The Inverse Relationship Between Snoring & Sleep

tired sleepy studentIn mathematics, an inverse relationship describes a situation where one variable increase as the other decreases. Snoring and sleep share a similar relationship; the more you snore, the less likely you and your partner will sleep soundly through the night. The sound can keep your partner awake, and snoring may indicate a disorder that deprives you of restful sleep, as well. Snoring results from an airway obstruction that makes breathing difficult. True to the relationship, extreme snoring can deprive you of sleep altogether, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.  

Mechanisms of Snoring

Snoring is the sound of the walls in your throat vibrating as breath is forced through a shrinking airway. When you sleep, the tissues in your mouth and throat relax, and can partially obstruct the airway. For some people, changing positions while they sleep can clear the obstruction and quiet their snoring. For others, abnormal tissues mean that snoring isn’t so easily resolved. As your body has to work harder for its air, the strain can eventually increase your risk for certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, then your health risks are significantly increased, including complications related to sleep and oxygen deprivation.

When Snoring Gets Serious

Obstructive sleep apnea is when your oral tissues completely block your airway, forcing you to stop breathing. One of the most alarming signals your brain can receive is the lack of oxygen, and when you stop breathing, it will automatically wake your body to start breathing again. Usually, you won’t rouse from consciousness, but the cycle of breathing interruptions can occur hundreds of times a night and prevent your mind and body from entering the deeper stages of sleep. Known as REM, or rapid eye movement, deep sleep is necessary for your mind and body to rest and rejuvenate. Without it, you’ll soon suffer the symptoms of sleep deprivation, including daytime fatigue, increased irritability, and difficulty concentrating and problem-solving.

About Your Livonia Dentist:

As a highly experienced sleep dentist, Dr. Stewart has helped many patients find the rest they deserve by treating the mechanisms behind OSA and snoring. James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.