There are a few things that you can do in your sleep that can embarrass you. One of them is snoring.
Sure, everybody snores now and again, and snoring isn’t something you should typically worry about. However, in some rare cases, snoring can prove severe and cause feelings of embarrassment, and also cause issues for those around them.
Some mundane and common lifestyle factors may be causing you to snore, from sleep deprivation to sleeping on your back. However, sometimes the culprit responsible for this unpleasant experience might be something you would never have guessed. Something like a double chin.
Yes, that’s right. The mischievous culprit responsible for obstructing your breathing during sleep might just be that so-called double chin.
Read on to discover how and why it happens and ways to prevent it.
But First: What is Snoring?
Snoring is the sound made when the body’s respiratory structures vibrate due to an obstruction in breathing during sleep.
Affecting nearly 60% of men and 40% of women in the United States, snoring is fairly common and is considered almost normal as several factors can cause it.
However, it can also point to serious medical conditions, especially conditions related to sleep or breathing disorders.
Snores can come in different sounds. They can be loud, unpleasant, or soft.
So What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused when two parts of the respiratory system, the uvula, and soft palate, relax and partially block the airway.
When these muscles relax during sleep, the air we inhale and exhale cause them to loosen up and flutter like a flag in the wind.
There are various reasons why people snore. Some people are more prone to snoring because of their genetic predisposition, especially regarding their body physiology, while others snore as a result of other lifestyle habits such as alcohol intake or sleeping on your back.
Listed below are some factors that can put you at a higher risk of snoring:
- Smoking and high alcohol intake
- Sleep deprivation
- Taking relaxants that relax the muscles
- Breathing through your mouth
- Mispositioned jaw
- A high-fat content around the throat
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
Now, to the million-dollar question…
Can A Double Chin Cause Snoring?
The simple and short answer is yes, having a double chin can cause snoring.
We mentioned earlier that people with high fat around their throats are more prone to snoring.
A double chin is usually an extra layer of fat or tissue under the chin. This layer of tissue sits where the jawbone usually should be, right below the chin.
While the most common cause of a double chin is obesity, a bone deficiency in people with average weight can also be responsible. In cases like this, the jaw bone isn’t projected outward enough, which will make it seem like the chin is extending into the neck.
For either category of people, the extra layer of tissue around their throat can narrow their airways and make it harder for air to flow outwards and inwards during sleep, causing snoring.
Tips On How To Reduce Snoring Caused By A Double Chin
1. Lose Weight
If your double chin is caused by obesity, then the surest way to reduce snoring is to lose weight. By losing weight, the extra layer of fat around your throat will also reduce, leaving your airway more open.
2. Correct The Double Chin With Surgery
In cases where the double chin is caused by bone deficiency, an orthognathic surgery can be carried out to make the jaws more prominent and reduce the layer of fat around the chin, which will help prevent snoring.
3. Use Pressurized Air Masks
There are special masks you can wear to keep the airway open when you sleep.
It also helps that there are different types of these masks for different types of needs. You must liaise with your medical advisor to get one of these masks, and to see whether you actually need one or not.
4. Use An Oral Appliance
A double chin causes fat or tissues that should have been attached to the jaw to attach to the chin instead.
A doctor may prescribe an oral appliance which can help advance the lower jaw and keep the tissues from obstructing proper airflow.
5. Get An Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
It’s a mouthful we know!
A UPPP is used to remove excess tissue around the throat in order to allow air to flow more easily along the airways.
It has been confirmed that this method is particularly effective in reducing snoring. Only your doctor will know whether you are a candidate for a UPPP or not.
Does A Double Chin Cause Snoring: Other Tips to Stop Snoring
1. Change Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back puts you at a higher risk of snoring. This is because sleeping on your back puts your tongue in a position where it can roll to the back of your throat and block your airways.
Changing your sleeping position to your side may prove beneficial. In addition, you can add a body pillow to support this sleeping position.
Also, sleeping in an elevated position can help keep your airways open. You can use body risers or pillows to give you extra height.
2. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a relaxant. When drinking before sleep, alcohol can relax the muscles and cause them to obstruct the airways. Reducing your alcohol intake will prevent the muscles from relaxing and causing snoring – as we’ve written about before.
3. Sleep Regularly
One of the most common and proven causes of snoring is sleep deprivation. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you weaken your body and muscles so that when you later end up sleeping, your weakened respiratory muscles flap down and obstruct your airways.
4. Treat Allergies
Allergies can affect your respiratory system and restrict airflow.
If you have allergies, try to avoid them and treat them quickly.
5. Avoid Sedatives
Sedatives also help relax the muscles, which can lead to snoring. Avoiding sedatives before bed can help to reduce snoring.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking puts pressure on your lungs and makes breathing more difficult. It can contribute to, or worsen, your snoring.
Does A Double Chin Cause Snoring: Our Final Thoughts
Snoring isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it can evoke feelings of irritability and confusion.
Most people are aware of the general causes of snoring. Many, however, do not know that a double chin can cause snoring too. Fortunately, there are helpful tips like above, that if followed correctly, can help to reduce snoring caused by a double chin.