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Snoring Sleepers vs Silent Sleepers: Who may have hidden health risks?
  • 2023-10-16
  • admin

Some people sleep silently, while others snore. But, did you know that snoring not only doesn't indicate a good night's sleep, but it could also signal underlying health problems?


Why do people snore?

While you sleep, your body, including the muscles in your upper airway, relax. This relaxation causes a reduction in tension in the upper airway, making it narrower and potentially collapsing, which obstructs the flow of air. When air tries to pass through this constricted airway, it can result in vibrations of the soft tissues in the upper airway, creating the sound we associate with snoring.


One of the main reasons people snore is because of a narrowed throat. If the upper jaw or lower jaw is too narrow or shifts backward, it can also lead to snoring. Additionally, sleeping on your back is more likely to cause snoring compared to sleeping on your side.



Although snoring may not result in significant short-term health issues, it can slowly transform into a ticking time bomb, posing a constant threat to your well-being.

1. Inducing Stroke

Compared to people who don't snore, those who snore loudly every night are 77% more likely to have a heart attack. People who snore more than three times a week while sleeping have a 2.7 times greater risk of having a heart attack compared to those who sleep quietly. When severe snoring occurs, it means breathing repeatedly stops, which significantly reduces oxygen levels in the blood. This, in turn, leads to a lack of oxygen in the body's tissues and cells. Frequent oxygen deprivation can also harm the walls of blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clots forming and potentially causing a heart attack.


2. At Higher Risk of Blood Clots

Studies have shown that people who snore are three times more likely to be at risk for potentially deadly blood clots compared to those who don't snore.


3. Thinning Skull

Some research suggests that frequent snoring can lead to a thinning of the skull, which increases the risk of certain related diseases. When the skull thickness erodes by just 1 millimeter, it can lead to a life-threatening condition where cerebrospinal fluid leaks. This can result in symptoms like stroke, dementia, and coma.


4. Causing Suffocation

Sleep apnea can affect breathing and may lead to suffocation in severe cases.



Self-Check: Should You See a Doctor About Your Snoring?

You can figure out if you need medical advice for your snoring with the help of your family by considering the following:


Normal Snoring:

–Occasional snoring: If you snore loudly all night, but it's steady, rhythmic, and not too disruptive, especially common in middle-aged and older people.

–Habitual snoring: If you've been snoring since you were young, your snoring is loud, constant, and doesn't cause major worry.


In these cases, you might not have to worry too much about seeing a doctor.


The real concern with snoring arises when it's caused by a condition called sleep apnea, which is characterized by these four key factors:


1. Intense Snoring: Snoring so loudly that it can be heard even with the bedroom door closed.


2. Daytime Fatigue: Despite seemingly sound sleep at night, you often feel dizziness, extreme tiredness, daytime sleepiness, and a memory decline.


3. Breathing Interruptions: Your snoring suddenly stops while you're asleep, and it takes a while before you hear a "puff" as you exhale. Sometimes, you may even wake up abruptly because you can't catch your breath.


4. Cardiovascular Issues: Such as persistent high blood pressure that's difficult to manage, especially in the morning, or experiencing chest pain (angina) at night.


If you have two or more of these four signs, it's a strong indicator that you may be at high risk for sleep apnea, and you should consider undergoing sleep apnea monitoring in a hospital.



How to Reduce Snoring

Weight Management

Being overweight can lead to a thicker neck and an increase in fat around the throat area, which can narrow the airway and make snoring more likely. Typically, individuals with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24 are considered normal, while those with a BMI over 25 should consider weight control.


Choosing the Right Pillow

Your choice of pillow can have a significant impact on snoring. Pillows that are either too soft or too firm are not ideal. It's recommended to select a pillow that provides the right balance of softness and support.


Sleeping on Your Side

Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and chin to press against the back of your throat, making the airway narrower and leading to snoring. If you snore while lying on your back, it's a good idea to switch to sleeping on your side or elevate your upper body to reduce snoring.




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