The hoarse snoring sound produced when you sleep occurs when the air you breathe in or out, flows past the many relaxed tissues in your throat, making them vibrate. Snoring may also be caused by lifestyle factors, anatomy, or even poor sleep patterns.
Nonetheless, it is a natural thing, and many of us snore quite often. Studies estimate that, around 57 percent of adult men and 40 percent of adult women snore regularly, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when your partner begins to snore.
However, it can be a chronic problem for some people sometimes, indicating a severe health condition. Depending on how loud or severe you snore, it may also be a significant turn off for your partner and probably lead to divorce if they can't take it anymore.
What does it mean when one Snores?
There are a lot of myths that have been coined to try and explain what snoring means. If you're keen to understand what it means and the things it may cause, then this guide was created just for you. Read along as we bust some of the most common myths and reveal interesting facts about snoring.
Does Snoring Mean Deep Sleep?
Most people really don't know when they're snoring unless they're doing it intentionally. Interestingly, when you're in a deep sleep, most movements in your body are limited.
This helps keep you static and is also the time when you're most likely to get your dreams. On the same note, if you're on light sleep, your body’s processes slow down as it gets ready for deep sleep.
Suppose your snoring is due to sleep apnea, there are very minimal chances it will occur when you're deep asleep. It usually occurs during Rapid Eye Movements (REM) when your breathing level is at its shallowest. With that being said, snoring doesn't mean deep sleep, and since snoring interrupts and fragments REM, reaching a deep sleep state if you're a snorer is a little complicated.
Does Snoring Mean Sleep Apnea?
Snoring has often been linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), but then, not all people who snore have this disorder. Here is a rundown of a few symptoms to look out for if you suspect that you or your loved one's snoring is due to OSA.
- Excessively sleepy during the day
- Restless sleep
- High blood pressure
- Having difficulty maintaining concentration
- Sore throat when you wake up
- Very loud snoring, which also disrupts your partner’s sleep pattern
- Morning headaches
- Chocking or gasping at night
- Feeling chest pains at night
- If you notice breathing pauses when sleeping
- If it's a child and you notice reduced performance at school, reduced attention span, and behavioral problems
The Obstructive Sleep Disorder (OSA) associated with snoring is usually characterized by loud snoring which pauses for sometimes when breathing nearly stops or flat out stops. This may wake you up, and when this happens, you’d wake up with a loud gasping or snorting sound.
Does Snoring Cause Sore Throat?
Usually, bacterial and viral infections are the very first culprits when one is having a sore throat. However, snoring may also cause sore throat because when you snore, it may cause physical irritation and inflammation on your throat linings. If you had a minor sore throat that may have been caused by other factors, snoring might also aggravate it hence making it difficult to recover from the original condition.
Does Snoring Cause Headaches?
If recent reports are anything to go by, snoring is a significant risk factor for chronic headaches. If you wake up with throbbing headaches and your partner complains of your snoring habit, your best bet would be to seek medical help for sleep apnea.
Does Snoring Cause High Blood Pressure?
Apart from the fact that snoring may lead to headaches; studies also hint that it may also increase your risk of suffering high blood pressure. The risks are even higher if you're younger.
Sadly enough, the high blood pressure risk isn't limited to just people with chronic snoring but even those with simple snoring. The basic rule of thumb, therefore, if you experience any breathing complications when sleeping, is to seek a checkup for high blood pressure.
Can Snoring Lead to Heart Attack?
A heart attack can occur when your coronary arteries get blocked. One of the less common causes of heart attack is heavy snoring.
This is more likely if your snoring is due to OSA, which is also linked to most cardiovascular problems. Now, if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), your breathing will periodically stop for around 10 to 20 seconds when you sleep.
This can happen for a few to multiple times during sleep. When this occurs, the chemicals that trigger breathing in the brain may fail to work, resulting in a significant drop in your system's oxygen levels.
This would then lead to a sharp decline of other essential hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisone. Since these hormones contribute to heart rate irregularities and high blood pressure, they may also trigger heart attacks, exacerbate heart failure, and in extreme cases, lead to death.
Does Snoring Cause Fatigue?
Snoring may not only increase your risks of getting heart attacks but also make you wake up feeling tired. This is because, when you snore at night, the snoring disrupts your sleep quality, and this leads to daytime fatigue.
It also exacerbates other health conditions and causes irritability, among other problems. Daytime fatigue is specifically dangerous if you drive. It is linked to car accidents because it draws your attention away when driving.
Is it Possible to Get Stroke Due to Snoring?
Snoring doesn't cause stroke directly, but it can increase your risk of suffering stroke. The simplest explanation behind this is that chronic snoring may be due to sleep apnea.
Since sleep apnea reduces the oxygen amount delivered to your brain, it influences the chemical activities that happen in the brain, thus putting you at risk of stroke. Besides, chronic snoring due to sleep apnea, which continuously wakes you up at night, lowers your sleep quality. If the findings from this report are anything to go by, insufficient sleep may also increase your risk of suffering stroke.
Can Snoring Lead to Dementia?
A lot of research is done on this condition continuously. According to a recent study released by the Mayo Clinic, it is possible for snoring to lead to dementia. Now, the study found that individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to have high levels of the protein tau, a biological marker for Alzheimer's disease, in their brains.
Does Snoring Cause Gas?
Passing gas or farting is a natural thing, and everybody does it. Usually, it is the excess gas from our digestive system that is released via the anus.
This gas accumulates in the digestive system when your body breaks down the food particles you've eaten. This gas is most commonly formed in the colon when beneficial bacteria break down carbohydrates that couldn't be fully digested in the small intestines.
The gas released via the anus or mouth as burps is the excess gas left behind when bacteria that take up some of the gas fails to do so. Even though snoring also involves some noise that can be a nuisance, just like passing gas or farting, there isn't a direct link between passing gas and snoring.
What is the link between Snoring and Dry Mouth?
Snoring cannot only be a nuisance to your partner but may also be a real problem for you if it leads to drowsiness, fatigue, and headaches. Interestingly, snoring also causes dry mouth in over 16 percent of the people who snore.
Perhaps, this may be linked to the fact that the snoring is due to your nasal passages getting clogged. This would then force you to breathe with your mouth when asleep. Since the mouth isn't specialized for breathing, you may get dry mouth when you wake up.
Take Away: How Can I Stop Snoring ASAP?
If your partner is irritated with your snoring habit, it may be time for you to find how to stop snoring. It would also be better to stop snoring if it continually wakes you up, thus lowering your sleep quality.
There are a lot of things you may try to stop snoring. However, if it is chronic snoring, you may need certified medical practitioners to help you out. Here are a few things your doctor may recommend that you do to stop or reduce snoring ASAP.
- Lose weight. Losing weight may be recommended if you're overweight.
- Your doctor may also recommend that you avoid alcohol intake when you're about to sleep.
- Sleeping positions and patterns. The snoring may also be due to the wrong sleeping position. In this case, the doctor may advise that you don't sleep on your back and get enough sleep at night.
If the condition is due to apnea, your practitioner may recommend;
- Use of oral appliances.
- Doing the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
- Undergoing an airway surgery