snoring and sleep problems
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Snoring keeps the monsters away so said the reassuring popular writer, Judy Blume. So, if you haven’t seen any, chances are you might be snoring!

Facts, Figures

Statistics indicate in numbers why snoring–notated in the simple letter z, the brunt of comics is really more serious than comic.

Here are some of those statistics: at least 30% of adults over age 30, and perhaps as many as 50% of people in some demographics snore.

One survey of 5,713 Italian residents identified habitual snoring in 24% of men and 13.8% of women, rising to 60% of men and 40% of women aged 60 to 65 years; this shows people may be prone to snoring as age increases.

The national sleep foundation rates snoring as affecting 90 million adults, 37 million regularly. Men are two times as likely to snore when comparing ages before a woman’s menopause, however, after menopause, women are equivalent in that running number.

According to the National Sleep foundation snorers are 3 times more likely to have bad health conditions than non-snorers.

The louder you snore, the more likely you are to have excess weight–be overweight or obese.

About half of patients with severe snoring have high blood pressure. Regular snorers are 5 times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol than people who may on not snore or snore only on occasion.

Snoring can be hereditary as about 70% of snorers have a family link–

According to a recent study about 41 percent of people who snore have regular nightly arguments with their partner because of snoring.

National sleep foundation poll revealed 37% adults reporting they snored, with 27% revealing they snore almost every night. 1/3 of older adults between the ages of 55-84 snored, 4 in 10

The Sounds of A Snore

Not all snores are alike and the causes and results of snoring also range from incidental amounting to nothing, to more serious matters and conditions.

Of course, everyone knows a snore sounds like zzz’s– the sawing wood reference from which the z’s come from. Here are how others described snores.

Father’s snoring grows to sound increasingly like a vacuum cleaner in heat.

My husband’s snoring is not always so bad. Sometimes it drowns out the noise of passing trains. –

My wife says I’m making a noise like a stranded whale. I think I have a major snoring problem.

Snoring sounds range from 50decibels to 100 decibels which is equivalent to a pneumatic drill!!

If you snore, then, you could likely be causing a wake up to more than your cat or dog.

Snoring and Sleep

A poll conducted by the sleep foundation in 2005 found that sleep problems—most commonly snoring—not only have an impact on how well you sleep but can negatively affect relationships between bed partners. The snoring situation is having been reported as so common that even many homes are designed with two master bedrooms–the smaller referred to as a snoring room. The idea is to protect a partner or family from the wee hours of breathing frequencies which is very different from the accepted and often calming white noise.

sleeping and snoring problems

The idea of snoring affecting sleep is supported by the sleep foundations recent poll of common sleep problems. Why should you be concerned? Here’s a little about your sleep requirements (and those of your partner too if you are a snorer and you do not have a snore room!)

Today, about 20% of Americans report that they get less than 6 hours of sleep on average, and the number of Americans that report that they get 8 hours of more has decreased. Yet there’s strong evidence that lost sleep is a serious matter. The Sleep in America polls and several large studies have linked sleep deficits with poor work performance, driving accidents, relationship problems, and mood problems like anger and depression.

A growing list of health risks has been documented in recent studies, too. Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked with chronic sleep loss.

One doctor responded to WebMD that “People just don’t realize how important sleep is, and what the health consequences are of not getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis,” “Sleep is just as important for overall health as diet and exercise.”

Another doctor described that one problem with snoring, or lack of sleep is that people don’t talk to their doctors about them, perhaps due to embarrassment, and other reasons. He adds that they figure everybody’s sleepy, and what can be done about it anyway. And doctors don’t ask about it, so that sleep disorders are severely under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Bed partners of snorers report they can only get about 3-5 hours of sleep a night, and over 1/3 of couples will go on record to report disharmony in their relationships due to snoring. It is satisfying to note that bed partners of snorers do report both physical and mental health improves once their snorer partner has a successful treatment or otherwise ceases to snore.

The Good Sleep the Bad Snore

Sleep and snoring are intertwined as mounting statistics confirms the necessity for adequate, and quality sleep for today’s word–and mounting statistics also show that snoring can be the culprit. Thousands of sleep deprivation studies are still being published showing the continuing decline of hours slept. Believe it or not in 1910 people slept approximately 9 hrs. a night, down to 6 in 2009 and now it is barely

Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system, and can also balance our appetites by helping to regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness. So, when we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more, which can lead to weight gain.

The one-third of our lives that we spend sleeping, far from being “unproductive,” plays a direct role in how full, energetic and successful the other two-thirds of our lives can be.

Snoring and Sleeping

Sleep, any good doctor will tell you is restorative. And if you are snoring, you probably are not getting the benefits of sleep to your body, your emotions, your life–and that goes for your partner as well.

First, it is illuminating to see what sleep cycles are all about. Basically, they follow a pattern of alternating REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep throughout a night in a cycle that repeats itself about every 90 minutes. Here is how it generally plays out:

NREM is about 75% of your night. As you begin to fall asleep this is NREM sleep which in itself has 4 levels.

In Level 1-this is a light sleep between being awake and falling asleep.

In Level 2 -this is the onset of sleep where you are disengaged from your surroundings. At level 2 your breathing and heart rate are regular and your body temperature drops. It is a light sleep and you can waken quickly.

Levels 3 and 4 are your deepest sleep where your body restores. Here your blood pressure drops, your breathing slows, your muscles are relaxed, blood supply to muscles increases, tissue growth and repair takes place, energy is restored, hormones are released including human growth hormone for growth and muscle development.

Your REM is about 25% of your night of sleep. Generally, it first takes place about 90 minutes after falling asleep and recurs about every 90 minutes getting longer later into the night as you sleep.

This REM sleep is essential because:

It provides energy to your brain and body, it supports your daytime performance, your brain is active here and dream happen, your body becomes relaxed and immobile because your muscles are turned off. Your levels of cortisol hormone decrease at beginning of sleep and increase through the night to provide you with alertness in the morning.

Why Snoring Happens in Sleep

There is no one time that snoring occurs during a night of sleep–it varies. So, it may not be an easy thing to determine if and when. But look again at the stages of sleep. These levels have been determined by your electrical activity in your brain. As you relax to sleep your brain electrical waves become more shallow, slower which of course makes perfect sense. But REM sleep can then happen at any moment through the night. In REM sleep the skeletal muscles are totally relaxed with no tone. Your breathing airway puts up some resistance to air that would come in. Conventional snoring can occur during sleep from a vibration of soft tissue in the pharynx as air flows down a n airway that may be somewhat blocked.

Snoring happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep–. The lungs strain to inhale oxygen, most often this happens when the muscles that keep your airway open becomes too relaxed, or, there is a buildup nearby of excess or fatty tissue that blocks air flow. During REM sleep the brain sends signals to all the body muscles to relax except breathing muscles. Because the tongue palate and throat can collapse when they relax this can cause the breathing airway to narrow… Then your soft palate–the soft part of the roof of your mouth–and or the uvula which is that little flap that hangs down at the back of the throat–vibrates. This makes tissues around vibrate like any instrument making a snoring sound. Your own inner instrument. As with an instrument–the more vibrations the louder the sound.

Still there are many levels of snoring and sounds, and different prognosis depending on what caused it.

Knowing and Not Knowing That’s the Q About the Z’s

So, maybe you are worried that you snore but you don’t know. Maybe you know you snore but are embarrassed to be a poked fun at like the sleeping zz’s in cartoons. Or maybe you snore and are worried about how your snoring could affect your partner–or you in more ways than just a sound burst or bite. Read on.

It may be hard to see how you snore. But if you snore with a closed mouth, this may indicate a problem with our tongue. while open mouth snoring may be because of tissues in your throat. The position you sleep in also contributes to the potential of snoring or not. Your actual size, weight, sex (maybe also indicate a propensity to snore or not. The medications you take and the social medication alcohol, can contribute to snoring. And of course, there are always certain ways nature built you. for example, extra tissues at the back of the throat. an elongated uvula, deviated nasal septum which is a crooked partition between your nostrils, allergies. colds or sinus infections, enlarged r swollen tonsils or adenoids, lacks of perfection nature built you with. The back-sleeping position can sometimes cause snoring because when lying on your back, gravity pulls the palate, tonsils and tongue backwards which can narrow the airway enough to cause some blockage problems or tissue vibration.

The tongue test. Stick out your tongue and then hold it in place with your teeth. Now try to make a snore sound. If this is hard, then your tongue may be your problem

Put a finger on one of your nostrils and push in, close your mouth and breathe in through your open nostril. If it pulls in hold it open and try again. If holding that one nostril open helped then your problem can be in your nose. Now open your mouth and with mouth open make a snore nose, close your mouth and make the same noise. If you can’t do it with closed mouth maybe your snoring is caused by your mouth open at night.

Hear Yourself Snore?

“There ain’t no way to find out why a snorer can’t hear himself snore.” Mark Twain said this but in fact as you well know there’s an app for everything. there are some aps that profess to record snoring through the night.

Here are just a few popular ones:

SnoreLab is advertised as advanced and innovative records, measures and tracks your snoring which will help you to plan for a solution. It shows when you snore, how loud, and the sounds. Dentists and doctors feel it is helpful to compare results day to day to discover how your lifestyle and/or remedies affect snoring.

It is integrated with the Apple Health app (iOS8 iPhone required.

With Google’s Snore Clock you can easily check if you snore. Put your smart phone beside your bed and press the red button in Snore Clock. Snore Clock records all noise during sleep and shows red bars where you most likely snore, measures the volume of the recording and charts it, as well as if your partner snores, if you talk in the sleep, if something disturbs your sleep Snore Clock was app of the month in the German edition of the MIT Technology Review magazine!

Do I Snore? is another app from iTunes for listening to those tell-tale snoring signs and recording the top three snores each time the app is run… You can set the app to begin listening right away, or use the built-in timer function to start taking recordings between certain hours only. The app continues to run if the sleep button is pressed and will run for approximately 9-10 hours on the phone’s battery. Do I Snore? examines the sounds it hears for tell-tale signs of snoring. It looks for repetitive sounds and silences.

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