Snoring. Most of us do it occasionally, and the majority of people see it as just a minor annoyance. However, it can be a symptom of more serious conditions, such as sleep apnoea, so if you are aware that you snore regularly and are worried you might have sleep apnoea (see below) it might be worth seeking expert advice.
National Stop Snoring Week is an annual event designed to raise awareness of snoring and to let snorers and their families know that snoring isn't something you just have to put up with – there are things that can be done about it.
"How to sleep with a snorer"
This year's National Stop Snoring Week is focusing on snorer's partners, with a questionnaire to fill in on your experiences of living with a snorer.
The questionnaire is entitled “How to sleep with a snorer”. With questions like “is your snorer willing to find a solution to their snoring” and “do you sleep in the same room as your snorer”, it aims to get some insights into how snoring can affect your whole life.
What is snoring?
Snoring is a sound that is made when the soft palate and other tissues in the mouth, nose and throat vibrate during inspiration (breathing in). It is caused by a partial blockage somewhere within the upper airway, and it can't be stopped at will.
If you are a heavy snorer, and this is combined with frequent and excessive sleepiness during the day, headaches, irritability and mood swings, you might be suffering from sleep apnoea.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition in which a complete obstruction of the airway temporarily causes sufferers to stop breathing for brief periods while they are asleep.
When you stop breathing, your brain automatically wakes you up, the muscles tighten unblocking the airway, and you start breathing again.
This is something that can happen many times over the course of one night. As a result, sufferers of obstructive sleep apnoea tend to be very tired during the day.
If you are a heavy snorer and suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnoea, or if you just want to find out more about methods to control your snoring, please get in touch.