What are the health effects of snoring? Well, before we go into that, let’s take a quick look at how many people are affected by snoring.
The number of people affected by snoring varies depending on the source and the research. Wikipedia has the following statistics on snoring:
“Statistics on snoring are often contradictory, but at least 30% of adults and perhaps as many as 50% of people in some demographics snore. One survey of 5,713 American residents identified habitual snoring in 24% of men and 13.8% of women, rising to 60% of men and 40% of women aged 60 to 65 years; this suggests an increased susceptibility to snoring with age.”
Snoring And Our Significant Others
Now let’s take a look at how snoring affects the people who have to sleep next to a partner who snores.
We all know that in some cases, snoring can be comparatively quiet. But it can also be loud and unpleasant to say the very least. If you’ve ever slept next to someone who snores, you’ll know just how disturbing snoring can be to your sleep. It’s also not great for your health, which makes sense because sleep is such an important part of the overall health equation. There’s even a name for this situation: Spousal Arousal Syndrome
As I pointed out in this article, people who sleep next to a snorer are losing some of the quality of their sleep every night and can experience a range of adverse health effects including:
- Aches and pains
- Chronic fatigue and sleepiness
- Problems with memory
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
That’s definitely not good news, and it’s a major reason to investigate the cause of the snoring and to address it. Multiple studies have shown a statistically significant improvement marital satisfaction after snoring was corrected.
Bear in mind that as bad as snoring is for the partner, there can be far worse health outcomes for the snorer.
The Health Effects Of Snoring
Some kinds of snoring are considered as being relatively harmless to the snorer. Normal snoring (also known called primary snoring or simple snoring) isn’t caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of snoring isn’t necessarily going to cause any major health issues.
In many cases, primary snoring can be alleviated by addressing one or more of the possibly causative factors that I covered in this article. For example, a change in sleeping position might give some relief from snoring, as might a change of drinking habits, or weight loss.
However, anyone who works with the airway or breathing will see any snoring at all as being a warning sign of other hidden health problems. I’d suggest that if you or anyone in your family snores, then it has to be checked out by a sleep doctor to rule out OSA.
I’d further say suggest that if snoring is affecting your breathing or the quality of your sleep or your partner’s sleep in any way whatsoever, then it needs to be addressed as well.
The Obstructive Sleep Apnea Red Flag
The reason I say that snoring of any sort should be investigated by a sleep specialist is that if the snoring in linked to OSA, then we’re dealing with a potentially life-threatening health condition. This might sound dramatic but when we consider the health effects of snoring, it isn’t an exaggeration.
Studies reveal a connection between OSA and an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. This comprehensive study took place over an 18-year period and it states the risks of OSA quite clearly:
“All-cause mortality risk, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, and other factors was significantly increased with SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing) severity.”
In addition, OSA can also cause the following symptoms, all of which are associated with a decreased quality of health:
- Chronic sleepiness and tiredness
- High blood pressure
- Jaw pain and tension
- Facial pain and tension
- Morning headaches
- Memory problems
- Weight gain
- Car accidents
To conclude, when we consider all of the health effects of snoring, it’s obvious that this is a condition that shouldn’t ever be ignored. It can affect the quality of your life and those around you.