Snoring Facts

Fri, May 29, 2009

Snoring Facts

According to the Guinness Book of Records, snores can reach 120 decibels, which is about the volume of an airplane engine. It is not amusing if you frequently lose night sleep because of your spouse’s snoring. Snoring can devastate personal relationship and health problems for the partner as well as the snorer itself. Studies conducted on women whose partners regularly snore demonstrate they experience more problems with their health than those whose partners do not snore. Some of those women have even developed hearing loss.

Snoring facts:

Watch video:  Snoring Center


Snoring is also responsible to cause sleep deprivation  to those who snores and those who next to them. Snoring also causes daytime irritability, drowsiness, lack of focus, and reduced libido. Clinical studies reveal a specific correlation between loud snoring and a risk of a heart attack (over 30%) and stroke (over 60%).

Even snoring is considered to be a minor sleep disorder, some of snorers can suffer rigorous destruction of lifestyle. Statistically speaking, there has been important improvement in personal, mostly marital, relations after snoring had been surgically corrected. Recent studies connect loud “snoring” with an expansion of carotid artery atherosclerosis and a risk of stroke. Many snoring researchers assume that loud snoring creates turbulence in carotid artery blood flow, which is closest to the airway. Generally speaking, increased turbulence within airways irritates blood cells, as it has previously been original identified as a source that causes an atherosclerosis. 

While sleeping, snoring creates vibration of respiratory tissues with the resulting sound, which can be explained by the obstruction of air movement during breathing. Occasionally, the snoring sound may be soft, but in most of the cases, it is rather loud and somewhat unpleasant. Those tissues are called uvula and soft palate .

  • Weakness of throat muscles by closing the throat during sleep
  • The irregularity in airflow is due to an airflow blockage and, in fact, happens because one of the following:
  • Abnormal amount of fat surrounding the throat
  • Any obstruction in nasal air passage
  • Wrong jaw positioned, often caused by muscles tension 

Even snoring statistics are often conflicting, however, at least 30% of adults are snoring regularly. Other demographics present as many as 50% of people who snore. Survey conducted on over 5,700 Italian residents shows regular snoring in 24% of men and 13.8% of women, age 20 to 40. These numbers are increased to 60% in men and 40% in women, aged 60 to 65 years. As you can see this study suggests an elevated vulnerability to snoring as age increases. 

  • Every fifth person after 30 regularly snores in their sleep.
  • More than half of the population over 65 confirms snoring at night.
  • 10% of married couples suggest that snoring is the main cause of problems in their family life.
  • Along with snoring, 2% to 5% of the total adult population suffers from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. It is comparable with the frequency of asthma attacks.

Compare snoring symptoms with the short list of of sleep apnea symptoms :

  • Interrupted sleep,
  • sweating
  • nightmares
  • urination in the morning
  • fatigue
  • acute daily sleepiness
  • irritation

 In conclusion:

  • Snoring disorder leads to the developing of arterial hypertension, heart rhythm irregularities, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Up to 30% of sudden deaths during sleep is related to the syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • The frequency of car drowsiness is increased 8-10 fold in patients with severe sleep disorders.

Diagnostics of snoring

Diagnosis of snoring is a simple task. It should be noted however, that people generally underestimate their snoring. For example, a person can snore 10 times a night for 10 to 20 minutes at the time. However, if it makes your partner awaken 10 times a night you might think that the whole night is blemished by the loud snoring. Accurate diagnosis of snoring must be performed in sleep labs and only by qualified physicians.

Maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV)

This sleep disorder is characterized by snoring, recurrent problem with upper respiratory area at the level of the pharynx (see below) and the termination of the pulmonary ventilation, lower blood oxygen level, gross fragmentation of sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness.  



It is not unusual to experience about 500 stops of breathing during the night for a period of up to 4 hours. This kind of disorder, which is a result of acute or chronic lack of oxygen, can significantly increase the risk of developing arterial hypertension, heart rhythm irregularities, heart attack, stroke, and even sudden death in sleep. Breathing disorders can result in restless sleep, sweating, night urination, feeling tired in the morning, headaches in the morning, sharp daily sleepiness, irritation, reduction of memory and attention, impotence, etc.

Reasons for MVV are the same as for the snoring. The difference is only in the magnitude. During snoring the airway walls vibrate every time air is passing through. In extreme condition  they open and close repeatedly stopping an access of air into the lungs creating apnea.

Therapeutic activities that do not require medical intervention

Positional therapy

Mild snoring mostly depends on a position of your head. Snoring occurs when a person sleeps on his back. What happens is the person’s tongue is falling back to people throat.

  • A very simple solution to this problem will be to permanently attach a tennis ball to the back portion of your night gown to prevent from laying on the back. A specially designed soft-close belt with a tennis ball might be useful also. Every attempt to lay on the back will force you to become awaken and will force you to lay in the bed sideways. 
  • In addition, you can elevate the entire bed by placing 2″x4″ plank under the legs of the bed’s head.
  • Another method is to place sheet of plywood under the mattress and tilt it upwards. In this position, the fluid in the body is shifting towards your legs, reducing swelling in the nose cavities, as well as in pharynx by increasing their clearance, reducing snoring. 
  • Placing your head and/or upper part of your body on the large pillows may even increase snoring.
  • To achieve this, it is desirable to use small flat pillow or specially developed foam-type pillows as shown below:


This kind of self-treatment is useful not only with the snoring, but also with upset stomach, often observed in snoring people.

Exercises Reducing Snoring

There are several exercises to train tongue muscles, lower jaw, and throat to reduce snoring, as shown below:


Extend your tongue forward and down. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds. Repeat this exercise 30 times in the morning and in the evening.

  1. Press your lower jaw towards your neck with the resistance force pushing it back up. Repeat this exercise 30 times.
  2. Clutch your teeth hard and hold this position for 3-4 minutes. Place wooden or plastic stick between your teeth for protection. Perform this exercise before bedtime.

Exercises 1 and 2 are aimed at training the muscles of a tongue and the lower jaw, pushing them forward. If the muscles are trained, even in the relaxed state (while asleep), they maintain a certain tone and shift your throat tissue forward. It provides an additional clearance off pharynx and reduces snoring. These type of exercises significantly increase muscle tension of pharynx just before bedtime, which to some extent slow the occurrence of snoring. As time comes, the best results from regular exercises become noticeable in 3-4 weeks. This exercises greatly reduce snoring in the initial phase of sleep, which may favorably affect your bed partner who would have more restful sleep time.

All these activities can be used separately and in any combination. In an rate, they produce considerable positive effects.  They also can be applied to all degrees of  snoring severity.

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