NYC Sleep Specialists: Does Snoring Always Mean Bad Sleep - NYCVA
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NYC Sleep Specialists Answer the Question: “Does All Snoring Indicate a Sleep Disorder?”


Do you snore? Chances are that if you sleep alone you don’t even know the answer to that question, because most people who snore aren’t aware of it unless their bed partner tells them they’re snoring. If you snore, one thing you can be sure of is that you are far from alone, because NYC sleep specialists estimate that up to 25% of the population snores regularly. Snoring can affect people at any age, including children, but is most frequent in adults over the age of 40, and appears in men almost twice as often as it does in women.

What causes snoring?

The sound of snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissues in your throat, head, and neck as you breathe in and breathe out while you are asleep. When you sleep, your airway passages relax and often constrict, which can affect air pressure within your airways and cause them to vibrate. This constriction can occur as the result of a cold or other congestion, but it can also happen as the result of being overweight, drinking alcohol, or smoking before bed.

Is snoring dangerous?

Occasional snoring is usually not considered very serious, unless you happen to be the person who has to share a bed or bedroom with a loud snorer. Most of the reports NYC sleep specialists hear from patients, in fact, come from the partners of people who snore, complaining that they can’t sleep because of the noise.

However, the fact that most people can’t hear themselves snore does not mean that the snoring isn’t affecting their health. After all, every time you snore your body wakes up a little, just not necessarily enough for you to notice that you’ve awakened. Over time, this can result in chronic sleep deprivation.

What are the “danger signs” that snoring might be a sleep disorder?

If you find yourself suddenly waking up gasping for air, or if your bed partner reports that you spend long periods (30 seconds or more) not breathing, and then snore loudly immediately afterwards, this may be an indication of obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious disorder, and one that can have many negative effects on your health, so you should definitely see one of our NYC sleep specialists if you suspect that you have this condition.

At our Manhattan sleep center, we often make decisions about whether our patients’ snoring is a problem or not based on their experience during the day, not while the snoring is going on. If, for example, you snore and often feel tired and drowsy during the day, your snoring may be an indication of a sleep disorder. If you snore and often wake up with a headache, this could be another sign of sleep apnea, and may be the result of low oxygen levels in the blood caused by constricted or obstructed airways.

What should I do to find out for sure if my snoring is a problem?

The best way to find out for sure is to give one of the best sleep centers in NYC a call at New York Sleep-Wake Center and schedule an appointment. We will ask you a number of questions about your sleep habits and possibly schedule a sleep study to find out if your snoring is a minor problem that can safely be ignored or a sleep disorder that needs treatment. Even if your snoring is not a medical problem, it can still be bothering other people in your household, so we can help you with ways to eliminate snoring even if it isn’t related to sleep apnea. So give us a call at 646-233-1838 or go online to schedule and help everyone in your house get a better nights’ sleep.

To learn more and view a brief video on sleep disorders, click here.

New York Cardiovascular Associates