Top 10 facts on snoring

If you snore, there's a lot more to it than merely inconveniencing your partner. Snoring, which can be caused by many different things, can actually be a health warning.

Check out the following 10 facts on snoring. They may just save your life.

Especially if you live alone, you may be unaware of just how much you're snoring. If you suffer from any of the following conditions during the day, it should give you a clue that your snoring has gone into the danger bracket: chronic drowsiness, headaches, decreased libido, irritability, poor concentration, forgetfulness, nodding off at work.

Most snorers suffer from sleep apnoea. With this condition, you stop breathing for short periods while you’re asleep. It usually takes place when you’re sleeping on your back and your throat closes, blocking off your breathing for anything up to 10 seconds. You then make a snorting sound and wake up, leading to diminished number of hours of sleeping.

Other factors that can aggravate snoring include heavy drinking, eating just before going to sleep, smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke, and/or being overweight.

Snoring, sleep apnoea and sleep deprivation are such important topics that more than 100 studies on sleep deprivation have been published in the last 100 years.

Four out of every ten men snore, whereas the number for women is three out of ten. Roughly one quarter of people are snorers.

If you snore, you can partly blame your parents. Snoring can be hereditary and in 70% of cases people who snore also have family members who do.

The sound of snoring is the result of air turbulence vibrating the structures in the upper airway; these sounds can range from 50 – 100 decibels. The latter is the sound made by a pneumatic drill. If you snore, either your muscles have become weak, or your airway is being restricted in some way.

Bed partners of snorers have a few things in common: they report not getting more than 3 – 5 hours of sleep per night; they visit their GP more often than the partners of non-snorers; one in 3 couples report disharmony in their relationship because of snoring.

Regular snorers are 5 times more likely to develop heart disease, stroke and hypertension than people who do not snore.

Here are some ideas on how to reduce your snoring: lose weight; avoid rich foods and alcohol before bedtime; raise your head by putting pillows under it; try and avoid sleeping on your back (some people sew a tennis ball into the neck of their pyjamas)

(Sources: The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association, Health24.com.www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus; helpguide.org)

(Susan Erasmus, Health24)

 

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