As the holidays roll around again, there are probably many things you’re looking forward to: turkey, ham, pie, and, of course, spending time with all the family you might not see for the rest of the year. However, there might be one thing you’re not looking forward to: snoring. Whether you experience snoring every year around the holidays or it’s a new feature this year, there are some common reasons why your snoring might be worse around the holidays. 

These solutions might help reduce your snoring around the holidays, but if you find that you now snore regularly, Fort Atkinson sleep dentist Dr. Jennifer Stafford can help. At Bite Align, we offer effective snoring treatment that can help you and everyone else sleep soundly all night long. 

Too Much Talking

man sleeping peacefullyWhen you get together with family and friends you don’t see very often, you have a lot to catch up on. Even more so now if it’s been a few more years since getting together. Then there’s all the reminiscing that just happens naturally when you get together with the people who’ve known you all your life. 

There is little that’s so heartwarming as this time spent with the people that know you best. However, it’s not that surprising to find yourself a little hoarse by the end of the day. This can contribute to your snoring. Throat irritation from too much talking can make your throat swell.

This swelling narrows your airway and restricts the flow of air when you’re breathing. The restricted airflow causes turbulence, which causes vibrations in your nose or throat tissue, which creates the sound of snoring. 

If this is the primary cause of your snoring, it should subside if you spend a day or so resting your voice. 

Holiday Pounds

Despite our best efforts, almost all of us put on a little extra weight around the holidays. There are so many holiday treats all around all the time that it’s hard not to. Massive dinners and tasty leftovers, sumptuous desserts, and delectable snacks all contribute to an average weight gain of 1-2 pounds over the holidays. 

The problem is that these holiday pounds can lead to snoring. Fat deposits on your tongue and throat can weigh down your airway. This extra weight can cause your airway to sag during sleep. Sagging narrows your airway, leading to turbulence that we hear as snoring. 

If you can avoid holiday weight gain or shed those pounds in the New Year, you might see snoring go away. 

Drinking More & Drinking Late

One of the biggest contributors to snoring year-round is alcohol consumption too close to bedtime. Drinking close to bedtime causes your airway muscles to relax, which lets the airway sag and narrow, leading to turbulence and snoring. 

Around the holidays, people often drink more than they do the rest of the year. In fact, many people only drink around the holidays. In addition, people who normally stop drinking around dinnertime might find themselves drinking late at night, especially on New Year’s Eve. This means there’s a lot more snoring around this time of year. 

To combat this cause of snoring, make sure you aren’t drinking too much, and try to stop drinking alcohol at least three hours before bedtime. 

Colds, Flu, & Other Illness

There’s no way to stop viruses from spreading when people get together. When your family gets together from all around the country, they bring their local viruses with them. This might include colds you likely haven’t been exposed to yet. Not to mention different strains of the flu. Plus, there’s the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surge and lingering incidence of COVID-19. This can lead to everybody being more than a little sick within a few days of any get-together.

Common symptoms like inflammation and excess mucus production can narrow your airway, too, which leads to snoring. Sometimes it’s bad enough that you start breathing through your mouth at night, which can make your snoring a lot louder than usual. 

Food & Other Allergies

Allergies can also cause inflammation of your airways. Many people have minor food allergies that they aren’t aware of. Around the holidays, you eat many foods that you don’t eat the rest of the year, so if you have an allergy to one of these foods, it might only become an issue at this time of year. 

If you travel for the holidays, you might expose yourself to an entirely different set of allergens. Dust, pollen, and pet dander you aren’t normally exposed to can all cause an allergic reaction, and that can make you snore more. 

Being around More Smokers

Smoking is a major airway irritant. If you aren’t a smoker and don’t hang around smokers most of the time, you might not be prepared for how much smoking can affect you. You might even think it’s fine to take a few puffs yourself when you’re with smoking family members. However, you and others around you will hear it at night. 

If smoke exposure is the problem, try to limit time around smokers in your family and friend group. It might take a few days to clear up, but once you’re away from smoke, your snoring should resolve. 

There’s Someone to Hear

Another possibility is that your snoring isn’t actually worse around the holidays; there are just more people to hear you snore. Maybe you live alone or have a sleeping partner who can sleep through your snoring. You might be surprised at how sharing a home with different people leads to everyone complaining about your snoring. 

If this is the case, you should consider getting a test for sleep apnea, which is common in people who snore loudly. 

Snoring Treatment in Fort Atkinson

If your snoring is more than just a seasonal thing, it’s time to consider snoring treatment. Snoring isn’t just a nuisance. Loud snoring is associated with sleep apnea, and it has some serious health risks of its own. If you are a loud snorer, you should be tested for sleep apnea, then seek appropriate treatment. Unlike over-the-counter remedies, Bite Align in Fort Atkinson offers effective snoring treatments so you can sleep quietly and peacefully at night. 

Please call (920) 563-7323 or use our online form to request an appointment at Bite Align in Fort Atkinson, across the street from Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, near the Johnson Bank.