From the rumbling snore to the rasping snore, snoring affects more than 90 million American adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF.) It affects men and women alike and can become more prevalent with age. The NSF reports that, “The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be casually linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease.” Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Link between snoring and heart disease
A 2013 study conducted by otolaryngologists at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital has determined that snoring actually is a bigger risk factor for heart attack or stroke than other common risks such as smoking, high cholesterol and obesity. Research doctors Robert Deeb and Karen Yaremchuk discovered that for some people, snoring can indicate carotid arterial damage. The carotid arteries transport oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Snorers may suffer changes in the carotid artery due to the inflammation/trauma inflicted by the vibrations of snoring, states Science Daily.
Snoring, sleep apnea and heart disease
During sleep, some snorers will stop breathing for brief moments. This is known as sleep apnea. Someone suffering from nightly snoring and sleep apnea may stop breathing as many as 30 times per hour, often waking the sleeper. Sleep apnea causes restless sleep and is linked directly to heart arrhythmia, stroke, high blood pressure and even heart failure, states the American Heart Association.
Snoring remedies and cures
For many snorers, their nocturnal noisiness is an annoyance. However, because of its link to heart disease it may be beneficial to consider various remedies or cures for snoring. Two of the easiest ways to reduce nighttime snoring is to limit your intake of alcohol and to lose weight. Other snoring remedies and/or cures include:
- Use of a mouthpiece during sleep to open the airway allowing easier breathing
- CPAP mask use: wearing Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mask can help alleviate moderate to severe sleep apnea
- Switch from sleeping on your back to sleeping on your side
- Elevating the head at least four inches to ease breathing constriction and allowing your tongue to fall forward keeping the airway clear
Lifestyle changes may also help with reducing nightly snoring. Don’t drink caffeine or eat heavy meals before bed and consider running a humidifier in the bedroom if your home is dry. Remember that snoring can be a serious issue and indicator of other health issues. Talk to your doctor about any concerns regarding your snoring.