In our Indian Culture, we have often though that someone who is snoring during sleep is sleeping soundly . But in fact, scientific studies have shown us that, a Sound Sleep is supposed to be Soundless!!
Snoring is a sign that a person is not breathing properly during sleep. So, regular or loud snoring, whether in a child or adult is NOT normal.
Snoring indicates that our breathing airway is obstructed and during inhalation and exhalation, the air is not flowing smoothly through the nose and throat. During sleep whenever there is obstruction of the airway, the air that we inhale, has to go through a narrowed space. This increases the velocity of air and in turn, causes vibration of soft tissue in throat. This vibration sound is what is heard as snoring
This vigorous vibration of tissue can cause constant irritation in the throat and even cause tissue damage. It is not uncommon for a snorer to wake up with sore throat, dry mouth and problem swallowing.
Apart from the fact that snoring can cause local tissue damage. Lack of proper airflow, secondary to obstruction, has its own set of issues. Lack of airflow means that oxygen supply to the body is restricted. This results in intermittent hypoxia ( low oxygen levels in tissue) throughout the night . Additionally, studies have shown that loud and regular snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea and could potentially lead to more significant health issues.
Snoring has been shown to be an independent risk factor for hypertension ( high blood pressure) , cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, sleep disturbances, sleep fragmentation , insomnia, diabetes , weight gain and many other conditions.
Up to 40% of men, 24% of women and 10% of children suffer from snoring. In children, snoring could be due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids or due to soft palate or jaw issues. In a growing child, this lack of proper oxygen supply during sleep, has been shown to effect brain including learning abilities, neurocognitive function and physical growth. It is important to get this properly evaluated by a Sleep Specialist.
A restful sleep is needed for rejuvenating the tired body and mind. A good refreshed sleep prepares you for a better performance the next day. Someone who does not sleep well, often is not able to keep awake fully, the next day and is unable to focus at work or at school.
A person who snores frequently presents with poor quality of sleep. Sometimes, the person who snores may not even be aware that he or she snores. But sleep of the bed partner can get disturbed and their sleep quality too can suffer tremendously. In fact, just like how a second-hand smoker can suffer all the ill effects and health issues of a smoker. A bed partner of a snorer, suffers like a second-hand snorer.
Disrupted and inadequate quality of sleep for both, can lead to daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate throughout the day, weakened immune system , mental health issues like depression, anxiety, an increased risk to cardiovascular diseases, poor metabolic homeostasis, increased risk for diabetes, weight gain and other issues.
Snoring can also increase your risk factor for sleep apnea, an insidious and serious sleep disorder that requires comprehensive medical evaluation and a sleep study. Sleep Apnea is a condition wherein a person can completely stop breathing for a few seconds at a time, throughout the night. The health ill effects of sleep apnea are ten times higher than that of an occasional snorer.
So, if you or your bed partner or family member is a snorer, it is highly advisable to take measures to reduce any risk factors for snoring and also get tested for sleep apnea. Reducing health burden of snoring, in the early stages can go a long way on your pathway to health.
Schedule an appointment with the doctors at NKs Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center, for a comprehensive consult and counselling for snoring issues. Please contact us on +91 6366909091or connect with us on NK'S Snoring and Sleep Apnea
A Polysomnography (sleep study) may be recommended, to check for pauses in breathing during sleep or for hypoxia. Just remember, often snoring can be controlled with conservative measures but it is important to rule concomitant sleep disorders or other medical conditions.