“Birds are singing in the trees
As we rise up in a beautiful morning
But I can’t hear that beautiful sound
‘Cause I’m permanently yawning”
I love you (But you’re boring) The Beautiful South
If you find that you are permanently yawning you could be suffering from a sleep disorder that the Buteyko Method has been proven to alleviate. Or maybe you are suffering, but not experiencing it, if your partner is a snorer.
Snoring. Even Malcolm X mentioned it in his quest for equal rights for all mankind:
“I remember one night at Muzdalifa with nothing but the sky overhead I lay awake amid sleeping Muslim brothers and I learned that pilgrims from every land–every color, and class, and rank; high officials and the beggar alike–all snored in the same language.”
― Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Shakespeare refers to snoring and latter day literary hero Terry Pratchett waxes lyrical about Granny Weatherwax’s prodigious snoring. Writers and poets occasionally write about the soft snoring of their beloved (pet or person) but enough nights listening to a jackhammer in your ear can soon turn a young man or woman’s fancy to less than loving feelings.
Let’s examine snoring in more detail
What causes snoring?
Snoring is noisy and often uneven breathing that occurs during sleep. It occurs when the air being expelled or breathed out causes vibration of the soft tissue in the throat, mouth and nasal cavities. The sound the snorer makes depends on which soft tissue is vibrating.
The noise can vary from a soft purr to a motorbike in the bedroom! The average noise level of snorer can reach 60 decibels. To put that in context, normal speech range is 40 to 60 decibels. A really loud snorer can reach 90 decibels!
Snoring happens usually during the deepest stages of sleep, every 90 minutes or so. It is for this reason that the snorer is generally (and blissfully!) unaware of their snoring. If you and your partner keep very different bedtimes it stands to reason that the snoring can be even more disturbing as your deep and light sleep cycles are out of sync. There’s a lot to be said for retiring to bed together or at times that allow you to undergo your evening routine and fall asleep at similar times.
Habitual snoring is common, occurring in 44 percent of males and 28 percent of females who are between 30 and 60 years of age in the general population . Occasional snoring is almost universal. Snoring also occurs in children.
So what’s the big deal with snoring?
While snoring has been the butt of many jokes, habitual snoring has to be taken seriously.
Worsening snoring is a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. This is where breathing stops for more that 10 seconds at a time.
There are different forms of sleep apnea and degrees of severity but one thing is certain: untreated sleep apnea puts you at greater risk of some serious health disorders, including the following:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rhythms and heart attacks
- Reflux and heartburn
- Sleep deprivation
- Driver fatigue
And that is just you, the snorer. What about anyone who shares your bedroom?
It also affects your job, your relationships and your partner.
Partners of snorers and sleep apnea sufferers often have poor sleep, fatigue, irritability and concentration problems. A Mayo clinic study indicated that they lose around an hour of sleep a night. Their sleep can be quiet fragmented and can wake at least briefly around 20 times an hour. They may shove, pull, punch, and kick their partner in the hope that repositioning them will solve the problem. It might… for a short while
Okay I am concerned about snoring and sleep apnea
If you are reading this the chances are that you are concerned about sleep or snoring. Maybe you are wondering if you should be seriously concerned?
If you are experiencing more than 30% of the following symptoms it may be worth seeking further advice. Imagine a simple reset of your breathing habit could remove even three of these problems how much sunnier the world would seem!
Are you or your partner experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Loud snoring
- Gagging, gasping or choking episodes during sleep
- Restless sleep, sleep interruptions
- Twitching of legs or arms during sleep
- Waking up tired and groggy
- Dry mouth
- Always needing a glass or bottle of water nearby
- Morning headache
- Breathlessness( day or night)
- Feeling depressed, anxious moody or irritable
- Symptoms of sleep derivation, such as
- Daytime sleepiness
- Low energy, always feeling tired
- Poor concentration and short term memory
- Impaired thinking ,judgement and reasoning ability
- Decreased productivity
So while you may not think you snore or have sleep apnea if any of the above is relevant to you it is worth considering doing something to change how you are sleeping. If even one of these symptoms is recurring on a regular basis consider how much better you would feel if it was alleviated. If you are waking up in the morning with a headache, I’m sure those around you would appreciate a new, less crankier you!
What can you do to address issues arising from about snoring?
There are a number of routes you can take:
- Go to your GP. No harm having a chat and a medical assessment
- Possibly consider a sleep study
- Get on a programme of breathing retraining. Identifying how someone’s breathing pattern differs from normal, healthy breathing lights the way back to better breathing habits and quiet, restful sleep.
- Sleep in the shed. That’ll learn you quick enough!
If you would like to look into breathing retraining please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a confidential consultation. Apart from helping to improve your sleep habits, training in the Buteyko Method will also have a positive impact on your exercise regime, your immune system, and your general lust for life!
Get in touch with Martha today and she will call you back to discuss your situation.