Snoring is a noisy noise made when you breathe while you sleep. It is caused by vibrations of the soft tissues of the back of the throat, mainly the palate and uvula. After 50 years of age snoring affects approx. 60% of men and 40% of women, while in the group of 70-year-olds, 70% of women and men snore chronically.
The highest intensity of scientifically measured snoring is 80 decibels. That’s a lot. They can be likened to listening to loud music in a room or the sound of a car horn on the street. The biggest problem is that snoring is not considered a medical condition. Underestimating this symptom may, however, lead to the development of consequences, already classified by medicine as typical disease entities.
Listening to a person next to you snoring is hard work. Not only is it impossible to sleep, it’s even hard to collect your thoughts. I have the impression that my husband, Jurek, could imitate the sounds of dinosaurs. It howls, wheezes, makes frightening sounds. As I told him, he was offended and said that I was making up some fairy tales. When I informed him that snoring was mainly a male problem, I found out that I was a chauvinist.
In search of causes
There are many reasons for snoring. A lack of moderation in eating and drinking and the resulting excess weight may be to blame for them, as well as excessive alcohol consumption, taking sleeping pills or smoking, as the substances in the smoke irritate the back of the throat. What else? Dry air in the bedroom and supine sleep, which causes the root of the tongue to drop more strongly towards the larynx. It may also be caused by the hypertrophy of the third tonsil, nasal obstruction due to polyps, deviation of the nasal septum, and swelling of the nasal mucosa in allergy sufferers with hay fever.
Snoring during pregnancy
Pregnant women snore because weight gain can affect the diaphragm and the nasal passages can swell. If you are pregnant and you snore – tell your doctor about it – it may be associated with e.g. hypertension. Hypertension and diabetes are twice as likely in snorers.
Health effects of snoring
Both the snorer and the person who shares the bedroom suffer from snoring. Affects them:
- chronic lack of sleep (a partner of a snorer misses an average of 1.5-2 hours of sleep each night),
- irritability and trouble concentrating.