alert-icon

NEUROLOGICAL WELLNESS CLINIC ALERT

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information and updates for patients and visitors

Learn More >

Sleep Education: General Principles of Sleep & Snoring

To print: Download pdf

When breathing in, air on its way to the lungs travels past the tongue, the soft palate, the uvula and the tonsils. Snoring is caused by the muscles in your throat becoming too relaxed or too bulky to allow for smooth, full airway flow. As the air flows through the narrowed passageway, it will vibrate the structures of the throat, which causes the noise commonly heard in snoring patients. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place and prevent them from collapsing and vibrating in the airway.

Snoring by itself does not constitute a danger to the patient. However, since it’s caused by similar concerns as OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), it may be a signal that a more serious condition is present.

Don’t panic if you snore – it does not automatically mean you have OSA! However, if you have any concerns that your snoring might be related to OSA, especially if you experience any other associated symptoms listed below, it would be prudent to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

During the night, you may experience frequent awakenings. The cessations in breathing can lead the body to recognize a lack of oxygen and trigger you to awaken. Other symptoms can include:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Chronic issue with snoring
  • Feeling tired after a full night’s sleep
  • Finding it hard to stay awake at work, while driving or while on the phone

During the day, sufferers may experience:

  • Headaches, especially in the morning
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Memory and concentration issues
  • Crankiness
  • Depression
  • Short temperament

Long-term symptoms can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Sexual dysfunction

Image of woman annoyed by husband's snoring.

Snoring

Snoring is believed to occur in anywhere from 30% of women to over 40% of men.

Snoring by itself doesn’t constitute a danger to the patient. However, since it’s caused by similar concerns as OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), it may be a signal that a more serious condition is present.

If you have any concerns that your snoring might be related to OSA, it would be prudent to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

Dr Jochism

Dr. Sean Jochims, Neurologist

Dr. Sean Jochims graduated medical school with the prestigious Rick Wartgow Award for dedication to medicine. He also received Excellence in Teaching Awards as chief resident in neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Education
  • Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Internship/Internal Medicine: Northwestern University
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship: Rush Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago
  • Participant at Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine
Board Certifications
Read More

Testimonials

Latest News

news1

March is Brain Injury awareness month!

Brain Injuries are sadly linked to 30% of the deaths that occur in the U.S. every year

Read More

Quick Connect