Four Compelling Reasons to Never Ignore Snoring
Most people see snoring as nothing more than a nuisance. However, the reality is that it poses a grave threat to your health and well-being.
About 40 percent of adult males and 24 percent of adult females are habitual snorers. Most of them suffer from various medical, social, and psychological complaints and are unaware that snoring may be to blame.
If you or someone you know snores, here are some important reasons why you should find out what’s going on.
Snoring Disrupts Your Natural Sleep Cycle
If you’re a habitual snorer, you probably wake up countless times each night. It’s even more likely that you don’t remember waking up. You may think that these sleep interruptions are harmless. However, it is quite the opposite.
About half of the 90 million people who snore in the U.S. have sleep disrupted breathing. You may be among this group. If so, your snoring will most likely occur during REM sleep. This is when you are most likely to be dreaming. Awakening here will disrupt your REM cycle.
Ordinary snoring without breathing interruptions occurs most in stage 3. This is the deepest stage of sleep. Awakening here will disrupt your deep sleep.
During REM sleep and deep sleep, the brain flushes out waste, organizes neural connections, and restores itself. Soring during these times will disrupt these important brain functions. This disrupted sleep can significantly affect how you feel and perform when you’re awake.
Snoring Contributes to Vehicular Accidents
Snoring and sleep interruptions reduce the amount and quality of sleep. Therefore, you miss out on the rejuvenating effects of deep sleep. As a result, you may feel tired or drowsy throughout the day.
Feeling fatigued might not only reduce your performance. It can also lead to unintended periods of sleep at inopportune moments like behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied sleep-related auto accidents. They estimate that driver fatigue is a direct cause of over 100,000 crashes each year. These are conservative numbers because it is difficult to link auto accidents with sleepiness.
If you’re a snorer and you feel tired most of the time even if you’re getting the required hours of sleep, it is best that you get yourself checked as soon as possible.
Snoring Kills Intimacy in Relationships
More often than not, bed partners of snorers suffer from adverse health effects of sleep deprivation. It’s not unusual for them to develop feelings of resentment and anger toward their snoring spouse. When confronted with the snoring issue, snorers often deny the problem, which just makes matters worse.
If your bed partner is a habitual snorer, you have probably considered sleeping in a separate bedroom. You are not alone in doing so. This dynamic may contribute to the decision of 35 percent of married couples who sleep in separate bedrooms because of snoring.
Sleeping in separate bedrooms does not solve the issue. So, if your bed partner is a habitual snorer, you both should consider getting professional help.
Snoring Serves as a Warning for Serious Health Concerns
Snoring may be more than a nuisance; it could be an alarm for pressing health issues. If you’re a long-time, chronic snorer, check if you have the following symptoms:
- Waking in the middle of the night gasping for air
- Struggling to stay awake all day
- Falling asleep unintentionally
- Waking up in the morning groggy
- Becoming more and more unproductive
If you have these symptoms in addition to loud snoring, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. This disorder is a chronic health issue in the United States.
By definition, sleep apnea is a disorder marked by very shallow breathing and repeated interruptions in your breathing while sleeping. The condition deprives the body of oxygen which can result in other chronic diseases, such as:
Sleep apnea sufferers often have diabetes as well. The American Thoracic Society investigated 8,500 participants in 2014 and confirmed the link between obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes.
People with obstructive sleep apnea are more prone to sudden death by cardiac arrest. In 2013, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute tracked over 10,000 Americans diagnosed with sleep apnea. Over a five years period, 142 participants died of sudden cardiac arrest. Those who died shared three common predictors: age of 60 or older, oxygen saturation of less than 78 percent when sleeping, and over 20 episodes of breathing or shallow breathing per hour when sleeping.
These two studies indicate that snoring may be the body’s call for help because of life-threatening health issues.
Conclusion: Reasons to Never Ignore Snoring
Although you can dismiss snoring as an annoyance, this article has shown that it harms the snorer’s physical and mental well-being. More importantly, you should never ignore snoring. This “annoyance” may be your body calling for help due to an underlying severe and possibly fatal health problem. Seek diagnosis and treatment using the best snoring aids that can eliminate your snoring.