Most men and women in Chicago do not take snoring seriously. But maybe they should. Those nocturnal snorts, whistles, and wheezes can actually cause serious problems – for your health and your relationships if your snoring keeps others awake at night. When snoring is a problem, relationship tension can grow in the following ways:
- Sleeping alone. If you or your partner snores, you might decide to sleep alone. That only makes for a lack of physical intimacy and a strained relationship. And if you’re the one snoring, you might feel lonely, isolated, and frustrated about something you feel you have no control over.
- Snoring spats. It’s common to be irritable when lack of sleep is an issue. But try reining in your frustration. Remember, you want to attack the snoring problem—not your sleep partner.
- Partner resentment. When a non-snorer feels they do everything possible to sleep through the night (ear-plugs, noise-machines, etc.) but their partner does nothing to combat their own snoring, it can lead to resentment. Working as a team to find a snoring cure can prevent future fights.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimates that nearly one in three Americans snores occasionally, and 37 million are habitual snorers. Habitual snorers can be at risk for serious health problems. Obstructive sleep apnea is an illness that is often associated with chronic snoring. This condition creates several problems, including:
- Long interruptions of breathing (more than 10 seconds) during sleep caused by partial or total obstruction or blockage of the airway. Serious cases can have total blockage episodes hundreds of times per night.
- Frequent waking from sleep, even though he or she may not realize it.
- Snorers with obstructive sleep apnea sleep lightly to try to keep their throat muscles tense enough to maintain airflow.
- Blood oxygen levels are often lowered, which causes the heart to pump harder and blood pressure to rise. The result is a poor night’s sleep, which leads to drowsiness during the day and can interfere with the persons quality of life. Prolonged suffering from obstructed sleep apnea will result in higher blood pressure and may cause enlargement of the heart, with higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
- The stress of not getting enough oxygen causes the body to produce adrenalin, a chemical that helps our bodies fight and cope with stressful situations. Adrenalin also causes blood sugar to rise, which may eventually lead to diabetes.
Testing your sleepiness using several methods like the Epworth Sleepiness Scale or The Snore Score can prove useful to determine whether your snoring is a more significant problem than you may believe.