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Is My Diet Related to Snoring?

Thoughtful woman eating sugar in bed

What is snoring?

Snoring is a sound caused by excessive vibration of soft tissue when air passes across it. Many millions of people suffer from this very common condition. In some cases, it can be benign and cause no other health complications. However, it can also point to more serious underlying issues.

What causes snoring?

Snoring can be caused by any factor that inhibits the flow of air during sleep. Most commonly, it occurs as a result of soft tissue blockage in the airway or sinus issues. Various factors contribute to snoring, including age and weight. Diet can also worsen some cases.

Symptoms of snoring

Snoring is characterized by the distinctive noise made by the sufferer during sleep. He or she may be unaware of the problem. In some cases, snorers find out about their condition only when they are informed about it by a bedroom partner.

Although snoring has few direct symptoms, there are signs that can suggest it:

Snoring is sometimes so intense as to wake the person experiencing it. These periods of alertness may be brief, but they can still be enough to significantly reduce the restful quality of sleep. In such cases, the sufferer might encounter fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

Daytime sleepiness can cause serious issues over time. It’s the cause of many millions of dollars in workplace accidents every year, for example. It sometimes leaves sufferers napping during the day and can even be misdiagnosed as a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy.

You might also notice intermittent dryness of the mouth and throat or a sore throat in the morning.

Diet choices related to snoring

Diet is one of the major factors in snoring that you can manage and control. Although it isn’t the biggest influence on whether or not you snore, making a few changes could lead to the reduction of symptoms. Some sufferers find that their snoring subsides entirely.

The biggest dietary issue that impacts snoring is dairy. Dairy consumption causes the body to produce mucus, which in turn contributes to snoring. Mucous buildup can narrow and block the sinuses or drip down into the back of the throat, causing irritation.

Another issue is allergens. Any food-based allergen is likely to cause inflammation and mucous buildup which can last several hours, well into the night. It is important to be aware of your own allergy triggers and eliminate them from your diet the best you can.

Diet changes you can make to help

Sugar
Sugar intensifies the release of cytokines, a molecule closely related to inflammation. Although there’s still much to learn about the effects of sugar, most experts agree that you should avoid both natural and processed sugar to have the greatest impact on snoring.

Wheat
Processed wheat flour is closely associated with molecules that drive inflammation throughout the body, with particular sensitivities toward the airway and sinuses. It also contributes to more mucous, though not as much as the last two items on our list.

High Fat Foods and Dairy
Anything with lots of saturated fat, including bacon, steak, cheeseburgers, and cheeses like brie all accelerate mucous production in a big way. If you’re going to have these meals, it’s best to enjoy them in moderation and time them so you have at least eight hours before sleep.

Allergens
Many people have food allergies they may not even be aware of. If you suspect allergies, it’s best to get a diagnosis through comprehensive food allergy testing. In most cases, it’s advisable to completely remove allergens from your diet.

If you're in need of assistance and looking for a better night's sleep, Contact Eos Sleep for help with your snoring today.

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