As women we spend our whole lives waiting for things to settle down and reach some promised, mythical haven of stability. Demanding careers. Kids. Car maintenance. Pets. Groceries. As we near retirement the promise of that calm and stable haven draws closer. As our outside world starts quieting down, it’s like a bad joke when our bodies then start undergoing rapid changes again and throw everything into disarray.
Menopause can bring hot flashes, plummeting hormone levels, adult acne, and more. These are fairly common and well-known symptoms, and yet there’s another common one that flies under the radar and affects millions of people in the United States alone: Snoring.
You may be one of those millions of women who is surprised to find that after years of snore-less sleep, you are now waking up exhausted with a sore throat. Many people think snoring is merely an embarrassing habit and dismiss snoring as a serious health concern. Yet, snoring can be associated with much more serious problems like obstructive sleep apnea.
Why does snoring happen during and after menopause?
Snoring is a result of a weak upper airway that collapses while you sleep. Changing and decreasing levels of estrogen that occur during menopause can affect all sorts of things like decreased muscle tone, resulting in a late onset of snoring.
What else can happen as a result of snoring?
Women who snore may find total sleep duration is shortened and the quality of sleep significantly declines. This can trigger insomnia, depression, anxiety, additional weight gain, and other unwanted side effects.
How is snoring treated?
Your doctor may recommend estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since many menopausal symptoms stem from changing and decreasing levels of estrogen. Though these therapies can have their own negative side effects like:
- Digestive problems
- Menopausal symptoms
- Hair thinning
- Muscle and bone changes
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
Is there a way to treat snoring naturally?
Common natural remedies for snoring include:
- supplements (like Ashwagandha extract)
- external devices (like oral devices and pillows)
- Changing sleeping positions
- limiting consumption of snore-inducing things like alcohol (that can relax the tongue and throat) and milk (that coats the throat in mucus)
I don’t like that “natural” remedies for snoring involve external devices. How can I empower my own body to sleep better by itself?
Regular exercises for 15 minutes a day over six weeks can strengthen and tone the upper airway muscles that cause snoring. Soundly is an innovative new sleep solution that has been clinically proven to reduce snoring. Soundly is an app that makes these exercises into a game played right from your phone. No needles or wearable devices needed – just your own body! Try it out today.