Snoring disrupts sleep in those who snore as well as their partners. It’s estimated that as much as 30 percent of people age 30 or older snore. But for some, the noisy habit might be an indication of sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder.
Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is disrupted during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, depriving the brain and body of an adequate oxygen supply.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): The more common of the two, OSA is caused by an airway blockage, such as when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
• Central Sleep Apnea: The brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to a malfunction in the respiratory control center.
Loud snoring is a common sleep apnea symptom, but not the only one. Other symptoms can include:
• Waking up with a sore or dry throat
• Waking up because of a choking or gasping sensation
• Restless sleep
• Morning headaches
• Lack of energy throughout the day