Zzzzzzzz ... Have you ever heard a weird sound in the middle of the night? Perhaps it was coming down the hallway from a family member's room, or maybe it was from someone next you in the bed.
Someone is snoring and they might be interrupting your sleep. Or maybe you have not been disturbed by someone else — maybe you are the one who has been accused of snoring. As many as half of adults experience snoring at some point while sleeping.
According to the Mayo clinic website, “snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when your breathing is partially obstructed in some way while you're sleeping.” The website explains that “snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe, which creates those irritating sounds.”
Snoring is not only noisy for you and anyone that sleeps next to you. It can also disturb your sleep. Consistently interrupted sleep can lead to daytime drowsiness and it can affect your ability to complete normal tasks.
Here is some information that snoring can tell you about your health.
If you don’t usually snore, but start suddenly, you could have a cold, flu, sinus infections or allergy which is closing your airways. When you get better, your snoring will go away.
Snoring tends to occur more often in people that are overweight. So it can be a signal for you to lose weight. People that are overweight can have bulky throat tissue. As you create and maintain a normal weight, your throat tissue decreases.
You could have a structural problem like a deviated septum or nasal polyps. Simple surgery can correct the obstruction and the snoring.
Snoring can sometimes be caused by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be associated with a list of problems. It's defined by the National Institutes of Health as one or more pauses in breathing, or very shallow breathing.
The pauses can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The pauses in sleep move you out of deep sleep into light sleep.
Prolonged sleep apnea often results in high blood pressure and enlargement of the heart. It also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The low levels of oxygen brought about by the pauses in breathing can constrict blood vessels in the lungs and create pulmonary hypertension.
Other effects of sleep apnea are chronic headaches, obesity and fatigue.
If you are having snoring problems, being tested could help you find a solution. I recommend that you get a sleep study for diagnosis either at home or in a sleep study facility. Sometimes other diagnostic testing like X-rays, CT scans or MRIs may be used to find structural problems in the airways.
These tests could help you to finally get a good night's sleep.
This was originally posted on EmpowHer.com.