Do you snore but also ignore?

Do you snore but also ignore?

Is ignorance bliss when it comes to your “snore”? In reality, our sleep experts say no. You may not know that you are a loud snorer, or gasp at night while you are sleeping through your partner could very well be concerned about this. So why do people snore, and what can they do to sleep peacefully, and let others around them sleep peacefully?

Snoring occurs due to a blocked airway, resulting in loud noises. It is a series of events caused by the opening and closing of airways. These events occur when the tissue at the back of your neck relaxes during sleep, which can lead to obstruction in the airflow as you breathe. This blockage in the airway sends out loud sounds coming from the nose or throat often referred to as ‘breath noise.’

What causes snoring?
Large neck circumference, large tonsils, excessive alcohol consumption, and chain-smoking are all signs associated with airway obstruction. While snoring is quite common among humans, blocking out noise can be crucial to your body’s health. It is a sign that your body can’t function properly.

Snoring is classified in the following types depending upon the organ which is responsible, the frequency and intensity of the sound:

Nose-Based Snoring: Usually in nose-based snorers their nasal septum (the thin wall between the nasal passage) is misaligned, making one side of the air passage smaller than the other. Other reasons for nose-based snoring are congestion in the nose due to clogging with mucus during cold, flu, smoking, allergies, or certain type of medications. [1]

Mouth-Based Snoring: When a person fails to breathe from their nose automatically, they start breathing from their mouth and snoring occurs due to a blockage in the nasal passage, enlarged tonsils or weak palatal tissue which lies behind your throat. [1]

Tongue-based Snoring: Those overweight or who sleep on their backs usually are tongue-based snorers. When the tongue falls at rest while the person is asleep, it causes a barrier in airflow.[1]

Throat-based Snoring: Among the above-mentioned types of snoring, throat-based snoring is the loudest form. [1] During sleep when the throat muscle relaxes, the tongue and soft palate collapse producing a vibrating sound causing the diaphragm and chest muscles to work harder than normal. Throat-based snoring is dangerous as it is an early indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – a chronic condition where the person stops breathing for at least 10 seconds multiple times (30 to 100 times) in an hour followed by awakening with gasps and sudden body movements.

Can your breathing pause while sleeping?
Yes, pauses in breathing are the events where a person stops breathing for a few seconds while sleeping. This occurs due to hindrance in the airflow mechanism. When you stop breathing, the body is supplied with insufficient oxygen leading to a pause in pulse rate. This results in involuntary reflexes from the body by which a person wakes up agitating and gasping for air. When this happens, the body’s heart rate and blood pressure rise quickly. [2]

Statistically, it is estimated that around 51,344 people suffer from a snoring disorder in India [3]. People with COVID-19 who experience sleep disordered breathing have a 31% higher likelihood of hospitalization and death. [4] Snoring results in poor sleep and sleep deprivation leads to many health problems including:
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Obesity
• Heart disease
• Diabetes
• Cancer

How to stop snoring?

• Nose-based snoring: solutions like using nose strips, doing frequent nasal rinse, or getting corrective surgery for deviated septum can help.
• Mouth-based snoring: removal of tonsils is advised by doctors to resolve this type of snoring.
• Tongue-based snoring: many doctors suggest oral appliances which allow adjustment of the lower jaw, exercises to decrease fat around the throat, and a fat-free diet

• General tips:
o Limit alcohol consumption
o Sleep on your side
o Lose weight if overweight

And there you have it! By implementing the suggestions provided by clinical experts, one can reduce, if not stop, snoring, which shares a key relationship with sleep apnea. Remember, not every person who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. As said “prevention is better than cure” – it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of both so that you can get the help you need if you think you may have either condition. Book a pre-clinical consultancy with Sleepiz in-house doctors who will recommend a treatment plan especially curated to your symptoms to help you improve your sleep quality!

5. Nose based snoring image credits: Link
6. Mouth based snoring image credit: Link
7. OSA snoring image credit: Link

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