Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring Isn’t Normal!

Snoring is so common that many people think it’s normal. The truth is that unless you’re experiencing nasal or sinus congestion, breathing should be quiet and effortless whether you’re awake or asleep.

The top cause of snoring is the result of vibrations in the soft palate and collapsed tissues in the back of the throat, which occur when air passes through as you breath. Chronic snoring is more than just a nuisance; it’s a sign that something is obstructing the airway and making it difficult to breath.

Common Causes of Snoring:

  • Large Tonsils
  • Excess Weight Around the Neck
  • Sleeping Pills & Muscle Relaxers
  • Alcohol
  • Position (Sleeping on Your Back)

Snoring Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Snoring is also one of the most obvious signs of a sleep disorder—most commonly upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Both of these disorders prevent you from breathing normally during sleep, which leads to a multitude of health concerns.

The repercussions of inadequate or interrupted sleep extend far beyond daytime drowsiness. In fact, studies have linked sleep deprivation to an increased risk of:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Attack & Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Heartburn & Acid Reflux

Snoring Damages Relationships

Snoring is one of the leading causes of poor sleep—don’t let it affect your relationship, too! Almost 60% of people report that their bed partner snores. 20% of couples sleep in separate beds because of it! Sleep apnea has even been linked to erectile dysfunction as well as decreased libido and sex drive.

Although it might seem like a minor issue, chronic snoring can breed resentment and frustration that can cause even the strongest marriages to deteriorate. Treating snoring and sleep apnea is a small step that can make a huge difference in your relationship.

Stop Snoring, Now!

How Do I Stop Snoring?

There are many lifestyles changes that can help train your body on how to stop snoring, especially if your snoring isn’t a product of sleep apnea. These snoring treatments are completely natural, and are great healthy lifestyle changes in general.

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives before bedtime – these tend to cause relaxation of the throat muscles, interfering with regular breathing

If you already do all of these, however, and still find yourself asking, “How do I stop snoring?” or if you suffer from sleep apnea, you may require a higher level of treatment for your snoring and sleep difficulties. If you are plagued by sleep apnea, Austin dentist and sleep dentistry specialist Dr. Hedgecock can help you determine the best solution for you and start getting the rest you need.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

During sleep, the muscles in the mouth, jaw, and throat naturally relax. For those millions of people with obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles become so relaxed that they cave in thus obstructing the airway and making it difficult to breathe. The decreased flow of oxygen caused by sleep apnea usually results in sudden, repeated awakenings throughout the night, which jolts you out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.

Could You Be Suffering from Sleep Apnea?

  • Does your partner object to your loud, chronic snoring?
  • Have you ever woken yourself up in the night choking or gasping for air?
  • When you do sleep, is it restorative or restless?
  • Do you wake up with a dull headache?
  • Are you drowsy or fatigued on a daily basis?
  • Do you find yourself consuming caffeine on a daily basis to maintain your energy level?
  • Even if you’re exhausted, do you find it hard to fall and stay asleep?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you take medications for depression, blood pressure, or GERD?

If you answered yes to any to any of these questions, schedule a consultation with our Austin sleep dentistry team!

Only a sleep study can provide you with a conclusive diagnosis of sleep apnea, and Dr. Hedgecock works closely with local physicians to help you get the answers you need. The sooner you know the cause of your symptoms, the sooner you’ll receive the treatment you need and the restful sleep you deserve!

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Hedgecock