Everyone knows how annoying snoring can be, particularly when the snoring comes from anyone else other than ourselves. Countless spouses, roommates, siblings, and others who live together have been torn apart by the vexatious phenomenon of snoring – which is a source of great discomfort, irritation and sleep disruption for snorers and those who live and sleep close to them.
However, even though the sheer annoyance and embarrassment caused by snoring is bad enough, there is sadly an even more worrisome and dangerous health dimension to it:
Snoring can kill you, as it is possible to snore yourself to death or die from snoring. Believe it or not.
This is not mere peculation or a far-fetched idea, but a scientific fact validated by evidence showing the numerous health risks of snoring and how persistent snoring may lead to fatal outcomes. This is especially true for individuals with a long history of snoring along with certain underlying conditions. Knowing that snoring is actually quite dangerous and not as harmless as many people think should not cause panic. Instead, this knowledge is critical in order to help you get effective solutions and take preventive steps to eliminate snoring and prevent its potentially life-threatening consequences.
How You Can Die From Snoring
The health dangers associated with snoring are tied to a number of critical factors, the most important of which is a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. To be sure, sleep apnea is a very dangerous condition in which an individual’s breathing is interrupted while he or she sleeps, thus ensuring that they experience multiple pauses in breathing during sleep, which deprives their brain and other vital body organs of sufficient amounts of oxygen.
Unfortunately, snorers have a high risk of suffering from sleep apnea since obstructions in the airway are the direct causes of snoring. To be clear, snoring (especially the rattling sound associated with it) represents the vibration from airway obstructions, which decreases airflow and oxygen supply. When a person is awake, the tissues in the throat are open and permit normal airflow to the lungs. However, when asleep, the soft tissues relax. Therefore, a snorer has a partially or completely blocked airway typically with a collapsed tongue and soft palate.
Sadly, most people with this condition are unaware of the blockage they experience during sleep. This puts them in grave danger of sudden death due to spikes in blood pressure, organ failure, and heart failure. When the airway collapses and oxygen supply is interrupted, the body goes into a dangerous fight-or-flight response mode, which puts a strain on the heart and increases blood pressure rapidly. Over time, this wears out the heart and heightens the likelihood of heart disease or stroke.
The Link Between Snoring, Sleep Apnea and Health Risks
There is no doubt that snoring goes hand in hand with sleep apnea, which in turn puts snorers at serious risk of developing harmful health conditions that can impair the quality of life and even lead to death. Indeed, the link between sleep apnea, snoring, and health risks is well established in numerous empirical studies. A recent research study involving 74 snorers demonstrated how snoring is directly linked with serious health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, mental health problems, and associated health risks.
A number of factors determine why some people experience the airway obstruction and airflow interruptions that cause snoring and sleep apnea during slee. These factors include sleeping position (especially sleeping on your back, facing up), use of sleeping pills, deviated nasal septum, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption, enlarged tonsils, and being overweight.
How to Prevent Snoring and Avoid Its Health Risks
While there is no straightforward answer to the questions of how to prevent snoring and how to avoid dying from snoring, there are some important steps that can help reduce snoring and eliminate its health risks associated with sleep apnea. The following measures are effective solutions to help prevent snoring and avoid the health dangers that come with it.
1. Don’t Sleep On Your Back!
This is possibly the simplest and most fundamental measure you can take to avoid snoring and reduce the risk of sleep apnea. For individuals who are predisposed to snoring and sleep apnea, sleeping on your back is extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening, believe it or not. Lying on your back collapses the base of your tongue and soft palate to the back wall of your throat, thereby producing a vibrating sound during sleep. The way to prevent this risk is to always try to sleep on your side (either side). This is because sleeping on your left or right side helps prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking your throat airway while you’re asleep.
2. Drink Lots of Water to Stay Hydrated
Dehydration prior to sleep can significantly worsen snoring and increase the dangers associated with sleep apnea. This is because dehydration causes secretions in one’s soft palate and nasal channel to become more sticky, thus increasing the risk of airway and airflow obstructions. It is therefore very important to be sufficiently hydrated by drinking lots of water or other health fluids throughout the day and especially in the hours before sleep.
3. Lose Weight to Reduce Snoring
Weight loss has numerous health benefits, and the avoidance of snoring and its health dangers is one of them. Losing some weight helps reduce fatty tissues in the back of the throat, which in turn reduces the chances of experiencing blockages on the airway. This can help decrease snoring frequency or even prevent it altogether.
4. Use a Good Quality Anti-Snoring Device
Not just any device, but a high quality dentist- endorsed anti-snoring device. These devices might be a bit pricey for the highest quality ones, but they can be the difference between life and death, especially for individuals with serious snoring problems.
Anti-snoring devices come in a variety of styles, designs, and uses. Some are designed to look like mouth guards (such as the highly rated Eliminator Sleep Aid), while others may encompass various kits, appliances, and aids. Regardless, their main usefulness lies in helping you ensure that the airway stays open, thus preventing airflow obstructions while you sleep and eliminating snoring.