When does snoring become a problem.
We all know someone that snores
It might even be you!
Snoring is the movement of air through your nose or mouth causing the soft tissue in the back of your throat to vibrate when that airway is restricted or narrow. Often the louder the noise the more restricted the airway is. This can impact your body's ability to maintain oxygen to your brain and heart when you are sleeping; putting you at risk of poor health outcomes.
So, when is snoring ok?
For some, snoring is only temporary. Triggered by congested airways from a cold, flu, swollen tonsils or adenoids. Other causes can by alcohol consumption, pain relief, muscle relaxant medication, sleeping medication, or people coming off night shift with excessive fatigue.
Snoring isn’t ok when it is loud, persistent, consistent or if you wake yourself up because you are coughing, choking or gasping for air. This is the danger zone. This needs a Respiratory and Sleep Physician assessment to review your sleep as long term untreated breathing issues can be fatal.
What are some ways you can stop snoring?
There are lots of things that can help decrease your snoring. Before you start, take our sleep test to make sure your snoring is simple and doesn’t need to be investigated it further. Click here
Some of these suggestions may not work for you. Remember to reach out to our Dream Team for individual advice that suits your needs better.
Things you can try
- Try to sleep on your side as much as possible
- Have a regular bed time and wake time to prevent becoming over tired
- Decrease your alcohol consumption
- If you are overweight, actively work towards weight loss to take the pressure off your airways
- Treat any nasal resistance or congestion – speak to your GP, Pharmacist or Ear Nose Throat Specialist
- Use snoring aids like nose strips, nostril dilators and mouth guards.
- Improve your pillow support
- If you have a bed that can incline, do that – This only works if your bed can move. Increasing the volume of pillows under you head can often increase the snoring by compressing your airway further.
If your snoring persists after you have tired some of these changes, we recommend you have a reviewed by a Sleep and Respiratory Physician. This needs a referral from your GP. Take our sleep test results with you to your GP appointment to make things smoother.
Snoring not only disturbs your sleep, it disturbs everyone around you. The that long-haul flight, the tent next to you camping, the person on the other side of the thin demountable wall, your bed partner, maybe even the room next door in a brick house if you are that loud. It is something that needs treatment and should not be ignored. It can damage your long-term sleep architecture and put you at high risk or heart attack and stroke. These are not small simple health conditions; they are life altering.
When does snoring become sleep apnea?
There isn’t a switch that suddenly changes if from one to the other. It can be a gradual progression you aren’t aware of. You also don’t have to be snoring to have sleep apnea. Taking our sleep test will help you figure out if you have moved beyond just snoring. Often there are a group of symptoms that highlight the need for more investigation to confirm if you do or don’t have sleep apnea.
- Witnessed breathing pauses during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Poor concentration and focus
- Headaches in the morning
- Sore throat in the morning
- Restless sleep
- Gasping and choking at night
- High blood pressure in the morning
- Chest pain at night
- Persistent reflux at night
- Heart palpitations during the night
- Snoring consistently and disturbing your bed partner
- Persistent irritability and moodiness
- In children, poor attention span, impulse control, mood regulations issues, persistent fatigue and poor performance in school.
If you or someone you know is consistently experiencing any of these symptoms we strongly recommend a conversation with your GP to request a referral to see a Sleep and Respiratory Physician. This step is an important one. Being correctly reviewed prevents you being under or over diagnosed and recommended unnecessary or inferior products. There are many options out there that are marketed to help with snoring but have little to no impact. Getting correct advice is important.
If you are still unsure what to do take our sleep test or call our Dream Team on (08) 6168 1450