Thursday, January 22, 2015

Snoring and Your Health

According to Mayo Clinic, at least half of the adults in the world snore sometimes. Snoring occurs when airways are blocked from tissues in your throat that relax as you sleep. When air passes through these relaxed tissues, it creates a vibration which in turn makes the snoring sound. This can be disruptive to the person snoring and his or her loved ones.

People who snore regularly may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing is interrupted numerous times during sleep. As a result, the brain and body may not get enough oxygen. This can lead to waking up many times at night, being tired throughout the day, having headaches in the morning or waking with a sore, dry throat. Men and people who are overweight are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea, but it can affect anyone.

People who experience prolonged poor sleep may be at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart conditions or stroke. But fortunately, there are some ways to reduce snoring. Below are a few tips and healthy habits:
  • Have a set sleep schedule. Try keeping to a schedule by going to bed at the same time every night.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking may cause swelling and blockage of the upper airway. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise. Snoring can be made worse by extra tissue in the neck and throat area.  
  • Cut your substance intake before bed. Drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages before bedtime may keep you awake. 
  • Sleep on your side or at a 4-6 inch incline. This helps to keep the tongue or other tissues from blocking your airway.
  • Sleep in a comfortable environment. It is not only important to make sure that your bed is comfortable, but also your surroundings. Most people sleep best in areas that are not too bright, stuffy, hot or cold.
If snoring persists, it may be time to consider speaking with a physician. GBMC offers sleep services and studies for adults who may be experiencing sleep problems. The studies are done in home-like environments and can provide information to the certified sleep technicians from Sleep Services of America and GBMC physicians.

For more information about the Sleep Services at GBMC, visit

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