In order to stay active and alert through the day no matter what work or activity you are performing, a good night’s sleep is mandatory. Our mind and body require proper rest which ensures that we wake up with full energy and enthusiasm to start a new day.
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An active mind and a healthy body combined with each other can make huge milestones possible in life. In order to keep you mind healthy and proactive a sound sleep must be enjoyed at night which is not disrupted by any kind of disturbing factors like snoring, surrounding factors, etc.
If a person is not able to enjoy a relaxed and content sleep time then it will definitely have a negative effect on the mental proficiency as well as physical health of the person. So everyone must try their best to create a comfortable and peaceful sleep environment every night in order to start fresh in morning and lead a successful life. A healthier mind and body assures a higher productivity in every field of life.
What is sleep?
Sleep is one of the phases of the natural body cycle which is a 24 hour long process and it’s a position in mind the mind and body of the person go into a relaxed and passive position. Obviously in general terms we know what sleep is as all of us experience it every day for a variable number of hours.
A sleep of up to 6 to 8 hours is necessary for every human being in order to maintain a healthy and happy life. The sleeping hours of a person are also largely dependent upon the age group the person belongs to. For younger people longer sleep hours are required and as we grow older the sleep hours required in order to remain healthy and active become a bit less.
What Is Snoring?
The sound produced by vibration of respiratory structures which is responsible for an obstructed air movement in the throat during sleep are known as snores. The level and severity of snores varies from one person to another. For some people the sound of the snores is soft and mild whereas in others it can also be quite loud and unpleasant which can cause the snorers and their partners to experience interrupted and disturbed sleep patterns.
Snoring can also be responsible for causing a number of health issues including obesity and other health concerns as in this condition the person experience a very disturbed sleeping pattern and is not able to rest properly. Snoring is generally linked to a sleep disorder known as OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea) which can also be responsible for various other health issues.
Symptoms of snoring
The symptoms associated with snoring are listed below:
- An unpleasant and loud noise produced during sleep which can be very annoying for your partner, family or roommates you share your room causing disturbance to them.
- Feeling excessively sleepy throughout the day time is also a symptom of snorers.
- Having difficulty in concentrating on studies, work or other tasks at hand during the day is also a symptom of sleep disorder caused by snoring.
- Suffering from early morning headaches.
- Experiencing a sore throat also indicate the presence of a sleeping disorder caused by snoring.
- A restless and interrupted sleep time is also an indication of snorers.
- A person who suffers from sleep disorder caused due to snoring may also experience choking or gasping at night due to disruptions in sleeping patterns and being unable to relax completely.
- High blood pressure can also be a symptom.
- Suffering from chest pain at night due to difficulty in breathing is also a symptom of snoring.
- Disturbing the sleep of your partners and roommates due to the voice caused by snoring can also cause sleep deprivation and other health hazards.
Causes of snoring
Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues which are present within the airways of the nose and throat due to turbulent airflow throughout the narrow airways. The snoring causes are many and no definite research has been done yet which can determine the exact cause of snoring in people.
Some researchers also claim that it’s a hereditary problem while others have put forward various different theories regarding the causes. The commonly known causes are listed below:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Snoring is generally associated with obstructive sleep apnea which is a medical condition in which the throat tissues of the person are blocked partially or completely blocking the airways which cause people to choke during sleep and experience a disturbed and interrupted sleep throughout the night.
Unhealthy muscle tone
For snorers the muscles of tongue and throat can get too relaxed which causes these organs to collapse and fall back inside the airways causing blockage in breathing.
Having a more that normal BMI (Body Mass Index) can also cause various health issues including snoring. People having bulky throats often suffer from this issue in addition to children who have large tonsils.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol before sleep time is also a major cause of snoring and it must be prevented. When a person consumes alcohol the throat muscles are relaxed due to the natural defenses produced by our body are decreased and airways obstruction is experience causing snoring.
Other common factors which can also be responsible for causing snoring include any type of chronic nasal congestion or a crooked shape partition which exists between the nostrils causing snores.
The sleep position largely contributes to the matter as it determines whether you have taken any kind of relaxed and sound sleep. People who normally sleep in sleeping on back sleeping position suffer from snores as in this position the airways are narrowed due to the effect of gravity.
Anatomy of mouth
The shape and anatomy of the mouth can also cause a number of sleep disorders including snoring. Some people have a naturally build low and thick soft palate which is responsible for a narrowed airways causing snoring while sleeping.
People who are obese may also suffer from snoring sue to similar reasons. Other than that if the triangular piece of tissue which hangs from the uvula is somehow elongated can also cause our airways to be obstructed and increases vibration.
The people who are not able to get enough night’s sleep due to their busy schedule or other work responsibility can suffer from further throat relaxation which is a major cause of snoring.
Sleep Stages and effects of snoring on them
The sleep stages are categorized into four stages and the humans go through all these stages while sleeping to a variable amount of time. The sleep cycle is usually bases upon a 24 hour period and the body flows between these five sleep stages throughout the night in a complete 90 to 110 minute cycle each night.
The sleep rhythm is termed as the Ultradian sleep cycle and it is further categorized into REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and the person experience both these categories during sleep. The first four stages of sleep belong to the NREM category and the last and final stage belongs to the REM category must get almost 2 hours of sleep per night.
In order to gain complete relaxation and mental and physical strength after sleeping an average person this is also a non-snorer is two hours of deep and uninterrupted sleep time.
People who still feel tired and grumpy after sleeping for hours do so because they are unable to enjoy deep sleep and are sleep deprived experience a number of health issues due to this lack of sleep. The quality of sleep is also categorized into two major types which include Subjective sleep quality and objective sleep quality.
In the first sleep category the person is able to enjoy a sound and peaceful sleep during the night and in the morning when you wake up you feel well-rested and fresh minded.
In the objective sleep quality it is determined by a team of medical specialist and scientists as to the number of hours one has spent in each of the sleep stages so that it can be determined that whether the person was able to enjoy all the sleep stages or not.
Stage 1 of sleep
In the first sleeping stage the person experiences a light sleep and keeps drifting in and out of the sleeping pattern due to which it is easy to awake a person in this sleeping stage. The eyes move slowly during this stage and the muscles are also relaxed due to lack of activity. It is very common among people to experience muscle contractions and a sensation from falling off from some high point in this stage of sleep.
This sleeping stage lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and although the muscles have started to relax in this stage but not enough to start snoring. This sleeping stage belongs to the BTEM category and is also commonly known as dozing off stage in which only a drowsy sleep is experienced.
Stage 2 of sleep
In this stage of sleeping the brain waves start to show signs of sleep and a burst of activity is produced termed as sleep spindles in the brain which can be recognized with the help of ECG. In this stage the muscles of the whole body drift into a fully relaxed position and this is where you tongue is fully collapsed inside your mouth due to which an instruction is caused in the throat and snores are produced.
In order to breathe properly in this condition the body needs to invest some extra energy due to which the snorers are not able to experience a deep sleep and are continually disturbed due to lack of oxygen and breathing issues. An average snorer spends half of their sleep time in stage 2 which prevents them from falling into a deep sleep and wake up fresh.
For people suffering from sleep apnea the brain wakes up again and again in order to breathe properly and causes sleep deprivation in such people.
Stage 3 of sleep
In this sleeping stage the delta waves emerge which are known to be extremely slow waves produced by brain. This stage is known to be a transitional stage and after this stage a person falls into a deep sleep and this stage is also the most restful stage experienced during sleep.
This sleep period is a restorative period in which the energy of the mind and body are started to be restored so that one can wake up fresh and healthy. During this stage the blood supply to muscles is increased and tissue growth and repair take place in the body.
The required hormones are also restored in this sleeping stage. This is the stage in which people experience parasomnias including sleepwalking, night terrors, somniloquy and nocturnal enuresis.
Stage 4 of sleep
The stage 4 of sleep is known as the deep sleep mode in which the mind and body of the person is fully relaxed and the person who wakes up from this stage feels a bit roused and disoriented for a few minutes. The brain produces delta waves exclusively during this stage of sleep.
Stage 4 is also known to be the REM phase of the sleep in which the brain is responsible for mimicking the activity during the waking state and the eyes in spite of remaining closed move from one side to another rapidly due to the intense brain activity and dreaming suing this stage of sleep.
Snoring is a very serious issues and steps must be taken in order to ensure that the people who suffer from snoring change their sleeping style or patterns, take medicines or any other necessary steps in order to avoid snoring. This will enable them to enjoy a sound and peaceful sleep time throughout and day and will help them to be more productive at work as well as any other field of life.