Whether it’s your partner, your roommate, or your pet, no one likes being woken up by loud snoring. But what if the snoring is coming from you? Although it might just be an annoyance for your sleeping buddy or even yourself, there are some potentially serious risks associated with snoring. If you find yourself drowning out any other night time noise with your snoozing, you need to be aware of the concerns.
The common risks of snoring
- Because your body is using up energy getting the air it needs, you lose out on a restful night of sleep. That can lead to a feeling of sleepiness or drowsiness during the daytime hours. If you find yourself chronically fatigued, you can also find yourself feeling more irritable and stressed. Consider mentioning any prolonged daytime drowsiness to your doctor at your next appointment.
- Everyone has the occasional headache, but for those with regular issues snoring, they may experience frequent headaches. While these can happen at any time of the day, they often happen in the morning and can be another cause for irritation or even feeling a little under the weather.
- If you have trouble losing those excess pounds, despite a healthy diet and regular exercise, it’s possible your snoring might have something to do with it. This is one area that can lead to a chicken-and-the-egg debate – does the excess weight come first or the regular snoring? Neither helps the other, but we’ve seen in recent years that sleep problems can disrupt hormones, leading to extra weight gain that may not have happened otherwise.
Mental health issues
- As mentioned with other common risks associated with snoring, there are mood issues and mental distress associated with the consequences of snoring. Sleep deprivation has proven to be a strong factor in depression and anxiety, as well as contributing to hormone imbalances. Aside from possible physical and chemical consequences of snoring, irritability and fatigue can alter your responses to normal interactions.
- Do you ever feel like you spend half the night needing to visit the bathroom? It could be due to snoring rather than a weak bladder. This could look like two or more visits per night or even loss of bladder control for some. Research has shown that men over 55 who wake often to urinate may have obstructive sleep apnea along with a prostate issue.
Less Sexual Satisfaction
- Although we all would like to keep things on the up-and-up in the bedroom, snoring can even have an impact on your sex life – and not just bothering your partner until they leave. A recent study of 827 older men showed that the more often and louder they snored, the less satisfaction they reported in their sex lives. Although there was no physiological reason for this decrease in satisfaction, it doesn’t change the fact that snoring could be robbing you of a healthy libido.
Serious risks of snoring
Type 2 Diabetes
- There are a few reasons you could be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, and one of them might be snoring. It can lead to weight gain – a top reason for Type 2 diabetes – plus snoring can lead to regular drops in oxygen levels, which also can act as a catalyst for Type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease and heart attacks
- According to medical professionals, it has been shown that sleep apnea is linked to cardiovascular problems. This would include things like high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and coronary artery disease. These issues could also lead to heart attacks if left to run their course. Data relating sleep apnea to heart disease shows that those with sleep apnea are twice as likely as those without sleep apnea to have nonfatal heart disease events and fatal heart attacks.
- Another very serious complication related to snoring is strokes. Data from at least one sleep study showed that the intensity of a person’s snoring was related to a higher risk of carotid atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of arteries in the neck due to plaque deposits. These deposits can eventually lead to strokes, which can also be fatal. To protect yourself, talk to your doctor about your snoring and consider your options.
If you find that you’ve been struggling with chronic snoring – especially if there’s been an increase in the intensity – speak with your primary care physician about your options. You may find yourself more alert, in better spirits, or even save your life.