A lot of people think of snoring as just a minor nuisance and a lot of the time, they’re right. Especially if it’s occasional snoring, it isn’t bad or unhealthy. The reality is, you may have a grumpy partner form time to time but that’s it.
However, habitual snorers are different. This is something we need to address…
What is snoring?
Okay, so the reason is you’re more than likely snoring due to mouth breathing. Now you can have nasal snoring, but it’s considerably less likely and not as loud. You may revert to mouth breathing because your nasal passages are blocked. If you know or suspect pollen is the culprit, I wrote an article on pollen-abatement techniques.
But it could also be due to a deviated septum, nasal polyps (swellings inside the nose typically filled with air) and sinus infections.
Now you find yourself breathing through your mouth. Naturally, during the night the muscles in your tongue, palate (roof of your mouth) and throat to relax, causing them to collapse and fall back into the airways. Therefore, your airway opening decreases in size and if the muscle tissue is touching, it will vibrate against one another. And it’s this vibration of the upper airways causing the noise that’s driving you up the wall.
Why snoring CAN be bad for your health
There’s no doubt about it – if you consistently snore then you WILL be greatly disrupting the sleep of your loved one and for yourself. You may find decreased concentration and attention span during the day, and bouts of daytime sleepiness. It’s a sign you’re having a disrupted nights sleep.
In addition, snoring can exacerbate other health conditions. For example, overweight people are more likely to snore due to thicker throat tissue. And we all know being overweight isn’t the most favourable physical state anyway, coupled with poor quality sleep from airways obstruction could worsen the situation.
Snoring will also increase with age, alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking, so you’re sort of adding fuel to the fire.
Right, so we’ve established it’s a nighttime annoyance, but what else? Well, snoring itself can possibly thicken the carotid artery. These are major blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain and face, and you’ve got two of them. This can lead to atherosclerosis, which is essentially the build-up of plaque inside the vessels that will limit blood flow.
Could it be something else?
Unfortunately, it could be OSA – obstructive sleep apnea. But this condition is rare.
P.S. I’ll be publishing an article very soon on how to reduce and in some cases eliminate your snoring altogether. So stay tuned 🙂
You know, the Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, made a pretty bold statement by saying there are more health risks associated with snoring and OSA than smoking and obesity. That’s crazy! But this is specifically for OSA and not solely snoring. Nevertheless, snoring is still not an optimal state; your airways are partially closed after all! You may not be getting plentiful oxygen to your brain. Plus, snoring can be a precursor to OSA, so it’s best to address it now.
Also, it’s important to note that snoring isn’t a condition, rather, a symptom. Meaning it could be a sign that you do actually have OSA, but we’ll get into deep analysis on it later.
But yeah, the best thing is to seek is a medical solution. And we have a nasal dilator coming out very soon that provides a gentle expansion of the nostrils. More air getting through means less restriction and a great decrease in snoring occurrences. Now, that’s not to say you can’t snore through your nose. The nose and throat tissue can come into contact and vibrate, but this is a lot less likely if you’re using a dilator expansion.
In the meantime, you can check out our sleep improvement checklist where you’ll get the option to download.
Henry Ford Health System (2013). Don’t ignore the snore: Snoring may be an early sign of future health risks. [online] sciencedaily.com. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124122741.htm [Accessed 21 Jul. 2019].
King, M. (2019). Is snoring physically harmful and if so how?. [online] quora.com. Available at: https://www.quora.com/Is-snoring-physically-harmful-and-if-so-how?redirected_qid=941227 [Accessed 21 Jul. 2019].
Mayo Clinic (2011). Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Mayo Clinic [videos]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z12MEPiG4cg [Accessed 21 Jul. 2019].
Ratini, M. (2018). The Basics of Snoring. [online] webmd.com. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/snoring-basics [Accessed 21 Jul. 2019].
Scientific American (2019). Why do people snore?. [online] scientificamerican.com. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-people-snore/ [Accessed 22 Jul. 2019].