Snoring is one of those things that can be annoying but is often seen as harmless. After all, it’s just a noise made when you sleep, right? Wrong. While snoring can sometimes be benign, it can also be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
If you or your partner snores loudly and you’re noticing other changes in your sleep patterns or overall health, it’s important to see a doctor. Here are some warning signs that your loud snoring is serious.
1. You’re Waking Up Feeling Exhausted
Normally, after a full night’s sleep, you should feel rested and rejuvenated. But this isn’t always the case if your snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea.
OSA causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start throughout the night. This means you’re not getting the deep, restful sleep you need. As a result, you may wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed.
While it is easy to ignore one or two nights of poor sleep, it should not become a regular occurrence. If you’re frequently waking up feeling exhausted, this is a warning sign that you need to see a sleep apnea snoring dentist. And if possible, consult with specialists like those found at Sleep Better Illinois; you can easily reach them by typing the words “Sleep Better Illinois” into a Google search.
2. You’re Noticing Changes in Your Sleep Patterns
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may not just be feeling tired during the day. You may also notice changes in your sleep patterns.
For example, you may find yourself falling asleep during the day, even if you’ve had a full night’s sleep. This is because OSA can cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night, which can make it hard to stay asleep.
3. You’re Gaining Excess Weight
If you’ve recently gained weight and started loud snoring, there may be a connection. That’s because being overweight can contribute to OSA.
Extra weight, especially around your neck, can put pressure on your airway and make it more likely to collapse during sleep. So, if you’re noticing that your snoring has gotten louder or more frequent and you’ve also gained weight, it’s important to see a doctor.
4. You Have a Problem Regulating Your Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, you may already be familiar with the importance of regulating your blood sugar levels. But did you know that sleep apnea can also make it harder to regulate your blood sugar?
Studies have shown that people with OSA are more likely to have issues with their blood sugar levels. This happens because the apnea can cause inflammation in the body, which can make it harder to process sugar.
If you have diabetes and you’re noticing changes in your blood sugar levels, it’s important to mention this to your doctor. It may be a sign that your snoring is more serious than you thought.
5. You Have Heartburn or Acid Reflux
Heartburn and acid reflux are common problems, but they can also be warning signs of OSA. That’s because when your breathing is interrupted during sleep, stomach acids can back up into your throat. This can cause a burning sensation in your chest or throat, and it can make you more likely to wake up throughout the night.
With that in mind, it’s important to keep track of your heartburn and acid reflux. If you’re noticing that these problems are getting worse or they’re happening more often, it may be time to see a doctor.
6. You’re Frequently Urinating at Night
Waking up to use the restroom once in a while is normal. But if you snore loudly and you’re also waking up multiple times a night to urinate, it may be a sign of OSA.
This is because the apnea can cause your body to retain fluids. This can lead to an increase in urine production, which can make you wake up more often at night to use the restroom.
If you have recently started snoring loudly and you’re also waking up frequently to urinate, it’s a good idea to mention this to your doctor. They may want to test you for sleep apnea.
While snoring is often harmless, it can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you’re noticing any of the warning signs above, it’s important to see a doctor. They can help you determine if your snoring is normal or if it’s a sign of something more serious.