12 Popular Snoring Myths Debunked by Science
Not a lot of people consider snoring as a legitimate health issue. Snoring may get on people’s nerves. However, it is uncommon for someone to seek medical help due to snoring issues.
This lack of concern exists partly because of snoring myths. These myths are immortalized by word of mouth or by familial beliefs passed on from one generation to the next. It’s time to bust these myths once and for all. Here are popular snoring myths debunked by science.
1. Myth: Snoring is harmless.
Although many people snore, the condition is far from harmless. It can be an unwitting siren that signals the existence of a critical condition.
Some people who snore suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea sufferers experience pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breath while sleeping. Studies reveal that interruptions may happen hundreds of times per night. While in a deep sleep, the person’s airway collapses causing a partial blockage. Snoring occurs when the soft palate tissue vibrates as air flows through narrow spaces.
The condition reduces oxygen supply to the bloodstream. If left undiagnosed, oxygen deprivation can cause severe and irreparable damage to the brain and body.
2. Myth: Women rarely snore.
24% of women snore. Once a woman becomes pregnant, it is more likely for her to snore. However, studies have shown that after the pregnancy, the numbers return to 24%.
3. Myth: Snoring is not harmful to children.
A child should not be a snorer. Same as adults, a child may breathe heavily while sleeping. However, if the snoring is loud enough to be noticed by the parent, the child may have some health issues. Scheduling an appointment with a professional to have the child’s health checked is a must.
4. Myth: Snoring is a health hazard to the snorer only.
Snoring affects not only the health of the snorer but also the bed partner’s health. A typical snorer can make a noise of around 60 decibels, which is about the level of a vacuum cleaner. However, some snorers can reach the level of 80 to 90 decibels, the same level of an average manufacturing plant.
Sleeping with a partner who snores is dangerous for your health. It might result in high blood pressure and poor health. Snoring also causes the bed partner to lose up to one hour of sleep a night or experience fragmented sleep.
5. Myth: Losing weight can cure snoring.
Depending on the cause, losing weight cannot always fix snoring. A patient who is overweight and suffers from sleep apnea may stop snoring after losing weight, but it is not guaranteed.
6. Myth: Cleansing clogged nose can treat snoring.
Having a clogged nose can aggravate snoring, but in general, it is not the cause. Based on a recent study, undergoing nasal surgery for breathing problems cured only 10% of patients with sleep apnea.
Snoring is a complicated relationship between the soft palate, the nose, the jaw, and the tongue. The vibrations come from the soft palate. Having a small jaw and the tongue falling back aggravates the condition. Simply cleansing your nose wouldn’t treat snoring.
7. Myth: Only overweight people snore.
Although overweight people are more likely to snore, a person of any weight might snore too. There are several causes of snoring. It can be caused by the obstruction of the throat by the polyps or other growth, allergies, illness, a deviated septum, heart issues or other health conditions.
8. Myth: Alcohol helps reduce snoring.
Alcohol can cause overly deep but frequently self-interrupted sleep that may make the snoring worse.
9. Myth: Snoring is inherited.
70% of snorers may suffer from snoring due to genetic ties. However, this is one of the figures that can be misleading.
If you have a snoring parent, there is a 70% chance you will also snore. Studies fail to mention the reasons behind this link with your parents.
This does not appear to be a genetic link. If your parents snore because of their lifestyle, like drinking, being overweight, and smoking, and you share a similar lifestyle, there is a good chance that you may snore. However, if your lifestyle is different than your snoring parent, there is no reason for you to acquire it.
10. Myth: Snorers cannot do anything about snoring.
There are plenty of lifestyle changes that you can make to minimize snoring. You can start by losing weight, quitting smoking, and drinking alcohol moderately or occasionally.
There is a surprising result from a study published in the journal entitled “Sleep Medicine.” According to the research, a woman who maintains a high level of physical activity has fewer complaints of habitual snoring. This is whether she is overweight or a smoker.
Research also found out that singing can help with snoring. It strengthens the weak and snore-prone muscles of the throat.
11. Myth: Snoring has nothing to do with a person’s hypertension or diabetes.
Scientific studies are showing the correlation between poor quality and insufficient sleep with a variety of health issues.
Getting interrupted sleep can negatively affect your normal blood pressure. Based on recent studies, nearly 80% of the cases of hypertension, 60% of the stroke cases, and 50% of heart failure cases are caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Research also indicates that insufficient sleep can impair your body’s ability to use insulin which can lead to diabetes. Fragmented sleep can also cause lowered metabolism and higher cortisol levels resulting in increased appetite but decreased the ability to burn fats and calories.
12. Myth: There is no medical treatment for snoring.
There are a lot of medical treatments available to cure snoring. To get the right diagnosis, you can visit a dental sleep specialist. Treatment may include surgery, but there are other options, such as oral appliances and a non-surgical laser.