The year is winding down and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For most of us, that means festive celebrations, grandma’s out-of-this-world pumpkin pie, and embracing the joys (and trials) of family bonding time.
Excitement is sure to build as the menu planning and guest confirmations progress, but there are also the more sinister behind-the-scenes discussions underway. You know, the high-stakes negotiations that’ll determine who gets to sleep in the room next to the uncle Ted, the notorious relative known for making the walls shake while he sleeps. The one who refuses to wear his CPAP because “he doesn’t want to scare the little ones.”
Ok, dramatic hyperbolic illustrations aside, every family has that one relative who snores so loud that–for those unlucky enough to find themselves within earshot–it’s nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep. For snoring that extreme, there is almost certainly an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed. And a family get-together is the perfect opportunity to empathize and suggest it may be wise to that they visit a sleep specialist to get their sleep evaluated.
For more mild snorers, there are a couple strategies that’ll help stave off a particularly rowdy bout of snoring. Before the tryptophan takes effect and causes an overwhelming urge to lay down on the couch for a nap, suggest or employ–if you’re the offending party–this simple game plan:
Limit alcohol consumption.
While it’s certainly true that alcohol aids in relaxation–and that very property makes it appealing, particularly when Cousin Brutus appears and insists on giving you your annual noogie just like he has since you were seven years old–alcohol also inhibits one’s ability to slip into and stay in a deep, restorative sleep. Partake wisely in the provided spirits, or better yet, stick with the sparkling cider.
Don’t go from the kitchen table to the couch.
Normally, we’d advise you to be mindful of your food intake–both the type and quantity–and that certainly is a key to getting quality sleep on a consistent basis.
But we’d never deprive you of the opportunity to experience the obligatory Thanksgiving food coma. Go ahead, indulge in the smorgasbord of delicious food your loved ones have so expertly prepared. But once dinner is over, don’t just head to the couch to sleep off your overindulgence.
Take it outside instead–play catch with your nieces and nephews, or catch up with your aunt over a stroll around the neighborhood. A little physical activity will help your body’s digestive processes, which in turn will allow you to sleep more soundly.
With the year-ending holiday season approaching, it’s the perfect time to consider what’s ahead for the new year. If you or a loved one has been struggling with persistent snoring or fatigue, or any of these tell-tale sleep apnea symptoms, having sleep evaluated by a sleep specialist, such as Dr. Kent Smith of Sleep Dallas, will help uncover the underlying cause of the sleep issues and is the first step to finding an effective treatment option.