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Why Can’t You Hear Your Own Snoring?

Is snoring keeping your spouse up at night? Why are you able to sleep at night without being awoken by your own snoring? There’s actually an explanation for this and it has to do with your body’s nervous system.

The Reason Why You Don’t Hear Yourself Snore

man snoring in bed next to woman Your wife or husband reminds you every morning that your snoring kept them up all night. You find this difficult to believe as you have never heard yourself snore. You begin to wonder if you really do snore and if so, why can’t you hear your own snoring while asleep?

This mysterious phenomenon surely has to have an explanation, and it does.

While resting, your nervous system monitors hundreds of different signals in order to sustain life.  Regulating breathing and heart rate are two examples of some of the most important functions that the nervous system handles.

When the body rests, it’s also repairing and rebuilding itself. During this process, certain areas of the brain are momentarily deadened or deactivated. Our ability to hear sound is one function that lessens as we sleep.

In order to get rest and repair itself, the body is able to ignore the non-threatening sound of snoring. Without this capability, the most of us will spend our days sleep deprived.

Why then do we wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, a crying child or an intruder breaking in? Even while asleep, the brain is able to recognize sounds that are out of the ordinary and respond by waking up to evaluate whether or not a true threat is present. In other words, we are able to process sounds selectively while sleeping.

Is Snoring Really A Problem? 

Since you are unable to hear your snoring while asleep, does this mean your snoring is not a problem? Yes, snoring can still be a problem.

If your spouse is unable to fall asleep due to your snoring, they are losing sleep which means that they are waking up less rested which can lead to irritability, daytime tiredness and inability to focus.

Did you know that snoring has consistently ranked as the #1 bedroom nuisance? Over time, a partners snoring can drive them out of the bedroom and onto the couch or a separate bedroom. While sleeping in separate bedrooms was acceptable 200 years ago, it’s far less common today and can lead to marital problems.

The other issue with snoring has to do with your health. In some cases, the act of snoring is a harmless act with the exception of those who it may disturb. In other cases, snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition known as sleep apnea.

While only a doctor can tell you if your snoring is related to sleep apnea, all or some of the following symptoms may be present with sleep apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Breathing pauses and then resumes
  • Daytime sleepiness after resting for 8+ hours
  • Brain fog
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Dry mouth or headaches in the morning
  • Reoccuring awakening

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, speak with your doctor who can further evaluate your health.

How To Stop Snoring

If your snoring is keeping your significant other up while you remain sound asleep, you may want to consider reducing or eliminating your snoring.

First, give the basics a try.

Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side. Many snorers are positional snorers, meaning they only sleep while on their back. By simply changing sleep positions, you may be able to reduce your snoring.

Avoid drinking alcohol before bed. Alcohol is a sedative which causes the airway to relax. A relaxed airway encourages snoring as breathing can become restricted.

If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can be helpful as it will reduce the amount of fat surrounding your airway. Excessive fat in the neck can places pressure on the airway causing a restriction and ultimately cause snoring.

Once you have tried these basics, you may want to consider a more aggressive snoring treatment option.

Snoring mouthpieces are simply a plastic mouthguard that fits into the mouth and holds the tongue, jaw or both forward in order to increase the diameter of the airway and allow for better breathing without snoring. They are fairly inexpensive and are available in a number of different designs.

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