Did you know?

Did you know that 4 of 10 Canadians suffer from snoring?
Snoring is more common in men than women, and the severity increases with ageing.
People with extra weight around the neck are more likely to snore.
The shape of one’s nose or jaw can also cause snoring.

What is snoring?

Snoring indicates that there is a narrowing of the airways. While you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow. As you breathe, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate. These vibrations cause the sound of snoring. The narrower your airway becomes, the greater the vibration and the louder your snoring.

Lifestyle changes:

If you’re overweight, lose weight and if you smoke, try to quit. Weight loss and smoking cessation may reduce snoring, in addition to having numerous other health benefits.

Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives at least 2 hours before bedtime. Sedatives and alcohol cause relaxation of muscles, including the tissues in your throat.

Sleeping habits:

Sleep on your side and raise the head of your bed. Raising the head of your bed by about 4 inches may help.

Treat nasal congestion or obstruction:

If you have allergies or other nasal issues, this can limit airflow through your nose, thus forcing you to breathe through your mouth and increase the likelihood of snoring. Taking an antihistamine or a nasal spray before bed can help open up your nasal passages.

Snoring indicates that there is a narrowing of the airways. When you sleep, your throat muscles relax, your tongue tilts back and your throat becomes narrower. When you breathe, the walls of your throat begin to vibrate. It is these vibrations that cause the sound of snoring. The narrower the airways, the greater the vibrations and the louder the snoring.

We can snore for several reasons. Simple snoring (regular or occasional) that is not accompanied by poor sleep or daytime sleepiness has little effect on your health.

On the other hand, snoring caused by sleep apnea is a sign that should not be overlooked. If it is accompanied by other signs such as fatigue, poor sleep, irregular breathing, irritability, mood swings or morning headaches, then it is important to consult a doctor because then it can have a negative impact on your health.

Simple snoring doesn’t disturb sleep, but heavy snoring accompanied by other symptoms can.

The way our face is made is one of the main reasons why we snore and/or suffer from sleep apnea.

For example, a large tongue, a long palate, prominent tonsils, a receding chin or smaller airways in the neck can greatly reduce the passage of air once our muscles are relaxed during sleep.

So, yes. Skinny people can snore.

The explanation lies at the level of our brain. The brain is not only used to receive sounds, it also sorts out the different noises.

The brain does not care about snoring!

At night, the brain stays alert. In case of unusual noise, it wakes you up. As you have noticed, if you sleep away from home, a small innocuous noise can wake you up. Then, spend a few days in this same place and you will sleep like a log. Your brain has learned that this noise does not announce any danger, so it classifies it as harmless and it does not wake you up.

This is what happens to snorers. Their brain knows this noise and it believes that it does not announce any danger. So he does not wake up the person in question.

Taking sedatives, drugs or alcohol. Many have noticed that during drunken evenings, after taking medications or muscle relaxation drugs, snoring will almost certainly to occur. These substances can make you muscles relax which causes partial or complete obstruction of the airways.

If snoring is caused by being overweight, losing weight may help.

When in bed, elevate your head and try to avoid sleeping on your back whenever possible.

Limit the use of alcohol, drugs and sedatives before settling in for the night.

You should see a doctor:

  • If snoring interferes with the quality of your sleep
  • If you do not feel rested when you wake up and fatigue increases during the day
  • If you sleepy during the day
  • If snoring is associated with memory and concentration problems, headaches, irritability and anxiety or even a low libido
  • If snoring is causing relationship problems between you and your partner.

Yes, if you have the impression during snoring that your partner is having difficulty breathing.

  • Go to bed before the snorer
  • Try to encourage the snorer to change their sleeping position
  • Put on earplugs
  • Find a source of white noise or listen to music to fall asleep
Man snoring with mouth open
Diagram showing normal vs snoring vs sleep apnea effects on the throat. Snoring is partial obstruction of the airway and Obstructive Sleep apnea is complete obstruction of the airway

Link between snoring and sleep apnea

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea but it is a key symptom and it is often the first indication of apnea. Why is that? Sometimes the walls of your throat collapse completely so that it is obstructed, causing apnea (cessation of breathing). At this point, you may wake yourself up with a grunt and a gasp or your partner may nudge you awake.

Home Sleep Test

So, snoring is no longer just an inconvenience to your partner, but it can be a serious health problem called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Half of all snorers suffer from sleep apnea.  Apnea can be easily diagnosed today with a home sleep test.

If you think that you may suffer from sleep apnea, please book a free assessment.

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Virtual Home Sleep Test

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Book an appointment from our website or call or drop in to your nearest clinic to have a sleep apnea assessment

We’ll conduct a sleep test in the comfort of your home.  We analyze the data and the results will be reviewed by a sleep specialist.

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3 weeks later you’ll discuss the results of your sleep test with a sleep specialist and if need be, together we can outline a treatment plan.

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