Each May, we welcome Better Sleep Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of sleep and the conditions that may negatively impact your sleep and overall health, including snoring. For many, this month may serve as a “wake-up call” about the risks and consequences of inadequate sleep and the importance of seeking treatment to stop snoring.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Though there may not be a silver bullet answer that applies to every person, there’s certainly been no shortage of research on the topic of how much sleep you need. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation recently released an updated report on the recommended sleep durations for each age group. This report, a culmination of a two-year long study, provides scientifically-backed guidelines for how much sleep you should be getting per night at each age. Even if you’re practicing good sleep hygiene and making a conscious effort to get the recommended hours of shut-eye, there’s still a possibility that you may be waking up each morning feeling exhausted.
What Role Does Snoring Play in Sleep Quality?
If you are one of the millions of Americans who snore on a regular basis, you may be impacting not only the sleep of those around you by making noise throughout the night. Habitual snorers are at risk for having a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep due to an obstruction of the airway. With this condition, air cannot properly flow through the nose or mouth during sleep, even though the body is still trying to breathe. As a result, people with this condition spend more time in light sleep rather than deep restorative sleep. Put simply — chronic snoring should raise a red flag as it signifies that an airway obstruction may be occurring.
Symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Trouble concentrating
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sore throat
- Restless sleep
- High blood pressure
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Pauses in breathing
How Do I Stop Snoring?
If snoring is impacting your quality of sleep and your quality of life, you can rest assured knowing that you have numerous treatment options available to you. The first step to stop snoring and start sleeping better is to make an appointment with a doctor who is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. eos sleep has a national network of board-certified otolaryngologists (ENT doctors) with a special emphasis on sleep-related disorders. See our full list of locations here.
Proper treatment begins with proper diagnosis. After an examination by a sleep specialist and a home sleep study (only if sleep apnea is suspected), the physician will be able to determine what’s causing your snoring and whether you have sleep apnea. Many factors may impact snoring, including the soft palate, tongue and nasal structure.
Once the cause or causes of your condition have been identified, a treatment plan will be tailored to your needs. Many effective treatment options are available and covered by health insurance, including minimally invasive, in-office procedures such as the Pillar Procedure and palate Coblation, as well as devices like CPAP and oral appliances.
What Impact is Snoring Having On Your Life?
A screening tool commonly used by physicians to evaluate a patient’s snoring intensity and level of risk for sleep apnea is called the Berlin Scale. Find out what kind of impact snoring is having on your life by taking the short quiz now.
Remember there is no substitute for a great night’s sleep. During Better Sleep Month, the specialists at eos sleep challenge you to start sleeping better and living better. Don’t let snoring keep you from getting the high quality rest you need to function at your best.