Despite our best efforts, we sometimes end up waking up in the morning feeling like we hardly slept. Just because your eyes were closed for eight hours doesn’t always equate to getting the adequate amount of sleep you need to stay healthy and alert, and a variety of factors can influence just how deeply you sleep each night.
One of the more common elements that contributes to your quality of sleep has to do with snoring, and while many people associate these nightly sounds with keeping one’s partner awake for all hours, it can actually diminish your own level of rest too.
Before we can get an idea of how snoring affects our quality of sleep, it’s important to have a general understanding of the various cycles of sleep we go through each night. Divided into four stages, each is equally important.
Stage 1 of sleep includes the time it takes for your body to relax, your breathing to slow, and you begin to slowly doze off. Lasting only about 5 to 10 minutes, this stage prepares your body for the coming changes.
The second stage of sleep is one where those who snore are most affected, as brain waves start to show true signs of sleep. Your body is fully relaxed and for some, your tongue has fallen toward the back of your throat. This obstruction causes the body to work much harder than it should just to continue your breathing function, and when this occurs, you cannot move into the next stage of sleep. Some individuals who experience sleep apnea find that they actually move backward out of this stage and back into stage 1.
Sleeping stage 3, as well as the fourth and final REM stage, are considered to be the truly restorative sections of your night, allowing you to heal and recharge for the next day. When snoring occurs, you cannot reach either of these stages and find that you wake up feeling exhausted.
Your partner may not hear you snore each night or you may live alone, and you may come to the conclusion that these nighttime sounds aren’t a problem. Even if you or your spouse don’t seem to be affected by your snoring, there are still long-term effects to take into consideration.
It’s one thing for us to have a poor night of sleep every once in a while – we wake up feeling drained and might need a night or two of deep rest to recover. Yet when chronic snoring is present and our bodies cannot ever reach the level of rest we need, it puts individuals at risk for memory loss, cancer, and ADHD-like symptoms. Over time, you may be at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, seizures, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea.
If you’re concerned that snoring may be what’s causing you to wake up feeling under-rested night after night, contact our office today. We’ll discuss your symptoms in detail and determine a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. A restful night of sleep can be yours!