Did you know that snoring does not mean deep sleep?
Snoring is actually an indicator of increased resistance in the airway—and may mean a sleeper is having difficulty breathing!
Snoring is worse when we are on our backs because our tongues fall back and tend to crowd the airway. This is why we elbow our snoring friends and tell them to roll over—it’s to get that tongue out of the way!
Snoring can occur in the nose or at the throat, but sleep apnea always occurs in the throat. Sleep apnea occurs when the airway, as it passes through the neck, becomes crowded by all the relaxed muscle and tissue that surrounds it, and actually becomes too narrow to allow sufficient air to pass into our lungs to maintain our oxygen levels during sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, the airway actually closes completely — temporarily!
To learn more about snoring and the life-threatening dangers of sleep apnea, read the other entries on the snoring & sleep apnea page.
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