The source behind your snoring

The source behind your snoring

That buzz saw that wakes you up at night, it might just be garden variety snoring – which ranges from amusing to annoying – or it might be sleep apnea – which ranges from annoying to dangerous.

An HSI member named Harry is in a quandary about how to silence his buzz saw.

“Recently my wife has begun complaining about my snoring. Over the 17 years of our marriage it seems to have gotten worse. I know there are a couple of experimental operations which MAY help, but if there are any MAYbe’s, I would prefer them to come from natural un-invasive forms. Are there any known reduction methods or cures for snoring of which HSI is aware? I seem to have sleep apnea also. My wife says she can count to 10 sometimes when I stop breathing. I have never been tested but I also believe when I lay down at night, I have some nasal obstruction. Is there any non-invasive help for me?”

If Harry’s snoring is caused by nasal obstruction, his solution might be an easy one. I have a friend who uses Breathe Right nasal strips when he’s feeling a little congested, and his wife reports wonderful results – less snoring and more sleep.

But if Harry believes sleep apnea is the source of his nightly sawing, he should see a doctor. And soon.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by prolonged, heavy snoring. But as Harry’s wife has noticed, people with sleep apnea actually stop breathing momentarily, sometimes as many as a hundred times each night. The most obvious result of this pattern is daytime fatigue. But without treatment, dire consequences may develop. A 2004 study found that men who suffer from OSA are five times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, regardless of their age, body mass index, blood pressure, or smoking habits.

The most common sleep apnea treatment is called CPAP, or “continuous positive airway pressure,” in which a device supplies a stream of air through a small plastic mask secured over the nose. This is usually effective, but it’s somewhat cumbersome and can be hard to get used to.

Harry might also consult with a chiropractor. According to an HSI Healthier Talk forum posting from a member named Cleo, a chiropractic technique called the Palmer Method helped her husband bring his sleep apnea under control.