Snoring can be irritating to the snorer, to those who have to sleep next to a snorer, or even to those who sleep in the same house as the snorer. However, many cases of snoring are undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea, which is a disorder that in certain instances can have potentially serious consequences and can lead to weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it affects as many as twelve million Americans, with men much more likely to suffer from it than women.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person starts and stops breathing as they sleep. Clinically, it is described as a cessation of breath lasting for at least ten seconds, and it is defined as one of three types: obstructive, central, or complex.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It occurs because throat muscles relax, which then causes the throat walls to collapse and obstruct breathing. This can also happen when someone gets a bronchial infection, and if it occurs occasionally, it’s not a problem. However, if snoring is chronic and if it interrupts sleep, you need to see your doctor.
The remedies doctors give for obstructive sleep apnea are quit smoking, avoid alcohol, lose weight, and sleep at a 30 degree angle, so you are in a more upright position. Another suggestion is an anti-snore pillow. These pillows came onto the market in 2007, and although there are numerous pillows available, sleeping disorder specialists recommend the Snore-No-More Pillow. The pillow works because the contour of it keeps the chin correctly aligned in relation to the chest. One reason to follow the specialist’s recommendation is this one works, and many anti-snore pillows sell for as much as $100.00, while this one’s priced just right at $39.74.
Central sleep apnea is the second type of sleeping disorder. It is caused by improper signals from the brain to muscles that control breathing, and it’s rare. Sufferers with central sleep apnea are more likely to awaken with shortness of breath and have a harder time getting to, and staying, asleep. If you have these symptoms, make sure you see your doctor.
The third sleep apnea problem is known as complex sleep apnea. It is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. Sufferers also experience symptoms of both, such as rhythm problems and lapses in breathing, and if you have this, you need to visit your doctor.
If you’re unsure whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea, here’s a list of sleep apnea symptoms.
- Daytime sleepiness
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning upon waking
- Headache in the morning
- Loud snoring
- Periods of breathing cessation during sleep
- Waking abruptly and having shortness of breath
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Others are disturbed or you are disturbed by the snoring
- You awaken with shortness of breath
- You have breath cessation during sleep