Do you snore? Or more accurately has someone else told you so. Before you start into that fruitless denial mode, and drive your bunk mate right out of your bed, ask them the important question “Do I stop breathing in the mists of my snoring?”
Snoring is common in adults and usually is not an indication of an underlying disorder. Snoring is a loud, hoarse, or harsh breathing sound that happens while you are asleep. However, snoring coupled with apnea means so much more.
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by episodes of stopped breathing during sleep. Apnea means you have periods when you are not breathing for more than 10 seconds while you sleep. These periods of “apnea” are long periods of silence, and are followed by a sudden snort or gasp as breathing resumes.Unfortunately, snoring starts all over again.
If you have sleep apnea, this cycle generally happens several times a night. The result is fragmented sleep that is not restful, leading to excessive daytime drowsiness.
What’s important to note is that you may not remember the episodes of apnea during the night. That’s right, your bunk mate may be your only apnea witness.
Why should you care that you have sleep apnea? Well, aside from the obvious effects from your restless night’s sleep, the major risk from this condition is stroke due to episodes when your brain is not getting enough oxygen.
Talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment. Your snoring can mean so much more, so don’t shoot the messenger.