Snoring is a widely prevalent human
habit which is not to be ignored. It has been found that in the age
group of 30 - 35 years 20% of men and 5% of women snore and by the age
of 60 years, as many as 60 out of 100 men will snore.
is it really serious if you snore or your bed - partner snores?
Most often, snoring is considered as something funny by the household
members and by the snorer himself, but it is the bed - partner who
suffers from sleepless nights and may have to resort to measures like
shaking up the snoring partner time and again when he/she starts
snoring; or start sleeping in a separate room. In certain severe cases,
it may even lead to deterioration of relationships.
Snoring is due to obstructive breathing during sleep and the most
advanced stage is obtsructive sleep apnea
(OSA). This is
manifested as intermittent loud snorting during sleep, choking spells,
abnormal body motions like limb movements and such scary moments when
the person seems to struggle for his next breath.
Heavy snorers are more likely to suffer from hypertension. They are
generally obese and have increased risk of strokes, chest pains and
Alcohol intake before retiring to bed increases the snoring and a
snorer is more likely to have these attacks (episodes of apnea) where
the oxygen saturation level in his blood dips to a dangerous low.
In 35 % of habitual snorers, significant episodes of apnea (" want
of breath ") occur. The person is repeatedly aroused from deep
sleep to lighter stages of sleep. Therefore in the morning he feels
deprived of his usual quota of sleep, has headache and complains of
excessive daytime sleepiness. Such persons may cause accidents as they
may fall asleep while driving. They may fall asleep while watching TV or
even while talking in severe cases.
Snoring occurs due to the vibration of the collapsible part of the
airway, where there is no rigid support. Obese individuals tend to have
an excess of soft tissue; a thick neck thick tongue, flabby muscles
which leads to decreased airway space causing snoring.
Also, any narrowing of nasal passage or oral passage due to enlargement
of tonsils or any other reason can lead to snoring.
Certain measures which are suggested to snorers are
- To exercise regularly and lose weight.
- To sleep on your side rather than your back.
- Avoid taking alcoholic drinks before going to bed.
- You may try tilting the head of your bed upwards by three or four
- Avoid sleeping pills.
If snoring is persistent and is associated with snorting, frequent
stops in breathing at night and excessive daytime sleepiness, it is best
to consult a doctor.