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When does snoring become a problem?

Couple relaxing on a bed
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Snoring is very common, it is thought 41.5% of the UK adult population snore, affecting 30 million people. You might not even be aware that you do snore unless it has been pointed out by a partner or loved one. But, when does snoring become a problem, and what should you do?

What is snoring?

Snoring is caused by vibrations of the palate and other tissues in the mouth, nose and throat. It happens because the body is relaxed, and these tissues narrow when you’re asleep. According to the NHS you’re more likely to snore if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Sleep on your back

Read our blog for some helpful tips to stop snoring.

Can snoring be a problem?

Snoring is not usually a problem, but it might be helpful to speak to your GP if:

  • You have tried lifestyle changes such as losing weight if overweight, cutting back on alcohol and changing your sleeping position, and these changes are not helping
  • If you find that it is having an impact on your or your partner's life
  • You feel tired during the day or you make gasping or choking noises while you sleep, this could be sleep apnoea

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If you’re looking for temporary help to sleep, explore our range of sleep support products. Check out our sleep advice blog post for helpful tips on getting a good night’s sleep as well as our sleep advice for diabetics.  

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Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is when your breathing stops and starts as you sleep. The symptoms happen as you sleep and according to the NHS may include:

  • Your breathing stops and starts
  • You make gasping, snorting or choking noises
  • You may wake up a lot
  • Loud snoring

As these symptoms happen when you’re asleep it might be quite hard to tell if you have it, why not ask someone to stay with you while you sleep to check if you have any symptoms?

You could also experience the following symptoms during the day:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Having mood swings
  • Having a headache when you wake up

Speak to your GP if you do have the night-time or daytime symptoms and they may refer you to a sleep specialist at a sleep clinic. The sleep clinic may perform some tests by asking you to wear a device overnight that checks your breathing and heartbeat as you sleep.

If you’re diagnosed with mild sleep apnoea you may not need treatment, but some people will be given a CPAP machine. You wear it during the night, and it improves your breathing while you sleep.

Without treatment sleep apnoea can lead to high blood pressure, changes in mood, tiredness and difficulty concentrating so it’s important to speak to your GP if you recognise the above symptoms.

References

www.britishsnoring.co.uk/media.php
www.nhs.uk/conditions/snoring
www.nhs.uk/conditions/sleep-apnoea