If you have ever been awakened in the middle of the night and told to quit snoring, you know how disruptive it can be to your sleep. Of course if your snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, your sleep is already disrupted, but of that you are not aware.
Typically, everybody snores occasionally for a variety of reasons. Snoring is essentially caused by the over relaxation of the soft tissue in the upper palate and while sleeping it may droop into the airway making it difficult to quit snoring. When a person breathes that loose tissue vibrates making the noise called snoring. It can also be caused by vibration of a slightly swollen uvula, which is the small triangular piece of tissue hanging from the roof of the mouth near the back of the throat.
Usually, too much alcohol or depressive drugs causing the extra relaxation can cause snoring and in the short-term is not usually anything to worry about and by not drinking right before bedtime most people quit snoring. However, excessively loud snoring, that occurs almost every night and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as being sleepy throughout the day and the inability to concentrate, may be signs of obstructive sleep apnea.
This occurs because the tissue is present during sleep and partially blocking the airway. A person with sleep apnea may partially wake up several times throughout the night just to get their breath and to quit snoring. They will feel the effects of the lack of sleep despite not necessarily knowing they are losing sleep.
Medical Issue Must be Treated
Since a lack of breathing causes a loss of oxygen, sleep apnea has been blamed for some heart attacks and strokes so people suffering excessive snoring may be exhibiting symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Medical attention or a visit to the sleep clinic will be necessary for a proper diagnosis of sleep apnea and appropriate treatment to quit snoring.
Typically, a breathing apparatus is worn while sleeping to help provide a constant airflow, but many people find it too uncomfortable to wear and simply do not put it on. Dental appliances as well as headgear have been designed which help keep the airway open for proper breathing while you sleep. Even nasal strips, which help, keep the nasal passages open will offer some relief to breathing, but usually will not help you quit snoring.