What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when there is partial obstruction (restriction) of the free flow of air through the nose, mouth and throat during sleep. The snoring sound occurs when loose structures like the uvula and soft palate vibrate as rapid air passes over them. This can get worse when the throat muscles are too relaxed either from drugs that induce sleep or alcohol consumption. Fat deposits, in a large neck, narrow the airway making the person more prone to snoring & sleep apnea.
Medically, snoring may be the precursor of obstructive sleep apnea which has been linked to a decreased quality of life, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and even erectile dysfunction. In its own right, snoring, a noise produced primarily when breathing in during sleep due to vibration of the of the soft palate, uvula and other tissues, has been linked to Stroke and Type II Diabetes.
Sleep apnea interrupts loud snoring with a period of silence in which no air passes into the lungs. Eventually the lack of oxygen and the increase in carbon dioxide in the blood stream will awaken you forcing the airway to open with a loud gasp. Individuals are usually not awake long enough to remember these episodes leaving them to wonder why they have morning headaches and feel tired and sleepy all day.
Does your sleeping partner complain that you snore and wake yourself during the night to catch your breath? Do you feel un-rested in the morning, even when you feel you have slept through the entire night? Your snoring may be more serious that you think. Let’s take a closer look at the world’s most common nighttime nuisance.
It’s estimated that 87 million Americans snore and 45 million of them snore every night. More than 40% of adults over 40 snore. The problem is noticeably worse as people age and become increasingly overweight. Loud snoring actually eclipses the threshold for ear protection in the work place.
Isn’t snoring just a normal sleep habit?
Since it’s so common, most people assume when you snore it is only a nuisance to the bed partner and harmless to the snorer. That’s wrong on both counts. Besides being disruptive to bed partners sleep and stressing relationships, snoring is a sleep-breathing disorder and can lead to serious sleep related health problems.
Snoring & Relationships
Snoring can disrupt marriages, divide married couples and cause sleepless nights for bed partners. “Snoring Isn’t Sexy” and can be serious both socially and medically.
Snoring & Health
Snoring is part of a continuum of sleep disordered breathing. Snoring, which is rarely harmless, may progress to a condition known as “upper airway resistance syndrome”. Upper airway resistance syndrome is an exaggerated breathing effort characterized by snoring and high resistance to airflow in the upper airway. This causes fragmented sleep and significant daytime drowsiness with no evidence of sleep apnea on testing. Upper airway resistance may develop into obstructive sleep apnea, a serious medical problem with long term health consequences.
Heavy snorers are more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack while asleep than non-snorers. Blood pressure changes caused by snoring may lead to blockage of the coronary arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.
Indy Snore Crushers in Greenwood, IN can manage your snoring with a custom oral appliance.
Take our STOP-BANG Sleep Apnea Test to evaluate your level of risk for having sleep apnea.