Connection between smoking and snoring
A burning topic of today’s date is smoking and snoring, a fallout of a stressful lifestyle. If you are a smoker, I am sure you want to know the answers to the questions can smoking cause snoring or can smoking weed cause snoring. Well, let me tell you the answer. Snoring and smoking cigarettes are closely linked.
I am sure over the years, people have given you many reasons to stop inhale cigarette smoke. We all know the facts that it is injurious to health, it can cause cancer, etc. However, if your partner is irritated with you for the snoring, smoking can be one of the main causes of it.
As per research, smoking is a major contributor to snoring and affects up to 33% of men and 19% of women worldwide. Through various surveys, it has been found that 24% of smokers and 20% of ex-smokers are affected by habitual snoring. In fact, smoke inhaling is directly related to snoring.
The more people smoke, the more people snore. However, although it is true that smokers are more prone to this problem, it is not necessary that if you don’t smoke, you will not snore. Another interesting fact is that male smokers tend to snore more than female smokers.
Can smoking cause snoring?
So, now let us understand why a smoker is prone to snoring. Basically, the smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco causes inflammation of the tissues lining the airway.
The smoke irritates and inflames the upper airways, making a person snore. It is also believed that smokers with overnight nicotine withdrawal have more sleep instability which leads to an increase in the risk of upper airway obstruction.
This can also cause swelling or narrowing of the airway due to which air flows more turbulently.
The disruption of the airway, especially the nasal passage and throat can have many consequences. It can cause air congestion, which can lead to vibration as the air moves through the passage. This, in turn, causes the irritating noise.
Several studies have been conducted to understand the risk of snoring among smokers. In one study, it has been found that the risk is 2.3 times greater among smokers than non-smokers. It has also been found that the risk is higher in current smokers than former smokers or no smokers.
It has been observed that the heavy smoking is directly related to the risk of snoring. The more you smoke, cigarettes or cigars, the more is the risk. In fact, a person who smokes 2 packets of cigarette a day has a higher risk compared to a person who smokes only a few cigarettes a week.
Smoking causes sleep apnea
Smokers have a risk much greater than this as well. It is a proven fact that inhaling cigars smoke causes sleep apnea, a serious disease which can lead to stroke or heart fail. Sleep apnea is a sever disorder due to which a person stops breathing several times while sleeping. This can lead to several grave diseases, even a heart fail or stroke.
Things can get worse. Smoking, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is closely related. When a person snores or suffers from apnea, the person stops breathing in the middle of sleep due to congestion in the air passage. In fact, a person can stop breathing for as long as 10 seconds while sleeping. Moreover, this phenomenon can happen up to 100 times each night.
Due to stoppage of breathing, the oxygen supply to the person’s body gets hampered due to which the brain wakes the body up during sleep. Hence, a snorer ends up getting a disturbed sleep. This hampers the daily activities of the person, including work, studies, and even family life. There are fewer instances where people have started suffering from apnea after quitting the usage of cigarettes.
Sleep apnea, once contracted is difficult to cure, especially if there is a nasal congestion caused by any reason. It can be brought under control through the use of a machine called Sleep Cube. A sleep cube is a machine that works through the mechanism of Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Basically, it is a machine fitted with a mask which the person suffering from sleep apnea has to put on while sleeping. It opens the airway passage of a person and helps in the movement of air into the rest of the body.
Nicotine and snoring
This is not all, a smoker can also suffer from nicotine withdrawal during bedtime, which is believed to contribute to snoring as well, although the effects are not fully understood. Nicotine withdrawal is basically the urge for nicotine while sleeping. Nicotine is an active ingredient and the body becomes dependent on it. This may cause you to awaken suddenly while sleeping or even insomnia.
Moreover, nicotine is a stimulant. If you smoke very close to the bedtime, you may face difficulties in falling asleep as well. However, it is also true that some people say that smoking makes them feel sleepy. Inhaling smoke relieves them from daily stress and causes them to relax, helping them to sleep well. But honestly, the number of such cases are not too high.
Smoking and sleep is closely related. This bad habit affects the basic sleep structure which is commonly known as sleep architecture. This architecture is basically the stages that one experiences during sleep. Smoking fragments sleep, the person will start snore and finally leads to insomnia.
Through studies, it has been seen that smokers take a longer time to fall asleep than non-smokers. They sleep less and snore more. However, those who quit smoking stopped snoring and for them, the differences in sleep architecture do not persist. People who have never smoked have a better sleep structure in general than people who smoke.
Snoring and pot smoking
Now let me come to another burning topic, snoring after smoking weed. Snoring and pot smoking is closely related. While weed is a muscle relaxant and it may get you a good night’s sleep, it causes snoring because it is a muscle relaxant. Due to relaxation, the tongue falls back on the throat, causing a blockage in the nasal air passage which leads to increased sound. Hence, you snore more for the time period you feel high due to the intake of weed.
Stop smoking and snoring
Now that I have answered the question how can smoking cigarettes cause snoring, let me tell you how to control or stop snoring as well. Here are a few things you can do:
Quit or reduce the intake of smoke and alcohol
Does quitting smoking stop snoring? I have already explained in detail how smoking can cause you to snore and how quitting can help. There are innumerable cases how reducing smoking has helped stop it. There are very few cases where people started snoring after quitting smoking.
Along with smoking, reduce the intake of alcohol as well. Alcohol like weed is a muscle relaxant. Alcohol makes your tongue numb, causing it to roll back while sleeping. This blocks the air passage causing you to snore. Hence, control alcohol intake, especially at least 4 hours before going to bed.
Shed those extra pounds
Do you carry a few extra pounds in your body? Smoking can be a major reason for it as well. Smoking reduces the intake of oxygen into your body since it burns the oxygen in the body. Decreased oxygen into the body means lower metabolism rate, which is the main culprit for weight gain.
Change the sleeping position
You tend to snore more when you are lying on your back and when you smoke weed and pass out on the bed, it is most likely that you will lie on your back. When you lie on your back, your tongue rolls back and blocks the nasal passageway.
Instead, if you practice sleeping on your side, you will snore less. Use pillows to prevent yourself from rolling back. With regards to sleeping position, another good way of preventing it is to raise the head of the bed.
When the head is at a higher elevation than the rest of the body, the tissues inside the throat do not fall back blocking the air passage and thus you won’t snore. If the bed is not flexible, use pillows to ensure your head is at a higher elevation than the rest of the body.
Keep the room clean and humid
Allergens and pollen are a big reason why people snore. They cause irritation in the throat, causing a person to snore. Keep the bedroom clean, change the sheets and pillow covers regularly.
If you use fans, clean the blades of the fans regularly. The filter of the air conditioner stores dust particles. Clean the air filters at least once a month.
Another reason why people snore is dryness. Dryness in the room causes irritation of the throat due to which people snore. Use a humidifier to keep the room moist while sleeping. If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier, take a bath just before going to sleep. That will keep your skin moist and reduce the discomfort to a great extent.
Use external help
While the above methods are tips which can help, they are not foolproof. However, if you want a foolproof method to stop this habit, I strongly suggest using products to help you stop snoring.
Technology has advanced and thus modern machines are now available for helping you control snoring. These devices are handy, portable and most importantly, they will not disturb your sleep. If you use a bulky machine, you will not be able to sleep well, at the end of the day. However, the devices available today are so light and user-friendly, that you will not feel a thing while sleeping.
Smoking actually causes more harm than we think it does. While quitting smoking is no easy task, once done, it can do a lot of good to your body.
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