Heavy snoring more than just a nuisance.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Cardiovascular diseases (Risk factors)
Cardiovascular diseases (Prevention)
Cardiovascular diseases (Research)
Sleep apnea syndromes (Diagnosis)
Sleep apnea syndromes (Care and treatment)
Sleep apnea syndromes (Research)
Snoring (Causes of)
Snoring (Complications and side effects)
Snoring (Research)
Pub Date: 06/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Summer, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 218313978

If you have to listen to your partner snore throughout the night, you are perfectly aware of how annoying this condition can be. What you may not realize, however, is that your partner may be suffering from much more than the typical case of heavy snoring. Research indicates that snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition causing an individual to briefly stop breathing during the night. Individuals suffering from this condition are more prone to heart failure and stroke.

Have you ever wondered what causes a person to snore? This occurrence begins with a simple blockage in the throat, most often caused when the tongue is forced to the back of the throat while a person is lying down. This blockage doesn't always cause those experiencing it to stop breathing, but the chemicals in the brain that generate breathing aren't stimulated when a person snores. A lack of consistent breathing causes oxygen levels to drop significantly and hormones and adrenaline to surge. All of these factors contribute to high blood pressure, heart irregularities, and heart attacks.

Although the link between heavy snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is very strong, the relationship is not entirely definitive. Dr. Melvyn Rubenfire, Director of Preventative Cardiology at the University of Michigan Health System's Cardiovascular Center, explains the relationship: "Still it may be too early to tell if snoring is an independent risk factor for heart disease. What we do know is if you treat people with obstructive sleep apnea, the risk of cardiovascular disease improves dramatically."

University of Michigan. (2009, February 15). Wake up to health risks of heavy snoring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 13, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203140837.htm
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