What You Need to Know about Snoring
Snoring is extremely common. As many as half of all adults occasionally snore. In the best-case scenario, snoring is an annoying habit that bothers your sleep partner. However, snoring could also indicate a more serious health problem: sleep apnea. New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions, led by Dr. Ivan F. Stein, shares everything you need to know about snoring.
Why Do I Snore?
Snoring occurs when the airway in the throat is partially blocked, preventing the free flow of air as you breathe. Excess tissue in the throat (such as large tonsils, a large soft palate or a large tongue) collapses backward, blocking the airway. When air enters the nose and mouth and travels down the narrow space in the throat, the soft palate vibrates. This is what causes audible snoring noises.
- One in three adults snore regularly (approximately 37 million adults).
- 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women snore regularly.
- 5 to 7 percent of children snore regularly.
- Nearly 60 percent of people claim their partner snores at night.
- People that share a bed with a snorer report getting an average of three to five hours of sleep a night.
- People that snore are three times more likely to experience a health condition than people that do not snore.
- There is a hereditary factor in seven out of 10 snorers.
- The loudest recorded snore was 111 decibels (a normal conversation is about 60 decibels and anything above 90 decibels can cause ear damage).
Causes of Snoring
Certain factors relax the throat tissues excessively so they partially block the airway and lead to snoring. For example, if you drink, smoke, take muscle relaxers or sleeping pills, you are more likely to snore. Being overweight or having excess weight around the neck also contributes to snoring. And sleep position affects snoring — if you sleep on your back, you are more likely to snore.
In children, enlarged tonsils or adenoids may cause snoring.
When Your Snoring Indicates Something More Serious
If your snoring is accompanied by audible gasps or choking, this combination could indicate that you have obstructive sleep apnea. As you sleep, your airway becomes completely blocked and your breathing stops. When your breathing stops, it triggers your brain to respond by waking you up slightly so you start to breathe again. As you resume breathing, you might gasp or choke. This pattern repeats multiple times per night (sometimes hundreds of times), preventing you from getting adequate sleep.
What to Do If You or Your Partner Snores
If you or a family member is a chronic snorer, it is highly recommended you speak to a sleep specialist, or contact New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions for further evaluation.
After confirming the diagnosis, Dr. Ivan F. Stein and the team at New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions can explore your treatment options. Please call us at (855) WHY-SNORE or (855) 949-7667.