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There are many pathologies that affect sleep. However, those that affect the partner more than the sleeper are rare. This is why Au Bon Repos has decided to focus on the particular case of snoring, also known as ronchopathy.

Why do we snore?

Snoring occurs when breathing in and it is the passage of air through the pharynx that causes this noise. More precisely, when you sleep, the muscles relax, causing the walls of the pharynx to collapse. This in turn leads to a partial obstruction of the pharynx and thus to a more difficult passage of air.

Snoring is a real question of anatomy, because although everyone experiences slackening when sleeping, it does not mean that everyone snores. Some factors are more conducive to snoring than others. Being overweight, for example, has a direct impact on ronchopathy, as it causes the airways to narrow and therefore further obstructs the passage of air. Nasal congestion, caused by colds or allergies, also plays a role as it forces the sleeper to breathe exclusively through the mouth. Finally, drinking alcohol or taking sedatives are also aggravating factors in snoring because they increase muscle relaxation.

How serious is snoring?

Snoring does not represent a health risk, except possibly for the sleep of a partner who may suffer from chronic insomnia (on this subject, see our article on insomnia). In fact, a "normal" snore reaches the same decibels as a voice, while major snoring can reach those of a passing truck. Under these conditions, it is not difficult to imagine the noise pollution for the person sleeping in the same room. For the sleeper, on the other hand, his snoring has no impact on the quality of his sleep.

However, in some cases the sleeper may also develop a less benign disease: sleep apnoea. Indeed, according to the INSV, nearly 8% of the population suffers from this sleep pathology, which is characterized by frequent stops in breathing and major snoring. Unlike "classic" snoring, sleep apnoea has a real impact on sleep since it prevents the sleeper from reaching deep sleep (since with each apnoea the sleeper wakes up), causing fatigue and drowsiness. In addition, it can lead to more serious illnesses such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

How to stop snoring?

As with everything, the best remedy is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is therefore strongly advised to watch your weight, avoid alcohol consumption, and no smoking. It is also wise to treat your allergies and try to sleep on your side rather than on your back. If these techniques do not work, you can turn to orthodontic device at night or, as a last resort, soft tissue surgery. In all cases, a consultation with an ENT specialist is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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