Snoring and Sleep Apnea
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Sleep is a way of rejuvenating our bodies. Although studies on how much sleep we need are still being conducted researchers agree that all of us require a good night's sleep - and for most that about seven to eight hours of uninterrupted rest. However, this may not happen if you snore or if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) - a very serious medical disorder that literally causes people to stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping.
How Snoring Can Be a Symptom of Something Far Worse
People who snore loudly often receive a sharp elbow in the middle of the night and may even be the brunt of bad jokes - but snoring is not a laughing matter.
Although loud intrusive snoring may be a social problem and may put a strain on your relationships, for many it can be the signal of a more serious health problem - obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
Researchers estimate that 30 – 50% of Americans snore at one point or another - some significantly - so it’s very important to distinguish between snoring and OSA.
Snoring doesn’t always equal OSA; sometimes it’s just a social or family inconvenience. However, if your snoring persists you may want to seek medical advice to ensure it’s not a more serious condition such as OSA, which may require treatment.
Seven Simple and Non-Medical Tips To Help You Stop, or Reduce, Your Snoring
- Exercise and eat a healthier diet. Changing your diet - eating fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting down on fats and salts - and adopting a regular exercise routine can make a big difference.
- Avoid sedatives. Sedatives can relax your throat muscles and increase the tendency for airway obstruction related to snoring.
- Lose weight. Snoring is an indication that your body is having difficulty passing air through your nasal and oral cavities at a healthy pressure rate. This can occur when there is an excess of fat around the neck and face area.
- Avoid caffeine. Drinks containing caffeine affect the nervous system and tend to act as a diuretic. This can dry out the body and could make snoring worse.
- Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the central nervous system, and could make it more difficult for you to breathe during sleep.
- Change your sleeping positions. Snoring occurs more often when you sleep on your back. Try sleeping on your side and see if this helps.
- Don’t eat right before bed. Avoid drinking or eating large meals two hours prior to bedtime.
Check Out Our "How to Stop Snoring" Video
Aside from it being an indication that there is a major blockage in the airways, snoring can negatively affect everyone in your family.
Your partner will definitely suffer from the snoring, especially if you live with a light sleeper. It can also affect both your productivity and energy throughout the day.
If you snore and think you may be suffering from OSA we strongly advise you to seek medical help as soon as possible.