If Cpap Pressure Is Too High Can You Gain Weight Snoring and Sleep Apnea, Causes and Cures – You Don’t Have to Be Overweight to Snore But It Helps

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Snoring and Sleep Apnea, Causes and Cures – You Don’t Have to Be Overweight to Snore But It Helps

Well, I shouldn’t make light of snorers because it can, quite literally, be dangerous to your health. It is believed that 10 percent of all snorers go on to develop “obstructive sleep apnea,” a potentially very serious and even fatal condition.

What is a snore? It is the air turbulence that makes the noise, so familiar to the suffering partners of snorers. This disturbed air flow is caused by the vibration of the tissues behind the nose and mouth. This occurs when the airways are partially closed, possibly due to lack of neck muscle tone or perhaps another physiological aspect, a jawline with an “overbite” appears.

What is a sleep apnea? It is someone who not only keeps her partner awake with disturbing noises, but also scares the living daylights out of her.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, the muscle in the upper airway relaxes with sleep, becoming progressively narrower. If the airway completely closes, the sufferer may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more. Then the brain will (must) kick in to ask for more oxygen, to which the sputtering suffocating sufferer will oblige, take a breath and go back to sleep, perhaps not the wiser.

It’s true, taller people tend to be snorers. Snorers are generally less healthy with a higher chance of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.

Now the question is, do people snore and suffer from sleep apnea because they lead an “unhealthy lifestyle” with associated health risks, or is it the breathing disorder that is responsible for a higher than expected connection to heart and blood pressure problems.

Research shows that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are related to heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes, independent of the association with smoking, alcohol intake and weight.

It’s little consolation for those healthy, jogging big eights out there who are affected, but around 40 percent of people with sleep apnea are NOT obese.

Causes of Snoring and (such) Sleep Apnea

However, weight is an important factor in the cause of snoring, but age can also play a role. As we age, the muscles in the throat, like the other muscles, become less efficient. Breathing in your own or other people’s smoke can lead to a build-up of congestion in the nasal passages making it more likely to breathe through your mouth resulting in more snoring.

Alcohol and drugs can also play their role. Alcohol is a sedative and it significantly relaxes the muscles in the throat, speeding up the passages, causing more snoring. Even after moderate alcohol intake, studies in Australia have shown that normally “harmless” snorers experience sleep apnea in the first 2 hours of sleep. The researchers measured the amount of oxygen absorbed by the blood in snorers who had drunk and found a reduction of 27 percent absorption, which means that much less oxygen reaches vital organs and tissues.

People who are already snorers and moderate to heavy drinkers are more likely to develop the more dangerous form of snoring, sleep apnea.

Sleeping pills can have a similarly harmful effect on breathing-related sleep problems, because the benzodiazepine drugs like Valium, relax the throat muscles again, which means more snoring.

Sleeping on your back can lead to snoring when the tongue falls back obstructing the throat, again narrowing the air passages.

Allergies like hay fever and a reaction to house mites can cause that stuffy feeling in the nasal cavity.

Type of food can also play its role, as some people react with excessive mucus production in the nose and throat after an attack of dairy consumption.

Snoring and sleep apnea cures don’t really exist. There is no magic pill, but the symptoms can be greatly reduced with lifestyle changes and in the case of sleep apnea by using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Although some people find this uncomfortable, it still is to a large extent thought to be the best option.

© Copyright Sleep and Sleeping Tips 2011

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