Four Ways Snoring Can Kill You

stop-snoringLots of people snore. What most people don’t realize is that loud snoring can be a signal of a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring isn’t definitive proof of sleep apnea, but it is a strong indicator that you may need help.

Sleep apnea deprives your body of valuable oxygen throughout the night; this can lead to a myriad of health and psychological issues.

During the night, someone who suffers from sleep apnea stops breathing for a period of 10 to 30 seconds at a time. During this time, their body is deprived of oxygen; eventually, their brain signals their body to let it know that something is wrong. It is at this point that they wake up and gasp for air. This cycle goes on throughout the night and can occur anywhere between 20 to 100 times per hour.

A Dangerous Lack Of Sleep

If a person doesn’t sleep at night, they become drowsy during the day; this makes a person absent minded and accident prone.

When you have sleep apnea, your body sends out a jolt of adrenaline every time you stop breathing; this process wakes your body up when it should be resting. Being woken up countless times during the night leads to daytime sleepiness; this can lead to accidents during the day.

Sleep Apnea Exacerbates Other Conditions

A study done at Johns Hopkins University showed that sleep apnea can increase the likelihood of death in middle aged and senior patients by as much as 46 percent. The study also found links between sleep apnea and:

  • Obesity
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

As a person ages, the risks associated with sleep apnea multiply. People with sleep apnea aged 40-70 are twice as likely to die early when compared to people who don’t have it.

Cancer & Sleep Apnea

New links have been found between people with sleep apnea and cancer. In one study, researchers observed thousands of people at sleep clinics; they found that people with severe cases of sleep apnea had increased odds of getting cancer.

Another study done in Wisconsin showed similar results; in the people they followed, the ones with sleep abnormalities were five times as likely to die from cancer when compared to people who slept well.

The studies did not link sleep apnea to a certain type of cancer, but they did show a correlation between cancer in general and sleep apnea.

Low Blood Oxygen Levels

People who have a hard time breathing during the night have low levels of oxygen in their blood. Normally, a person’s blood oxygen level should be around 94 to 98 percent. People who stop breathing due to sleep apnea often have levels as low as 80 percent.

Keep in mind that anything below 90 percent is a dangerous level; if you were in a hospital and your blood oxygen level fell this low for an extended amount of time, they would have to intervene. When this event occurs during sleep, your body does wake up and adrenaline cause you to start breathing again. However, if this occurs on a regular basis then you are at risk for:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Strained heart
  • Fluid buildup in the body
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure

If you go to your doctor and he discovers that your blood oxygen level is below 90 percent during the day, then it is likely that your oxygen levels are dipping down at night.

It is important to take care of your snoring; if you suffer from untreated sleep apnea, then you are putting an unnatural strain on your body for eight hours every night. Eventually, this strain catches up to you.

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