Most of us think that snoring is just an annoying habit, but not really a problem. Well, that’s not always true! There are a surprising number of dangers of snoring that prove that this sleep problem could be a lot bigger than you realize. Here are some of the things that happen when you snore:
You wake up with a headache
If you wake up in the morning with a pounding head, you probably suffer from sleep apnea–and your snoring is a symptom. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is surprisingly common. With sleep apnea, your throat closes during the night, and your oxygen is cut off. This lack of oxygen causes you to wake up randomly throughout the night, and it can leave your head throbbing come morning.
Your erections will suffer
If you can’t breathe properly, how can you expect to have the energy needed for sex? Research has shown that up to 60% of men suffering from sleep apnea also have a hard time achieving and maintaining erections, particularly as they age. A lack of oxygen (caused by snoring and sleep apnea) reduces the levels of nitric oxide in your blood, causing the blood vessels to constrict. This reduces blood flow throughout your body, including to the organ that DEPENDS on blood flow to function. To prevent erectile dysfunction, it’s time to get your sleep apnea and snoring under control!
Your sex drive might fade
A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine discovered that men who snore heavily are twice as likely to have reduced satisfaction from sex than their non-snoring counterparts. Not only will it reduce the flow of blood to your penis, but it could affect your partner’s sex drive as well. After all, if they’re exhausted from being kept up all night by your snoring, the last thing they’ll have the energy for is sex!
Your memory will suffer
Less oxygen at night means your brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs, meaning faster brain decay as you age. Heavy snoring has been linked to brain decline up to 10 years earlier than those with healthy sleep habits. Snoring increases the cerebrospinal fluid in your brain.
You feel worse
Did you know that up to 50% of snorers also suffer from depression? An Australian study discovered that sleep apnea may lead to depression, and depression may cause sleep apnea as well. Depression alters your brain chemistry, leading to interruptions in your sleep patterns. Apnea can reduce the quality of your sleep, which in turns alters your brain chemistry and may lead to depression.
You may have arterial plaque
If your snoring sounds like a jet engine, you may have up to a 26% greater chance of suffering from a stroke. Why is this? Some experts believe that plaque in your arteries can contribute to your snoring, as well as to your increased risk of stroke. Snorers are often overweight, another factor in strokes.
Your heart may suffer
If you snore at night and are sleepy during the day, you may be more likely to develop heart disease. Snoring is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which can lead to heart troubles as you grow older. Not all snorers suffer from sleep apnea, but it’s a lot more common than you might think!
You’re more injury-prone
People who don’t sleep well suffer from concentration lapses, which can lead to an increase in injuries. Fragmented sleep causes your brain to be filled with a mental fog, which causes your on-the-job performance to suffer. You’re more likely to have accidents, forget important information, or make mistakes.