Fatigue From Snoring And How To Avoid It

2013-12-21 | |
Last updated: 2019-10-24

As much as we might try to get some extra time in our day by staying up a little later, most of us have realized that cutting corners just does not work over time. Eventually, we need to catch up on sleep. However, sleep does not always mean rest and even those who do their best to get eight hours of sleep per night can sometimes still feel exhausted in the morning. One of the causes of this fatigue can be as a result of snoring whether or not our bed mate as had the heart to tell us.

Among Men And Women, Who Snores The Most?

A common belief is that few women snore, but among women there are quite a numbers of whistlers and wheezers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports a ratio of about 2:1, that is approximately 62.4% of males and 37.6% of female snore. One of the reasons for this difference is that nasal passages in women are often larger than in men.

What Causes Us To Make Snoring Sounds?

In order to understand snoring, it is important to understand that the tissues around our air passages in the head are soft tissues. When people are awake, the muscle holding the soft tissue keeps that passage open. During sleep, this muscle relaxes, causing the tissue to relax and sag, narrowing the air passage. Subsequently, if the mouth is partially open, we will draw in air through the mouth and past these soft tissues. With this air movement, the soft tissues can vibrate, creating the sound of snoring.

What Increases Our Risks For Snoring?

When it comes to the risks of snoring, there are are number of factors that make it more likely for us to snore.

Obesity Makes Snoring More Likely

For one, obesity increases our risks of snoring because the additional fat tends to get deposited around the neck, compressing the soft tissue in the the area and reducing the air flow. As well, continuous sleeping on one’s back, something common among those who are obese, also relaxes the lower jaw muscles, causing the mouth to fall open, further compressing the soft tissues and partially closing the air passage.

Snoring May Be Caused By Differences In Anatomy

Additionally, those with weaker lower jaws, where the lower jaw is further backward than the upper jaw, tend to push the base of their tongues backwards during sleep which constricts the throat and makes the creation of vibrations easier as air is drawn in.

Similarly, nasal polyps or fleshy growths in the nasal passages can directly block our breathing making snoring more likely. Likewise, a damaged or a crooked nose can also make snoring worse simply by making the flow of air more difficult.

Alcohol And Medications

Also, consumption of alcohol, medications and depressants can all affect the central nervous system, increase the relaxation of the muscles in the throat which again causes the respiratory passage to be partially blocked. This is something that many of us will have observed in sharing a bed with a partner.

Sleep Apnea Can Lead To Snoring

For those with the condition sleep apnea, the airway can get completely blocked, and those with the condition may stop breathing for 10 seconds to a minute at a time. When this happens, a person can wake up briefly most times the breathing ceases, which can be hundreds of times a night. Many do not realize they are waking up and falling asleep all through the night, which leaves them completely exhausted.

In addition, when this happens, the oxygen level in the blood may plunge well below normal, forcing the heart to pump harder, causing cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, heart attack and stroke. As a result, the risk of heart disease and stroke is twice as high in women who snore regularly as against those who never snore.

Smoking Contributes To Snoring

Generally speaking, smokers are less healthy as compared to non-smokers and may be both shorter and heavier than non-smokers with a greater incidence of nasal problems. This is because smoking irritates the tissues of the nasal passages and the upper airway, causing these tissues to swell and interfere with airflow. Being a progressive problem, a light or occasional smoker will find the problem becomes more common over time.

Snoring Can Also Be Caused By Other Factors

Numerous other problems can also lead to snoring. For example, colds and allergies will also cause snoring because of the inflammation in the airway. For a cold, the effects are temporary, but allergies may be ongoing.

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Category: Disease Prevention, Health Risks

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