed From - http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/early/2012/05/10/rccm.201201-0130OC.abstract Accessed – 24/05/2012