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‘I’m snoring constantly and it’s keeping me from getting sleep. How can I stop?’

‘I’m snoring constantly and it’s keeping me from getting sleep. How can I stop?’

Jared’s, 25, snoring is so bad that his girlfriend won’t let him sleep in the same room as her. He is about 100 pounds overweight, and several members of his family are also obese and have diabetes. Is there anything he can do to reduce or eliminate his snoring?

My advice:

First of all, you have to realize your obesity is the primary cause of your snoring issues. This is because excess fat around the nose, sinuses and throat changes the shape and behavior of the windpipe, which promotes the flapping of tissue that causes snoring. At your height (5’8”) and weight (250 lbs.), your neck is probably 18 inches; this diameter needs to be reduced to around 15 inches in order to lower your risk of snoring.

Given your height and weight, I would bet there’s about an 80% chance you also have sleep apnea. That means your airway temporarily becomes blocked during the night, leading to a build-up of carbon dioxide and a sudden gasp for breath that disrupts sleep.  The sleep disruption leads to all sorts of bad things that can cause you to feel tired, mentally sluggish, and ill-tempered during the day.  But sleep apnea is also a problem Because testosterone is made at night during the deepest stages of sleep. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, then you’re not producing enough testosterone. If you aren’t producing enough testosterone, then you will gain more weight, and increase your risk of heart disease above what it already is — which is significant.

What I want you to do is look up a sleep study lab, where they can see if you have sleep apnea. If you do, they can give you something called a CPAC machine. This is a continuous pressure-assisted device used to help aid sleep. This should help alleviate the snoring and help you sleep better.

Then, you need to make some lifestyle changes. I need to get you to stop eating breads, pizza, pasta, cookies and cake. This stuff isn’t food, it’s filler. I know that members of your family have diabetes, but this doesn’t mean you will necessarily have to live with this disease if you start paying better attention to your diet. Next, I need you to walk 10,000 steps a day. This isn’t as much as you think. Most folks walk about 7,000 steps a day, I just need you to walk a little more.

I also need you to go to your doctor and get some tests to find out your five numbers. This means, find out what your blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, PSA, and testosterone numbers are. If it turns out you have low testosterone, your doctor can give you more testosterone so that you’ll be able to work out more effectively without getting tired.

If you’re going to do this right, then you need to have a real commitment to exercising and staying healthy. But if you take these steps, you’ll be able to return to sleeping with your girlfriend—which is a great motivation to have!

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