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One of the reasons women start to snore with the menopause is the drop in the hormone estrogen.
This affects the sensory nerves in the soft palate, causing it to lose muscle and become flaccid.
It’s all to do with the circulation of air through our mouth, nose and throat.
When we’re awake our passage ways tend to be open so it’s easy to get around, but often when we fall asleep, the area at the back of the throat narrows, restricting movement.
This causes a vibration of the nasal and oral tissues, resulting in the snoring sound.
Snoring is usually loud when people sleep on their backs, so often if they change position and sleep on their sides, this provides a snoring solution. If you wake in the morning with headaches, and morning fatigue this can be a sign you’ve had sleep apnea.
It’s a breathing problem where people snore really loudly, and then there are long silences, where the snorer actually stops breathing. These episodes affect the quality of your sleep, and you wake feeling exhausted.
It can be extremely dangerous, because snoring combined with apnoea can increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and give you an enlarged heart.
Women often experience weight gain during the menopause. Sometimes known as Buddha belly, the fat squashes your internal organs and puts pressure on the diaphragm making it harder to breathe.
You have to force the air in and out, which results in snoring.
Here are a few things you can do -
If you’ve ever shared a room with a snorer you’ll know it can put a great strain on relationships. In fact, my son nearly got killed because of his snoring, and you can read my article here.
Apart from being annoying, this embarrassing, unwanted behaviour can also lead to health problems. Snorers often suffer from hypertension, heart abnormalities, and sleep disorders.
It’s not confined to overweight older men either, and now approximately 30% of women snore.
Snoring is certainly something to address because of the social and health aspects.