Why Am I Snoring at Night?
Has your partner, family member, or roommate complained about you snoring at night? You’re not alone. Over 64% of people snore. But why?
Snoring occurs when your airway is blocked. This blockage might be the result of:
- Sleeping on your back
- Being overweight or having a large neck
- Taking a muscle relaxant
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Suffering from a cold or congestion
However, if you’re a constant heavy snorer, it’s possible that you’re dealing with something more serious than the causes above — you might be suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition where your breathing stops periodically (sometimes 30+ times an hour!) during the night due to a blockage in your airway. When your breathing stops, the following process occurs:
- The oxygen level in your blood drops
- CO2 builds up and alerts your brain
- Your body releases stress hormones and increases your blood pressure
All of this helps to temporarily wake you up and kick you out of deep sleep to restart proper breathing. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that should not be ignored. It is believed to contribute to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and brain injury.
When is Snoring a Sign of Sleep Apnea?
Not all snorers have OSA, but if snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should seek professional diagnosis:
Breathing pauses during sleep
Daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating
Severe morning headaches
Sore throat upon awakening
Gasping or choking at night
Chest pain at night
Your snoring is so loud it’s disrupting other household member’s sleep
Keep in mind — you can snore loudly and not have sleep apnea, and you may also have sleep apnea without much snoring.
How to Stop Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
Depending on the severity of sleep apnea and the recommendations of your physician, a custom-fit mandibular advancement device (MAD) may be recommended.
Similar to a sports mouthguard, a MAD is worn at night and is designed to gently keep the lower jaw in a forward position. This helps keep your airway open and may also prevent your tongue from falling back over your windpipe.
A continuous positive air pressure device (CPAP device) is a mask that covers your nose and mouth, increasing air pressure in your throat while you sleep. However, many people find it impossible to wear a CPAP. If that’s you, talk with Dr. Waring to find out if you can get the same results using a MAD.
Especially if you’ve been examined and are found to not suffer from OSA, lifestyle changes can be a great place to start. Changes to your diet, exercising more frequently, eliminating stress, or even changing your sleeping position can reduce snoring and help you sleep better at
Discover More On Our Blog
Sleep Apnea and Dental Health: What You Need to Know
While snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, this disorder is much more problematic than sawing logs and disrupting other people’s sleep.
Learn the common signs of sleep apnea. Plus, learn how sleep apnea is linked to your dental health.
Dr. Waring is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
Dr. Waring is passionate about helping those who are suffering from snoring and complex airway issues like sleep apnea.
He has completed intensive sleep apnea training and education to ensure his patients receive the best care. Dr. Waring is committed to working with you to find the best way to manage your sleep apnea.
As a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Waring is equipped with the latest knowledge and training to provide you with modern treatment options. Taking a personalized approach, Dr. Waring will evaluate your situation and suggest the best option for how to stop your snoring and ensure a healthy, restful night’s sleep.