If you are a snorer, chances are pretty good that your spouse, roommate, or other person trying to sleep nearby is happy to tell you so. Especially if you are a very loud snorer.
Although you may be tempted to put aside these complaints as unimportant grumbling, the truth is that it could save your life. It turns out that if you have loud snoring, you are more likely to have worse sleep apnea.
Studying Snoring Volume and Sleep Apnea
In a large study designed to explore the connection between snoring volume and sleep apnea, researchers enrolled a total of 1643 habitual snorers and recorded the volume of their snoring and performed polysomnograms on them to test for sleep apnea.
As part of a common protocol, they divided subjects up into groups based on the severity of their sleep apnea, measured by their apnea/hypopnea index (AHI):
Mild: AHI 5 to 15
Moderate: AHI 15 to 30
Severe: AHI 30 to 50
Very severe: AHI more than 50
When they divided subjects up this way, they found that each category of sleep apnea was louder than all less severe categories and quieter than all more severe categories. Average snoring volume ranged from those with no sleep apnea, at about 46 decibels, to those with very severe sleep apnea, at about 60 decibels.
And when they plotted out AHI vs. snoring volume, there was a strong positive correlation. Snoring intensity also associated with many risks for severe sleep apnea, such as male gender, sleeping on the back, neck circumference, and BMI.
Loud Snoring Is a Warning Sign
If people tell you that you saw some really big logs while you’re sleeping, it’s time to pay attention. The more severe your sleep apnea, the more likely you are to suffer risks like elevated blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, mood disorders, loss of motivation or drive, and car accidents. You should take complaints about your snoring as a warning and get tested for sleep apnea.
And even if you don’t have sleep apnea, we offer snoring treatment that can make everyone happier in the morning.
To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea treatment in San Diego, please call 619-299-5625 for an appointment at Strober Dental.