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Four Hidden Dangers of Sleep Apnea

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Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is one of the most common sleeping disorders and this condition affects millions of people. However, several people have a misconception that their snoring issues will get resolved on its own. It is true that snoring can be mild, but in some cases, this sleeping disorder is associated with many other serious health conditions.

It is significant to note that most people who are suffering from snoring consider this sleeping disorder to be an embarrassing and annoying condition. This is because snoring does not just affect the patient but it also the ones sleeping next to the affected person. As a result, they are a little bit hesitant to approach a health care provider. This is not a good move though, as snoring may result in serious health complications if left untreated for long.

If your snoring is due to smoking, alcohol consumption, or obesity, then you will be able to reduce or stop snoring by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Yet if that does not work, then you will need to invest in effective anti snoring solutions to stop snoring that can help to resolve the snoring issue within a few months or even weeks.

On the other hand, if the condition of sleep apnea is the major culprit behind your snoring issues, then it is a sign of serious health problems. This considerably increases your chances of falling prey to diabetes, lung diseases, and heart problems. Individuals who are suffering from OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea will experience restricted or obstructed breathing when they are asleep. This sleeping disorder will repeatedly deprive you of breath for 10 seconds or more during a single sleeping cycle. Even that is not it – there are many other major complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea too.

High Blood Pressure

If you are a person who is dealing with high blood pressure issues then sleep apnea will make it worse. Your body will get stressed when you wake up repeatedly during the night due to shortage of breath. This will elevate the blood pressure levels in your body. In addition to that, the amount of oxygen in your body will also get reduced when you are unable to breathe properly during the night. This will further trigger a number of dangerous health issues.

Heart Diseases

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Snoring Related Issues

A recent study conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed that individuals who are suffering from OSA are at a greater risk of heart diseases. This might be due to the lower oxygen levels in the body of the patient or because of the stress that the patient experiences as a result of sleep deprivation. Another thing to note here is that the condition of sleep apnea also disrupts the way in which your body absorbs oxygen. This will in turn make it a lot harder for the brain to control the blood flows in the arteries.

Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes are also at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea. In fact, several surveys have established that the condition of sleep apnea is common in approximately 80 percent of people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes. It is significant to note that obesity raises the risk of both Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. However, the good news is that shedding a few pounds and making a few lifestyle changes will help you to stay away from both these diseases to a certain extent.

Weight Gain

Several people are not aware that gaining a few extra pounds may significantly increase their chances of developing sleep apnea. In addition to that, people who have gained weight might also find it a bit hard to lower the risk of sleep apnea. If you are overweight or obese, you will have large amounts of fatty acid deposits in your neck, which in turn blocks your breathing at night. Apart from that, the amount of ghrelin hormone present in people with sleep apnea will always be higher. This in turn makes them crave for sweets and carbs. In most cases, we will not be able to transform the food we eat into energy, which in turn leads to weight gain.

In addition to these health conditions, individuals who are suffering from sleep apnea may also develop acid reflux and asthma if the sleep disorder is left untreated for long. Apart from that, you will always feel tired and sleepy in the morning, as you will be unable to enjoy a good night’s sleep. So it is better to consult with a sleep specialist as soon as you notice any symptoms related to OSA and treat the sleep health problem in due time.

What is Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

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Snoring Related Issues

Snoring occurs during sleep due to a partial blockage in the upper airway, as a result of receding tongue or relaxing jaw, and the vibration of tissues. When the underlying causes of snoring start to progress from comparatively safe sound to being the sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which poses numerous risk factors or health concerns, it often develops first into Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome.

Snoring is a sign that some sort of resistance is happening in one’s upper respiratory system. The more this resistance, the more the breathing effort required to overcome the same. Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome happens when one’s breathing effort changes from being a snoring sign to a harmful sleep disorder. Not all people with the health disorder snore during sleep, even as symptoms may sound similar to heavy or labored breathing.

Reasons behind the sleep disorder are similar to that of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome can be caused by narrowed airway, loose fatty throat tissues that recede into the airway, or even the tongue’s position that fall back. Those who suffer from this sleep disorder necessitate more breathing effort, which is similar to breathing through a straw.

Similar to sleep apnea, the patient’s brain in such a case has to arouse itself from deep sleep stages to increase the effort for respiration. When our brain is aroused constantly from deep sleep phases, it becomes unable to perform other significant tasks it has to finish so that one can feel refreshed in the morning. This is what leads to symptoms chronic fatigue as well as excessive sleepiness during the day, two symptoms comparable to OSA.

It is also seen that people can move from snoring to Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome due to aging and weight gain. While the former causes reduced muscle tone in the throat, the latter increases fatty throat tissues that cause more resistance to airflow. Women during pregnancy’s third trimester are also susceptible to develop the sleep disorder due to weight gain.

The disorder has the following consequences on a person’s sleep patterns and health.

  • Frequent waking up in between sleeping hours
  • Difficulty in going to sleep or staying asleep
  • A risk factor for chronic insomnia
  • Excessive sleepiness during the daytime

There are several treatments for Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, which comprise CPAP too as a last resort. The main treatment comprises the use of snoring solutions, like mouthpieces or similar dental appliances used to treat OSA. The treatment also centers on those concerned with making behavioral and lifestyle changes. They include sufficient exercise and correct eating methods prior to bedtime to prevent weight gain, abstaining from alcohol as well as sleep sedatives, and positional therapy.

How Sleep Apnea Relates to Bone Loss

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Sleep Apnea and Bone Loss

You probably already know that when it comes to sleep disorders, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an issue to be reckoned with. This condition serves as a gateway to a variety of health problems, including heart failure, stroke, and cancer. On that long list is another dangerous issue – osteoporosis. This condition is basically your bones growing weak and brittle due to loss of density.

Following are some of the possible ways in which OSA can lead to bone loss.

  • Apneas cause the oxygen level in the body to drop (hypoxia), which can drive up osteoclast activity and consequently raise bone re-absorption. Hypoxia induces the release of HIF, which assist cells in surviving the lack of oxygen. The problem though, is that one of the hormones, HIF-1α, stimulates the breaking down of bones. This even increases risk of cancer.
  • OSA patients generally have a lot of inflammation, which in an indirect way is bad for their bone densities. The joints are among the most badly affected by this particular problem.
  • Sleep stages and circadian factors have been seen to affect bone turnover too. For instance, Leptin, or the appetite hormone, tells you when you are full. OSA patients by and large have higher levels of this hormone in their systems, which inhibit serotonin production. This too adversely affects bone density.
  • OSA patients are seen to have much less Vitamin D in their bodies, as well as lower bone mineral density. This sufficiently explains the higher hip fracture rates among people of this category.
  • OSA is known to inhibit some hormones, such as TSH, which stimulate thyroid hormone emission, leutenizing hormone (LH), testosterone, and growth hormone (GH). The last one gets secreted chiefly during deep sleep, but OSA upsets this.
  • OSA degrades sleep quality and shortens sleep duration, and both of these things have been shown to cause issues like mild cognitive impairment, frailty, and depression.
  • Prolonged use of acid reducing medications has been seen to raise the probability of fractures, by at least 35%. On the other hand, lower acid levels impede calcium absorption, which is bad for the bones.

These are just some of the ways in which OSA could cause your bones to become fragile over the long term. The best way to deal with this is through the use of snoring solutions signed off by a specialist or expert, such as a sleep apnea mouth guard, for instance.

Can your Pillow Cause you to Snore?

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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.


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.

The Link between Snoring and Diabetes

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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.


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 is Sleep Related to Cholesterol

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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.

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux and How is it Related to Snoring?

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Snoring Related Issues

Gastroesophageal reflux, otherwise known as acid reflux or GERD, is associated with a burning sensation in the throat and esophagus, and it can cause difficulty in the digestion of food. Though a person may not have eaten for many hours before sleep, acid reflux can affect sleep in a number of ways. The most common symptom you may experience due to GERD is snoring, aside from the coughing, chest pain, and sinusitis issues.

Acid Reflux and Snoring

The cause of Gastroesophageal reflux is due to the backup of acid within the stomach. This is often associated with a bitter or sour taste that usually occurs within 30-60 minutes after eating. It is usually caused because of sleeping in the prone position, which makes undigested food particles and acid backup through the airway. As a result, the backup of acid weakens breathing and causes snoring.


Esophageal Damage: Severe or persistent acid reflux may damage the esophagus. Chronical bleeding due to esophageal ulcers might lead to anemia and lead to persistent tiredness and fatigue.

Sleep Disruption: Constant tiredness in the daytime occurs due to inadequate sleep at night. For the people who have acid reflux, poor sleep may be caused by repeatedly waking up at night due to a reflex-induced cough or heartburn pain.

If you have these symptoms, make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible to cut down the possibilities of GERD becoming severe. The doctor may recommend a snoring solution to deal with the sleep disorder and let you have a peaceful night’s sleep. Besides, the health care specialist many also recommend a few lifestyle changes to counter the acid reflux problem.

Foods to Avoid

Acidic Fruits and Vegetables: Acidic foods with a pH of 6.9 or less do not usually cause acid reflux. Most of the acidic foods have a high pH than that of gastric juices, but the acids in food that have low pH can cause burning sensation in the esophagus.

Spicy Foods: Spicy foods might worsen hoarseness and acid reflux in some people. Therefore, it would be better to go with mild foods and seasonings. Try to avoid spicy foods like hot peppers, miso paste, salsa, peppermint, spearmint, chili etc.

Fatty Foods: Fatty foods may slow the digestion and result in an increase of pressure in the lower part of esophagus and stomach. It will be better to avoid fatty foods including dairy products that are high in saturated fat, and linked to increased inflammation and cholesterol.

Complications Related to Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea Related Complications

Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder where breathing repeatedly stops for a while when the person is asleep. The main symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, abrupt awakening, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, irritability, and sore throat. There are three main types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax; Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain does not send information to the muscles, which control breathing; while Complex Sleep Apnea happens when someone has both the apnea mentioned above. Given below are the complications you may experience if you have sleep apnea.


People having sleep apnea may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, and drowsiness because of repeatedly awakening from sleep. One may find difficult to concentrate or may fall asleep while working, watching TV, or even while driving.

Surgery Complications

After major surgery, people with sleep apnea may be more prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. So it is advised to notify the doctor about the problem before surgery.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea patients may experience some metabolic syndromes like high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased waist circumference.

Liver Problems

For those who have sleep apnea, it is likely that they may have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers might show signs of scarring as well. This condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop in people who have sleep apnea when compared to those who do not have the sleep disorder.

Heart Problems

Due to a sudden drop in blood oxygen level during sleep apnea, blood pressure increases and causes strain in the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of stroke is high for those having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Behavioral Disorder

Sleep apnea may result in a decrease in concentration, vigilance, attention, visuospatial and verbal memory, and even lead to dementia in older people. Children diagnosed with sleep issues may also experience learning disabilities.


Stroke in patients having sleep apnea is said to occur mostly between 06:00 am and 08:00 am, as it is the time when a person wakes up normally. A deprived sleep may be the reason for that.


Obesity leads to narrowing and sporadic obstruction of the airways, which in turn, worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight gain also leads to overstretching of the diaphragm or less contractility of chest wall muscles, which all further complicate the health issue.

What is the Relation between Snoring and Psoriasis?

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Psoriasis And Snoring

Snoring is the sound produced as a result vibration in the respiratory structures because of the restricted airflow during breathing. On the other hand, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the red patches and itchiness on the skin.

The Relation between Psoriasis and Snoring

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which people stop breathing repeatedly, has been reported in most of the people who are affected with psoriasis. This is because people affected with psoriasis are more likely to be awake most of the time at night and are prone to end up with sleep disorders.


The people affected with psoriasis are prone to depression, which causes sleep disorders, or it can be the other way around as well. So, the main solution to tackle this is to consult a doctor as soon as you feel any sleeping disorder symptoms. They will conduct various tests to find out the root cause and will provide appropriate treatment. Minor sleep issues can be treated using anti snoring mouth guards, but medications will be required if you are at high risk.

Psoriasis is a long-lasting disease, and hence, it is not easy to treat it fast. In most cases, drugs that induce sleep are given to the patients so that they can have a peaceful sleep. There are some other tips that are suggested by almost every doctor, especially for psoriatic people for a comparatively better sleep. Some of them are listed below.

Follow a Sleep Schedule

The time you go to sleep and wake up plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Most people sleep at different times every day. This will disturb your internal body clock and result in many sleeping disorders. So, follow a healthy sleep schedule.

Turn off your Gadgets

Most people are addicted to their gadgets nowadays and find it difficult to sleep without browsing through something on their device. This can affect your sleep cycle very badly. So, keep all your gadgets away while at bed; it is also recommended to keep your room dark and quite for a comfortable and peaceful sleep.

Avoid Taking Naps

People usually take naps during the afternoon, which is not a good practice. This may keep you active during daytime, but will probably keep you from sleep during the night.

Wear Cotton Gloves

Wearing gloves while sleeping may cause some discomfort at first. However, this is an ideal solution to prevent you from scratching your skin due to itchiness.

Avoid Stimulants

Most people have a habit of bedtime coffee. The caffeine in your coffee is a stimulant that keeps you from sleeping. Similarly, consuming alcohol, drugs, etc., before sleep time will also disrupt your sleep.

Some of the Best Ways to Get Rid of Snoring

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Getting Rid Of Snoring

In the US, over 90 million adults snore in their sleep. Additionally, 59 percent of the population has a partner who snores at night. Millions of these people are in search of a cure to the persistent problem of snoring, and that is after having tried and failed with the more traditional methods. These days the issue is one to be taken very seriously, and to be addressed in a similar manner.

Most doctors would tell you that snoring is not just an annoyance, but, in fact, a condition that brings along serious health consequences. Ignoring the former means ignoring the latter as well. If you know a person who snores at night, then it is probably high time you got them to do something about it.

Snoring Solutions to Address Snoring

  • Oral or Dental Devices: The main goal with these is to get rid of the obstruction in the airways, for which the main reason is usually the tongue. If this is the cause of snoring or sleep apnea, then a mandibular advancement device can be used. It forces the lower jaw forward a bit, and consequently moves the tongue’s base away from the back of the throat.
  • Tennis Ball: Snoring almost always results from sleeping on your back, which causes the tongue to fall back into the throat. One way to combat this is to attach a tennis ball to the back of your nightshirt so you will sleep on your side. Eventually, sleeping that way will become a habit.
  • Tongue Aerobics: One of the causes of snoring and sleep apnea is muscle weakness, especially in the tongue, upper throat, and mouth. You can perform exercises for strengthening these muscles, mainly targeting the ones used for chewing and swallowing. It has been proven that doing a few tongue exercises each day can bring down the chances of snoring at night.
  • Pillow Change: You may have allergens in the room or in your pillows, which cause you to snore. In such cases, you would feel fine during the day. You may even be having an allergic reaction to the material on your pillow.
  • Nose Cones: You can place these in each nostril to expand it. The technique works similarly to nasal strips, but there is none of the irritation of removing the latter come morning.
  • Nasal Sprays: Using these regularly can help eliminate bacteria, which may be causing obstructions in the nasal airway.