Experts have identified four criteria of a good night's sleep and snoring is not among those qualities.

In fact, loud snoring, apart from being bothersome and annoying, could be a signal of a sleeping disorder.

An estimate of 40 percent of adults in the United States snore and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Men also out-snore women due to their narrower air passages.

Experts advise taking note of the snoring sounds that a person makes during sleeping because these loud, ugly sounds could actually indicate an underlying health problem: obstructive sleep apnea.

What Causes Snoring?

During sleeping, air moves through a person's nose and mouth through a clear passage or airway. When the airway is narrowed or obstructed, snoring sounds are created.

Some of the factors that also contribute to snoring include age, body structure, sinus, and nasal congestion, being overweight, cigarette smoking, medication, alcohol, and position during sleeping.

"Snoring is basically a vibration of the tissues inside of the airway — that is, the roof of the mouth and the vertical folds of tissue that surround the tonsils," said Eric Voigt, and ENT doctor and sleep specialist at the New York University Langone Health.

Voigt said some of the factors that trigger snoring can be controlled. Avoiding drinking alcohol and losing weight may help reduce snoring. He also said that loud, erratic snoring sounds can be a sign of OSA that is more serious than just regular snoring.

The Sounds Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A person with OSA snores with a loud crescendo that is followed by periods of no sound, and then a gasp that sounds like a snort. People with OSA also have a more choking sound to their snore. They also tend to snore more regularly and they often gasp for air in their sleep.

At times, they even briefly pause their breathing due to the narrowing or collapse of the upper airway passage. Multiple pauses in breathing that are longer than 10 seconds at a time lower the amount of oxygen in the blood and causes the heart to work harder.

If left untreated, OSA can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, workplace or motor vehicle accidents, and more.

Treating OSA is possible through lifestyle and dietary changes, such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and cigarette smoking. There are also available therapies for people with sleep apnea.

How To Stop Snoring And Achieve A Deep Sleep?

Sleep hygiene is crucial for a night of quality sleep. The American Sleep Association defines sleep hygiene as behaviors that one can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions.

To sleep better at night, experts recommend maintaining a regular sleeping routine or going to bed at the same time every night.

Other sleep hygiene tips include the following:

  • Don't watch TV or read in bed
  • Drink caffeinated drinks with caution
  • Avoid inappropriate substances that interfere with sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a quiet, comfortable bedroom
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