Articles by Snoring-Aid.com Staff

Can your Pillow Cause you to Snore?

Snoring Solutions

Snoring Related Issues

Most people cannot sleep at night without a pillow. However, this small thing can cause problems such as snoring. Does that seem like a stretch? Well then, consider these factors.

Comfort

Sleeping in an uncomfortable position can leave you with a sore neck and sleepiness come morning, not to mention a snoring habit over the long run. This is sometimes because the pillow is not comfortable to rest your head on. It is vital to get a pillow that goes well with your sleeping positions. If it is hot, avoid using a memory foam pillow, because the material traps heat.

Do not stay dehydrated, or wait until you feel tired in your bones to go to bed. Aside from inviting snoring, these things can leave you unable to notice if the pillow is in fact right for you.

Sleep Position

No special pillow exists which can cause you to simply stop snoring overnight. Still, it can affect the way your head rests, which in turn affects whether or not you will probably snore. Do not sleep on your back, or tilt your head to the front. In fact, do not sleep in any position that overly relaxes your mouth and throat.

Side sleeping is one of the basic snoring solutions. However, it is hard to break a lifetime habit of sleeping on your back, so this will take time. Your pillow should be able to help get through the worst of it. Some pillows can allow your head to be tilted backwards, while others support the neck during sleep. None of these changes is what you would call comfortable though, at least not initially.

Pollen and Allergens

Pillows can harbor dust mites that cause allergic reactions in many people. This problem can occur due to outdoor pollen as well. Your nose is not designed to block these particles when you sleep, which means they will enter and cause irritation, sometimes resulting in inflammation.

Short-term snoring can also be caused by respiratory infections, which result from germs inside the house. So what should you do? Clean, of course. Vacuum the room, wash the bedding, clean the curtains, and dust the corners. Do this weekly if your place normally gets dirty really fast. If your pet sheds a lot of fur, do not let it enter the bedroom. This will reduce the concentration of allergens. Lastly, replace your pillows every six months or sooner.

Common Types of Intrinsic Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Chin Strap For Snoring

Types Of Sleeping Disorders

Circadian rhythm cycle is actually the biological clock in one’s body that controls the sleep and wakefulness period of a person. Any disruption to the circadian rhythm can result in various sleeping disorders that may ultimately result in snoring and sleep apnea or other serious health issues. In some cases, it can happen the other way round as well. That is, snoring can lead to circadian rhythm sleep disorders and other health problems. In such cases, you can use any of the snoring devices recommended by a physician to alleviate it.

Categories of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Intrinsic and extrinsic disorders are two types of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. The former one is actually an internal health condition, in which the biological clock of a person is different from that of others. In this case, the person may either go to sleep way too early or late when compared to others. This will get worse every other day.

In case of the latter, it is circumstantial. That is, external factors like darkness, light, stress related to family, job, work, etc. Similarly, uncommon working schedules or snoring issues can also contribute to this. Below are some of the common intrinsic circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

In this disorder, the affected person feels exhausted at later hours when compared to others, which makes him/her stay awake throughout the night. As a result, the person will wake up late in the morning. In such patients, the melatonin production will occur at least two or more hours later, which keeps them awake at night. Furthermore, along with a delayed production, the melatonin hardly lasts the same amount of time as in normal people, making it hard for the affected persons to wake up early.

Note that teenagers and young adults are mainly prone to DSPS and this may reflect in their academic performance as well. People suffering from DSPS often encounter other disorders such as depression, excessive daytime sleepiness, late night insomnia, regular snoring, etc.

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (ASPS)

In this case, the affected person will start feeling sleepy earlier in the evening making him/her sleep earlier than others, which is just the opposite of DSPS. However, the melatonin production is same as that of DSPS patients. Still, the sufferers tend to wake up two hours earlier in this case.

In some cases of ASPS, the patients will wake up two hours late. Here, the side effects include early morning insomnia, depression, insufficient sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, etc. It is noted that ASPS is commonly seen in elderly people, where as only 1% of young adults are diagnosed with the sleep disorder.

An Ultimate Guide to Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Snoring Devices

Snoring Related Issues

Snoring is one of the most common health issues these days. Fortunately, there are many snoring devices available now, with which you can stop snoring up to a great extent. Note that snoring can also lead to various other sleep disorders. For instance, interruption of circadian rhythm is one of the major sleeping disorders that can be triggered by heavy snoring. Below are some in-depth details about circadian rhythm and related health issues.

What is Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian rhythm is a biological clock in your body that controls the timing that a body needs to rest and be energetic; that is, the sleep and wakefulness cycles. The main factor that contributes to this is the presence and absence of natural light in a day.

A circadian rhythm cycle mainly functions by means of the hypothalamus. Here, there is a group of cells known as Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) that is connected to the optic nerve of a person. This will help the biological clock to detect the presence and absence of light. Apart from this, SCN also plays a crucial role in controlling most of the body function such as heart rate, body temperature, hormones, etc.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

There are mainly two types of sleeping disorders related to circadian rhythm, intrinsic and extrinsic. The former one is present in one’s body by default, whereas the latter one is circumstantial. In case of intrinsic disorders, the sleep cycle will be entirely different from that of others. The main reasons for this can be the early or late sleeping and wake-up timings.

In case of extrinsic sleep disorders, the factors may depend on the circumstances, such as job, light, pressure, travel, etc., which are the common things that disrupt the sleep of a person. Some of the most common circadian rhythm sleep disorders include:

  • Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)
  • Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome
  • Non-24-Hour-Sleep-Wake Syndrome
  • Jet Lag
  • Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm
  • Shift-Work Sleep Disorder

The Treatment

Behavioral therapy is one of the non-surgical treatment methods used to cure circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Here, a patient will have to maintain regular timing for sleep and arousals, avoid taking naps during morning time and nicotine or caffeine before bedtime, reduce the use of electronic gadgets, must do exercises regularly, etc.

Another treatment method is the Bright Light Therapy. Here, a light box that emits high-intensity light is used to delay or advance the bedtime of a person. For this, the patient will have to sit under the light box for a set time depending on the intensity of the sleeping disorder.

Apart from these, certain medications such as melatonin can also be used to regulate the sleep cycles. Yet if snoring is the only thing that is disturbing your sleep cycle, the usage of appropriate snoring devices is recommended to counter the health issue.

Why Parents Should Be Concerned about Snoring in Children

Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Snoring In Children

It is a widely known and accepted fact that snoring is one of the most common sleeping disorders, which affect millions of individuals all over the world. A recent survey conducted by experts in the field of medical science confirmed that approximately 50 percent of all adults snore, at least occasionally. Although the percentage of kids who snore is estimated to be a lot lesser, it is still a serious matter of concern. So, if your child is suffering from snoring, then it is best to get medical assistance as soon as possible.

An experienced pediatric otolaryngologist, Brandon Hopkins, said, “On average, just one in 10 kids snore. But that doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.” He also stressed on the fact that the major culprit behind snoring in kids is obstructive or excessive tissues in their throat. “In children, large tonsils and adenoids are often a source of bulky tissue in the throat and the snoring,” he said.

Some of the other common causes of snoring in children include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Deviated septum
  • Asthma
  • Throat infections
  • Allergies

Snoring issues in children usually gets better without medical treatments. However, in some rare cases, snoring in kids might lead to some serious health issues. If that is the case, then you will need to invest in a sleep apnea mouth guard to deal with the problem. Below are a few signs that indicate that the snoring issue in your kid is a bit serious.

  • He/she snores on most nights
  • You are able to frequently hear the sound of your child’s snoring
  • The snoring sound is too noisy
  • The mouth of your kid remains open when he/she is asleep
  • You are able to hear your child gasping for breath when they are asleep

Speaking on snoring in kids, Hopkins said, “It’s not common in kids, but when sleep apnea is severe, it can pose health risks for the heart and lungs.” He also advised parents to “track how many nights of the week the snoring occurs and whether it happens frequently, or only occasionally, during the night.”

If the snoring issues in your kid are due to the presence of large adenoids or tonsils, then the health care provider may recommend surgery. As said, you can also use a sleep apnea mouth guard initially to see if it helps to ease the symptoms of snoring. However, consulting a doctor is always recommended.

Common Causes of Daytime Sleepiness and How to Deal with it

Chin Strap For Snoring

Causes Of Daytime Sleepiness

One’s mental and physical health can contribute to a sense of sleepiness at daytime. However, it always boils down to a lack of proper nighttime sleep. There are several causes to loss in sleep quality including various conditions from restless leg syndrome to sleep apnea. Two of the main causes of daytime sleepiness, their symptoms, and ways to improve sleep quality are as follows.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This is often considered as a type of sleep disorder, as restless leg syndrome affect the quality of sleep. Several things, from excessive caffeine to alcoholism and tobacco smoking, can cause the problem.

Generally, the condition is characterized by an urge to move the legs when lying or sitting on bed on evening hours or nighttime. However, the extent of symptoms varies from one patient to the other. In some patients, moving the legs can make uncomfortable sensations to lessen or go away.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and breathing cessations, which tend to last from a few seconds to more time than that when a person is deep asleep and not aware of the problem. These intervals, where one wakes up gasping for breath, are known as apnea episodes.

A non-invasive remedy for sleep apnea is to use a stop snoring mouthpiece, which is worn during sleep to advance the lower jaw forward and thereby avoid soft tissues in the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. The mouthpiece has no side effects, and is a clinically approved remedy for loud snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Note that there are several other causes to feeling sleepiness at daytime besides these two. For instance, people suffering from chronic skin disease or other conditions are prone to falling asleep much earlier than standard bedtime as well as take a nap at daytime. Therefore, doctors specialized in oral appliance therapy recommend changes in lifestyle to patients as well for better results.

Some of such recommendations may include cutting back on alcohol consumption, tobacco, and caffeine. Such substances, especially caffeine, act as stimulants and can cause one to stay active for more hours than needed, thereby leading to poor sleep quality. If you feel sleepiness at daytime, limit the tendency to take longer naps and stick to power naps. Remember, naps that last more than 1 hour disrupts the sleep cycle, but power naps can make you feel refreshed.

The Link between Snoring and Diabetes

Snoring Solutions

Snoring And Diabetes

People who have diabetes often have sleeping issues, and snoring is one of the most common problems in such people. Snoring actually happens when the air passage is partially blocked during sleep, and the loud noise of snoring is caused when the uvula and soft palate vibrates in the throat while the air moves in and out.

Snorers usually have an irregular sleeping schedule and may tend to wake up very frequently while sleeping. Due to the sleep deprivation, the insulin levels are affected very badly, which means that regular snorers are at a higher risk of being diabetic when compared to those who do not snore.

The Change in Hormone Levels

Our hormone levels are greatly affected by our sleeping habits. When we get tired, our body produces high levels of ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger. Furthermore, leptin, the hormone that signals the brain that you are full, will become low with sleep deprivation issues.

All this means that snorers are likely to overeat and will have more risk of obesity, which in turn, leads to insulin resistance. Some studies even say that people who face sleeping troubles have higher blood glucose levels.

Researches also say that sleep apnea disorder is very closely linked to blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, and related conditions. Sleep apnea is a condition where you may stop breathing for a few seconds and probably end up waking to gasp in a lot of air to sleep again.

Some people may even recurrent apnea episodes throughout the night. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the body, and as a result, a stress hormone (Cortisol) is released in the body. The increase in Cortisol eventually leads to insulin resistance and affects the blood sugar levels in the body.

Treatment

Lifestyle changes can reduce your snoring levels to a great extent. For starters, do not consume any alcohol before going to sleep; you also need to make your bedroom allergen-free and quit smoking. Apart from that, you can try to sleep on your side, so that it can reduces the pressure on your neck and lets you breathe freely.

You can also use over-the-counter snoring solutions to lessen snoring issues, and get a peaceful night’s sleep. Still, it is better to consult with a doctor as soon as you notice any snoring symptoms or have trouble sleeping. Getting proper medical attention would help to get your blood glucose levels and insulin levels back to normal.

How OSA Relates to Arrhythmia

Stop Snoring

Snoring Related Issues

Arrhythmia is one of the many serious health issues, which result from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It ranks right up there along other heart conditions like non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, heart block, and atrial fibrillation. Heart arrhythmia or cardiac dysrhythmia is a scary condition because of the fact that along with stroke, it causes the most number of sudden deaths during sleep.

What is Arrhythmia?

This heart condition involves a problem with the rhythm or rate of the affected person’s heartbeat. In patients who already have OSA, this rhythm tends to deteriorate when nighttime respiration is obstructed by episodes of apnea.

An OSA episode can last for up to several minutes, during which the person stops breathing. People who experience more than one episode in a single night are prone to have problem with their blood oxygen level.

  • When the oxygen level in the blood drop, heart rhythm problems can ensue, as can a rise in pressure to the right side of the person’s heart.
  • If the oxygen saturation goes down drastically in the night (such a condition is called hypoxemia), it raises the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
  • CPAP, besides helping to stop snoring at night, has been found effective in treating patients with abnormal heart rhythm.

Your Heart and Sleep State

Sleep states heavily influence your heart, as well as how oxygenated your body stays. This has to do with changing brain activity while you cycle between NREM and REM sleep. Sleep apnea patients exhibit problem during REM sleep, characterized by the big disturbances in nerve activity. This can affect any pause in the rhythm of the heart.

Healthy people do not usually have a problem here, but a person with heart disease or OSA is in danger of being beset by cardiac dysrhythmia during REM sleep.

Improving your Heart

People with OSA can take some general measures to bring down the severity of arrhythmia and OSA, although recovery will not begin at once. These can also set them in a healthy lifestyle, which is a good thing from any perspective.

  • Undergo CPAP therapy, or any alternative therapy, as a way to avoid OSA episodes.
  • Reduce weight. This is a no-brainer on any given day, unless you are already on the underweight side.
  • Cut down on sedatives and alcohol intake, because either can lead to pharyngeal collapse, and that can lead to airway blockage when you are asleep.

How is Sleep Related to Cholesterol

Snoring Solutions

Cholesterol Affects Sleep

As you may think, cholesterol is not often a bad thing. You need to be aware of the fact that there are two types of cholesterol: LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density Lipoprotein). LDL is definitely bad cholesterol that consists of more fat and less protein, has a negative effect on health, and even increases the risk of heart disease. On the contrary, HDL is a good cholesterol that is capable of removing harmful, bad cholesterol from the body.

Cholesterol and Sleep

Too much or too little sleep can have a bad impact on the levels of lipid in our body. If you sleep for less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours per day, you may have low HDL levels and high triglycerides. Many studies say that snoring is also related to low levels of HDL cholesterol, which in turn, leads to sleep deprivation and fatigue.

In addition, if you do not get enough sleep, it may cause an increase in craving for high cholesterol food. This can lead to increase in stress levels and decrease the drive to engage in physical activities.

Lifestyle Modifications

LDL cholesterol can be high for people who smoke, do not exercise regularly, or have poor diet habits. All this means that a few lifestyle changes can help to control bad cholesterols to an extent. In fact, you can do many things that can prevent you from having high cholesterol apart from having healthy sleep habits. One of the simplest things is to control your diet.

You need to avoid foods like butter, cheese, meat, and other food having high saturated fat content. Furthermore, try adding some food items that can help you lower the bad cholesterol, such as nuts, olive oil, avocados, and oats.

Another important aspect to follow is exercising. You can try moderate walking for 40 minutes, at least three times a week, or do other exercises like jogging, swimming, or cycling. You can also do meditation or yoga regularly to keep your health well.

When to Consult a Doctor

Following good sleeping habits can drastically decrease bad cholesterol levels. However, if you are having serious health issues related to cholesterol like extreme fatigue, nausea, breathing problems, numbness, or chest pain, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

Note that although snoring can be prevented by using one of the many snoring solutions, sleeping trouble is something that needs proper medical attention. In severe cases, it may even cause serious heart diseases. So consulting with a doctor before anything serious happens will be a wise choice for you; remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea That are Rarely Recognized

Snoring Devices

Sleep Apnea Signs

Snoring is defined as the vibration of respiratory structures and the resultant sound due to a restricted air movement during breathing while sleeping. In most cases, people snore while sleeping and it is absolutely normal. However, you have to take care if it becomes unpleasant and louder, as it can be the sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

According to a recent study, around one out of every 15 people in the United States suffers from sleep apnea. In case of the sleep disorder, the patient will wake up multiple times while sleeping due to a short of breath. This is because of an insufficient oxygen supply to the brain as well as the rest of the body.

Note that if left untreated, sleep apnea can be fatal. One of the common solutions to stop snoring and sleep apnea is by the use of anti snoring devices such as apnea chin strap, stop snoring pillows, CPAP machine, etc. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using any such remedies, because using the wrong anti snoring solution may even worsen the situation.

Doctors usually decide the treatment methods based on the symptoms, and hence, it may vary in individuals. Some of the lesser-known symptoms of sleep apnea are given below; if you have any of these symptoms, make sure to take adequate treatment as soon as possible.

A Morning Headache

Most people suffer from a morning headache because of various reasons, so they often overlook it. However, morning headache can also be a symptom of sleep apnea. It is reported that approximately 75% of people who are suffering from sleep apnea wake up with a headache. Similarly, people with morning headaches are two to eight times more likely to experience sleep issues.

Dry Mouth

Snoring mainly occurs when the soft tissues and muscles in the mouth relax and interrupt normal breathing. A dry mouth is common in all snorers, especially if they breathe with their mouth open. In case of sleep apnea, the patient is two times more likely to experience a dry mouth in comparison to normal snoring episodes.

Nocturia

Nocturia is the tendency to urinate frequently at night; this can be awful for most of the sleep apnea victims. When people wake up because of short of breath as a result of the apnea episode, the brain will send inapt information to the body. To tackle this, the heart usually excretes a protein that tends the body to eliminate sodium and water from its system, which is to urinate.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Respiration?

Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Snoring Related Issues

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where you may stop breathing for a short time while you are sleeping. Usually, these pauses, which are referred to as apnea events or apnea episodes, may last from 10 to 30 seconds. People having this health condition may stop breathing hundreds of times every night, and this may lead to low oxygen levels and sleep disruption.

It is seen that OSA leads usually to restlessness, and if not treated properly, it may reduce cognitive function and cause daytime sleepiness. Apart from this, it also heightens the risks of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Though sleep apnea mouth guard can be used to prevent snoring and limit the OSA symptoms to an extent, severe cases of sleep apnea needs to be treated. Therefore, it would be wiser to consult a doctor if you have the condition.

Apart from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are three more kinds of sleep apnea, namely sleep-hypoventilation syndrome, complex or mixed sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea you have, timely intervention is mandatory to deal with the health issue properly. The following are the factors that may lead to higher risk of the condition.

  • Obesity
  • Having thick and large neck
  • Hereditary disease
  • If you are male
  • If you are 40 years or more
  • Presence of large tonsils
  • Recessed chin

In case of children, they may have this syndrome if there are large tonsils and adenoids.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Breathing?

At first, you will be breathing normally and sleeping quietly, and the air can flow easily to the lungs through the breathing tube. A little later, you might start snoring loudly; this means that your air passage is blocked partly. If the block worsens, it can affect the volume of air that enters the lungs, and hence, lead to a significant drop in the oxygen levels. This condition is referred to as hypopnea.

As time passes, your airway gets blocked completely, and when the brain gives the signal to breathe as normal, you couldn’t breathe in the air because of the blocked air passage. After a ten to thirty second pause, the brain realizes that you were not breathing, thus, it will force you to wake up. When you can wake up, you take a deep breath of air, and thereby, start breathing normally. However, the cycle may repeat, and this leads to frequent sleep interruption.