Could Your Snore Be Something More?

Submitted by Albrecht Heyder, M.D. on November 18, 2019

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Is snoring affecting your health?

Snoring and overnight restlessness are common sources of spousal exasperation, but disquieted sleep may be impacting your health in addition to your partnership.

Man snoring

Complaints about your sleeping habits could save your life, because lack of sleep can cause weight gain, depression and can eventually stress the body enough to cause cardiac or neurological issues.

Snoring symptoms to talk with your physician about

 If you are exhibiting the following signs, it’s likely time to speak with a physician about your sleep issues:

  • You wake up in the middle of the night gasping or choking for air.
  • Your spouse notes that you stop breathing in your sleep.
  • You feel exhausted even after a seemingly full night’s sleep (typically 7-9 hours for adults).
  • Your throat and mouth are very dry when you wake up.
  • You are restless throughout the night.
  • You snore very loudly.
  • You lack energy throughout the day and have lost interest in activities you typically enjoy.
  • You’re irritable and have an inability to focus.
  • You’ve gained weight.

Sleep apnea may be a concern as well

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start during sleep, but is somewhat common and treatable. Its symptoms, some of which are listed above, overlap with symptoms of other more serious sleep issues like insomnia and narcolepsy. That’s why it is important to speak honestly and openly with a sleep specialist about all of your sleep concerns.

Tips you help you sleep

If you are simply finding it hard to get a restful night’s sleep, the following tips may help:

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.
  • Don’t sleep unless you are tired.
  • Turn off bright lights in your bedroom and skip electronics just before bed time.
  • Avoid caffeine at bed time and limit intake during the day as much as possible.

Sleep is vital to proper body function. Your good night’s sleep shouldn’t have to suffer. Talk to your physician today.

Albrecht Heyder M.D. is a pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician and serves as the Medical Director at the Sleep Center at Elizabeth City, an affiliate of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. He received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. He also completed a residency and fellowship at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va. and an internship at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va.