when is a snore just annoying and when is it a sign of sleep apnea? aleksandra shutova / eyeem/getty images/eyeem hide caption an estimated 40% of adults in the u.s. snore. (yes, this may explain why you get kicked or shoved at night!) “you can have beautifully deep sleep in a silent sleep.” when we sleep, if the air that moves through our nose and mouth has a clear passage, we can sleep silently. “snoring is basically a vibration of the tissues inside of the airway,” voigt explains — that is, the roof of the mouth and the vertical folds of tissue that surround the tonsils. a lot of factors can contribute to snoring, says voigt. alcohol tends to make the tissues within our mouths swell a bit, and alcohol can also change the quality of sleep. being overweight can also increase the likelihood of snoring.
other factors that contribute to snoring may be outside our control. when is snoring just annoying and when is it a sign of a potentially serious problem? a light, rhythmic snore — that stays pretty steady — is common and tends to be harmless. but when snoring becomes loud and erratic, this can signal a problem. the crescendo is typically followed by periods of no sound, and then a gasp that can sound like a snort. this pattern of snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious condition that can increase the risk of heart disease. “and as the person is trying to breathe in, the air will not pass. at minute 1:10 you can hear the snoring and gasping that is characteristic of sleep apnea. “then, in the second minute he has a pause, (apnea) or no breathing, followed by a big gasp for air.” if you sleep with someone who snores, you’re in a good position to help flag the issue.
the sound of a snore can be assessed according to the vibration of tissue, which is also associated with the duration of sound. (2) anything louder than 85 decibels is considered to be in range of sound that could begin to cause damage to one’s hearing. if the sounds of a lawnmower has ever had you climbing the walls, this measurement is a close equivalent. the biomechanical events that induce snoring are complex and highly variable, in fact, endoscopic observations of snorers while they sleep have revealed different modes of snoring in various individuals. for many habitual snorers, however, more than one area of the airways is usually involved, thus producing a variety of different snoring sounds in a single individual.
habitual snorers with a preference for sleeping on their backs often snore the loudest because sleeping in a supine position (i.e. (5) snoring frequency is measured in hertz / hz (the unit of frequency to measure, in this instance, the acoustic and mechanical vibrations of snoring). the frequency range of simple waveform snoring typically starts at 180 hz and peaks at 300 hz. 2. snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, third edition. 2003. snoring – a general overview with historical perspectives: .co.za/books?id=juefn5rfqqoc&pg=pa1&lpg=pa1&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed 21.02.2018] 3. the sleepyhead’s bedside companion.
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