Mr “D” feels very tired, lethargic and sleepy during the day.
Of late he has gained weight and become rather too passive in his daily chores. After the day’s toil when he retires to the silence of his bedroom, he sleeps quite soundly except for a trip or two to the lavatory. When Mrs “D” dozes off in the quest of a good night sleep, within minutes, she is woken up by a rumbling sound as if a freight train has passed by. It is Mr ‘D: SNORING. These sounds are not low which might lull her to sleep but loud with a startle noise in the repertoire. These snores can be heard by his children in the adjacent room. What should Mrs ‘D” do?.
Thankfully, today sleeping in a separate room is not the only solution.
Is snoring normal?
How often do we snore?
Is snoring a paradigm for a sound sleep?
Do we not come across people who snore so heavily that it’s impossible to stay in the same room!
Do we not hear stories from co passengers in trains and flights where someone rocked the journey away.
Snoring is often ridiculed as a social nuisance especially for the bed partner. At times it is considered a part of deep sleep and there are so many similar myths which our society are embedded with when it comes to snoring.
Snoring is the sound produced in the upper airway due to its narrowing as air is inhaled during sleep. It can be caused by nasal blockage either due to bent nose or excessive tissues in the nose. Similarly the sound can come from vibration of our palate, uvula or tongue base.
Occasional mild snoring can be considered as normal when it is due to sleep deprivation, deep sleep or under the influence of alcohol or other sedatives. A loud and regular snoring is not.
Often this heroic snoring is associated with a disease called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where our airway gets completely choked in the middle of night, at times lasting for more than a minute, leading to many night time symptoms like gasping for a breath, choking sensation, restless sleep, frequent urination and daytime symptoms like excessive sleepiness, lethargy and fatigue, irritability, memory loss, early morning headaches, behavioural changes etc which in turn can lead to many health hazards and dreaded complications like diabetes, hypertension, heart related ailments, obesity, memory loss and even stroke. OSA has often been labelled as a slow killer for the effects it produce in a patient over a long period of time. It is often related to motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents due to increased grogginess . There have been many accidents where the driver has been diagnosed, retrospectively, with OSA
Anyone who is a heavy snorer and also have above symptoms should ideally be evaluated to rule out OSA.
The diagnosis can be made easily by undergoing a sleep study which provides all necessary information about the patients sleep, its timing , stages, depth and fragmentation, number of times the airway was blocked partially or fully and how long it lasted and patients oxygen level during the entire period.
A timely diagnosed patient who takes proper treatment can be saved from in numerous medical problems which can arise due to OSA.
There is a saying “A stich in time saves nine” and this goes pretty well with OSA.
Sleep is an active fundamental process which everyone needs. A good sleep constitutes not only regular 6-8 hrs of sleep time for an healthy adult but also it should be continuous and unfragmented.
Some basic things which can be followed to make sleep better are:
1.Go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day.
2.Get regular exercise .
3.Get into bed when you are sleepy. If you do not get sleep in 30-45 minutes, then get out of bed, do something relaxing before coming to bed again.
4.Avoid caffeinated drinks near bedtime.
5.Limit using your TV or mobile one hour before sleep time.
6.Avoid sleeping pills unless prescribed.
7.Keep the temperature of your bedroom comfortable.
8.Use relaxation exercise like warm bath or listening to music.
Thus, our dear Mr “D” -well advised and treated by doctors—slept soundlessly ever after. Our dear Mrs “D” today lovingly says I love everything about my husband without adding “except when he snores”.
Hope our little tips save many “D”’s among us and help you enjoy healthy sleep instead of the sound of sleep.