My son, Daniel, and I were looking forward to a father-son campout with a church group many years ago. Things went well until that first night. Most of the fathers were in two-man tents with their sons. Just as we began to settle into a peaceful sleep, this roar bellowed forth from one of the tents. A buddy of mine, a bank president no less, was shaking the trees with his snoring! Ah, the things you learn when you camp with buddies. He was sleeping, but no one else was. His poor son. His poor wife! It was the talk of the camp, and not in a positive way, the next morning. His response was a smile and a “Ah, that’s just a sign of a clear conscience!”
Although a bit disturbing or a bit humorous, snoring can actually be the sign of a medical problem. Before consulting a hypnotherapist, a snorer should see a medical doctor to make sure that there is not a physical reason such as an obstruction that requires medical attention. Once physical causes are eliminated, a chronic snorer should seek the effective assistance of a hypnotherapist.
The hypnotherapist has several options to help lessen or even eliminate snoring; we will discuss four of them here. The first is a direct approach. The following three are behavioral changes that have the benefit of lessening the snoring problem.
Often snoring occurs when a person sleeps on his or her back. The airways of back sleepers are less open. This closure restricts air intake and the throat tissues vibrate, creating the snoring. Rolling to the side opens up the airway so that the vibration is reduced or eliminated. Working with a hypnotherapist, clients can actually have their Middle Minds take control when they sleep. After a few sessions, the amazing human mind can learn to simply tell the body to turn to its side if it is on its back. This technique of hypnotherapy has been repeatedly used with great success.
Other factors, physically-related behavioral factors, that a hypnotherapist can alter with hypnosis to reduce snoring include problems with weight, smoking, and alcohol.
Because many overweight people experience breathing problems, they also have a greater chance of snoring. Reducing weight reduces the accumulation of fat around the neck and chest, opening the airway. Lose weight, reduce fat, and reduce snoring. It really is that simple for some. Hypnotherapy as detailed in Chapter 20 is an effective and efficient tool for weight loss to help control that snoring.
Smoking can also exacerbate snoring problems since it leads to the build-up of mucus in the airways and lungs. When a smoker stops the habit, mucus production is slowed, air flow is freer, and the snoring stops. Hypnotherapy is a reliable and effective means to stop smoking, as we will discuss in more detail in the next chapter.
Another culprit tied to snoring is alcohol consumption. Because alcohol is a type of anesthetic, it relaxes the muscles used in breathing a bit too much. A drink or two before bed sets up a night of snoring. Reducing alcohol or using hypnotherapy to alter one’s consumption schedule are both possibilities with therapy. Once the behavior is altered, the snoring is curbed.