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It’s our favourite week of the year – it’s finally National Stop Snoring Week. Did you know that only 59% of people are aware that they snore? When you don’t have a partner nudging you awake at 3am, it can be hard to know.
If you’re sick of waking up with a headache, and haven’t even been out on the town the night before, you could be dealing with something more serious than snoring. This is just one side effect of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). There are a ton of other symptoms of OSA too, including low mood, feeling incredibly tired during the day, and waking up frequently during the night.
So what is OSA?
When you snore, your airway narrows and dehydrates, creating a vibration that you hear as snoring. But in some cases, the airway becomes so narrow that the walls of the airway stick together and close up. This usually happens for around 10-30 seconds at a time, but can occur for longer – sometimes up to 50 times an hour or even more. When the airway finally opens up again, you might produce a loud, violent snore. This is known as an apnoea. It tends to cause a drop in oxygen levels in your blood, putting your health at risk.
The facts and stats you should know
Snoring and OSA can have a much bigger impact on your health and lifestyle than you think.
The average snore can range between 50 decibels all the way up to 100 decibels. For context, a dishwasher is around 80. So next time your partner complains, try sleeping in the kitchen and see what they have to put up with.
Your overall health is what takes the biggest hit from your night-time noise. Several studies have shown a strong association between sleep apnoea and conditions like type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
Quality of sleep
OSA sufferers will be all too familiar with disrupted sleep, but they’re not the only victims. Partners of snorers are reported to only manage around 3-5 hours of sleep per night. Ideally, adults should get around 7-9 hours to be at their functioning best the following day.
Weight gain can become a vicious cycle for OSA sufferers and partners of snorers. Studies show that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of obesity than those who manage to achieve a full 7 hours. But then, frustratingly, obesity itself is a common factor in OSA appearing, as weight around the neck puts pressure on the airway. This is why it’s important to tackle snoring head-on to stop the cycle.
Dealing with snoring can improve your life
If you’re part of the 59% who aren’t sure if they snore (or have undiagnosed OSA), there are a few ways you can figure it out. Most of the time, a partner will tell you about the racket you’re making. Sometimes you’ll wake up still feeling tired or have a particularly sore/dry throat. However, a simple way to monitor your snoring is to use an app to keep track of it.
SoundSleep is a useful and easy tool to help discover the causes, factors and solutions for snoring. During the night, the app will record how often and loudly you snore. In the morning, it’ll provide you with free snoring reports to help you track your night-time noise. You’ll also be able to log any lifestyle factors that might be contributing to your snoring.
If you’re worried you might have OSA, you should always try to visit your doctor in the first instance. They’ll be able to recommend the best treatment for you if you need it, ranging from a CPAP machine to an oral device, both designed to keep your airway open. In the meantime, the app links to some useful tools to help you assess your OSA risk, including a STOP-BANG score calculation and a marker on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
SoundSleep can also be used alongside Snoreeze snoring relief products. You can log these in the app to monitor the difference they’re making to your snoring.
Celebrate National Stop Snoring Week with us
More sleep and less snoring is the motto we live by. So it’s no surprise we’re taking National Stop Snoring Week celebrations seriously. We’ll be offering a 10% discount on a different Snoreeze product every day of the week, for 24 hours only. We’re also giving away a bespoke LabFit Oral Device worth £209.99, ideal for treating mild-to-moderate sleep apnoea. Follow the Snoreeze socials to stay up to date.
SoundSleep is free and available to download now. To download the app from the Apple App Store, click here. To download from the Google Play Store, click here.