Dark circles, puffy eyes and morning crankiness are all tell-tale signs of a sleepless night. Sleeping disorders such as snoring, insomnia and sleep apnoea are common problems affecting a significant part of the population today. It does not matter if you rich or poor, young or old, snoring spears no one. And if you are a habitual snorer then medical assistance is mandatory. From breathing problems to cardiovascular diseases, the risks of snoring are many and varied. However, there are some crazy myths about snoring floating about that have fuelled the prejudice and stigma associated with sleeping disorders. Some of these ridiculous myths are demystified below:
One Fat Middle Aged Men Snore
An old fat man with a thick neck is perhaps the best candidate for snoring. The stereotypical description of a snorer though fitting is not always true. Snoring is a common condition that affects people irrespective of their gender or physical attributes. Oftentimesslim young women and perfectly healthy men suffer from sleeping disorders. Contrary to popular belief, snoring is not limited to the masculine faction of the society. According to a study by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, the fairer sex is also equally affected by snoring. There is nothing unnatural or “unladylike” about snoring.
Snoring is Funny
The viral videos of people snoring and snorting in their sleep have a million hits for a reason. They are funny. Snoring is often depicted as something unusual, a hilarious abnormality used for comic relief in movies and cartoon shows. However, this disorder also has an ugly side. Blame it on obesity or the extra glass of wine before bed, but the loud snores are a sign that your lungs are struggling to draw in air. Medical conditions such as sleep apnoea, chronic headaches, high blood pressure and heart strokes are some of the many threats posed by heavy snoring.
Cleaning the Nose Can Reduce Snoring
The mucus accumulation in the inner lining of the nostrils often blocks the air passage restricting the airflow in the lungs. Most people snore only when allergic to something or suffering from common cold. However, cleaning the nose is not the only solution to snoring as the throat is still clogged. It is therefore recommended that you use a nasal strip or a chin strap. These anti-snoring devices help open up the air passage both by clearing nasal blockages and preventing the throat muscles from collapsing upon the windpipe.
Children Do Not Snore
This is a dangerous misconception, one that needs to be broken immediately. Children are usually prone to sleeping disorders owing to their weak immunity. Snoring is a problem in people irrespective of their age and gender. Kids with huge tonsils and adenoids have a problem breathing when asleep. Also, children suffering from sleeping disorders are prone to hyperactivity, mood swings and in some cases disorders such as ADHD. Therefore, if your child is snoring on a regular basis take him/her to a doctor and get it checked before it is too late.
Snoring Means You Are Getting Enough Sleep
Ever noticed your partner snoring like a bulldozer when drifting off but quiet as a mouse when fast asleep? Many scientific studies and research surveys have discovered that people snore differently in different stages of sleep. Also, to an outsider, a snorer might appear to be in a deep sleep. However that is not the case, habitual snorers are usually prone to daytime fatigue and headaches. Snoring restricts the natural breathing rhythm of the body and is, therefore, a hindrance to your sleep. Using the anti-snoring devices such as chin straps, nasal sprays, and breathing aids open up the air passage allowing you to inhale deeply when asleep.
Snoring Is Not Harmful
This is partly right as occasional snoring is not harmful. Also in most cases, you can control your snoring by making simple lifestyle changes or using breathing aids. However, if the snores are growing louder and more frequent with time, then you need professional help, for when you snore the throat muscles close in on one another blocking the windpipe.
Snoring is a sign that your body is not getting enough air and can be considered to be a preliminary stage of sleep apnoea. The frequent pauses in breath hinder the oxygen supply in the body and strain the heart to pump more blood. Moreover if left untreated for long, the condition ultimately culminates to cardiovascular attacks and strokes.
The Bottom Line
Snoring is not a “normal” condition, labeling it so only diminishes the gravity of the problem. It is a medical condition, a sleeping disorder that can be curbed by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Medical assistance is needed in case you are a habitual snorer.