Impact of snoring

Snoring disrupts your sleep in more ways than one, and disturbs your bed partner, or people sleeping nearby. However, it poses some serious health risks too, as is elucidated below:

  • Drop in Blood Oxygen Levels – The most immediate result of snoring is a drop in blood oxygen levels. A normal blood oxygen level should be in the range of 94%-98%. Not breathing normally due to snoring for 30 seconds or more, results in the blood oxygen level to drop to 80% or lesser. Any level below 90% is dangerous to the body and require your instant attention.
  • Day-time Sleepiness – Since snoring leads to improper breathing and fragmented sleep, the most noticeable outcome is day-time sleepiness. Thus, this give way to irritable behavior, automobile accidents, and even depression in some cases.
  • Headaches- Waking up with a headache is one of the most common effects of snoring. Researchers have found a link between snoring and other sleep disorders with morning headaches. Constant headaches during the entire day can also be caused to habitual snorers. This often leads to irritation and fluctuations in mood.
  • Heart Diseases- Sleep disorders are connected to possible heart failures and attacks, due to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure. Studies also state that people with sleep apnea are twice at risk to get heart diseases and heart attacks. Moreover, people also run the risk of developing irregular heart rhythm(Arrhythmia) due to snoring.
  • Strokes- The more you snore, the greater is the risk for you to get a stroke. This is because the intensity of snoring can narrow arteries in the neck, due to fatty deposits.
  • Accidents- Sleep apnea due to snoring can cause you to feel sleepy during daytime. This can often result people to fall asleep while driving or other activities that needs good amount of attention. Thus, this paves way for uncalled road accidents.
  • Mental Health Concerns- As talked earlier, snoring can lead to increased irritability in mood, and sometimes can even cause anxiety and mild depression.


Sleep Revitalizes your Mind, Body, & Heart

The body goes under many transformations, while it is in the state of rest during sleep. There are many essential functions that take place in the body such as tissue repair, memory and energy restoration, release of essential hormones, muscle relaxation, and others. While you are asleep, the brain releases indispensable hormones that promote tissue growth. This process helps your body rejuvenate from the daily hustle bustle. Moreover, tissue growth aids in the recovery from wounds or cuts. Sunita Kumar, Co-Director, Centre for Sleep Disorders, Loyola University Medical Centre, aptly remarks that during sleep the body produces more white blood cells, to fight countless bacteria and viruses1. The heart rate also registers a dip during sleep, which according to Ms. Kumar, strengthens the heart as it is at rest with lowered activity. Moreover, a good night’s sleep also reduces the chances of getting afflicted with heart diseases.

Good Sleep = Sharp Memory

Sleep is a time, when becomes sharp and strong. Sleep quantity and quality play a fundamental role in determining what one remembers and what one doesnt. Therefore, development of long-term memory (LTM) from short-term memory (STM) happens during sleep.  Scientific researches state that the brain follows a different mechanism for storing memories through the hippocampus and neo-cortex areas. Hippocampus helps you to remember your life experiences (childhood memories), while the neo-cortex is responsible for remembering the concepts you learn (name of a color). Communications and sync between the two, helps in learning new data and updating old ones.

Sleep Steers Hormonal Hunger

Sleep not only affects your energy levels and mental functions, but also regulates your body weight. Improper sleep is related to the increasing cases of obesity, worldwide2. Many hormones which regulate the feeling of hunger (ghrelin) and signal the feeling of being full (leptin), are all influenced by the quality of your sleep.  Leptin: This is also known as satiety hormone, which is produced by the fat cells of the body. It prevents overeating by sending signals to the brain that the body does not require more food, as there is enough to fuel the body.  Ghrelin: This hunger hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which signifies the body that there is need for food. This hormone rises in the body, when you feel hungry and decreases when you have consumed some food.  Studies show that people who have disrupted patterns of sleep - have larger appetite, because of higher ghrelin secretion and lowered secretion of leptin. This imbalance in the secretion of these hormones is a result of improper sleep patterns3.