Surprising Health Issues Associated with Snoring
By Dr. Adam Alpers, D.O.
There is no question that losing a night's sleep can lead to all kinds of misery the next day. While you may be focusing on the emotional aspects, you may not realize that snoring can also cause a great deal of harm to just about every system in your body.
Although there is a completely different term for the lack of oxygen during sleep which is known to many as Apnea, many people fail to recognize that snoring can be considered at times one of the early warning signs to this problem. As we address snoring, in many cases, Apnea may not be that far behind.
Snoring and Cancer and Heart Disease
One of the negative effects associated with snoring occur, because of disruptions in the production of Melatonin. This hormone is produced by the Pituitary gland. Aside from regulating sleep and wake cycles, Melatonin also serves as a powerful antioxidant.
Therefore, when you awaken because of snoring, you literally deprive your body of a hormone that it needs to help stave off dangerous changes to the DNA in the cells of our body. Unfortunately, when you do not get enough sleep, the loss of Melatonin can easily lead to a larger number of cells that cannot repair their genetic material.
Snoring, Cholesterol, and Heart Disease
In addition, snoring also has some other indirect effects. As you may be aware, increased cholesterol may occur from consuming meat products. Cholesterol can also be produced by the gallbladder. Typically, increased levels of Melatonin inhibit this additional production of cholesterol. If you are looking to reduce your risks of having a heart attack, lowering cholesterol levels is absolutely necessary. If you snore at night, you may want to look at this issue as part of your treatment plan. Supplementing with melatonin may be an important part of your daily regimen while you are getting your snoring problems under control.
Many people do not realize that respiratory and cardiac functions are strongly affected by levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. In some cases, if the obstructions that lead to snoring are severe enough, they can bring a halt to your breathing. This is known as Apnea. Many people have heard the term "Sleep Apnea", unfortunately, reduced levels of oxygen in the blood can have serious effects on every organ in the body and can lead to damage that occurs over months to years. This damage, can, at times, start to be reversed once the cause, (apnea due to snoring) is corrected.
As carbon dioxide levels rise, the heart tends to beat faster and harder than normal. Since the heart receives a fresh and direct supply of oxygen directly from the lungs, it (the heart) is often one of the first organs to suffer from oxygen deprivation. This is just one of the many reasons why snoring can lead to increased risks of stroke, hypertension, and other cardiovascular problems.
Fix Your Snoring Problems
No matter how you look at it, snoring causes some very serious problems in your life. Even though you may be accustomed to feeling drowsy during the day, there are a number of hidden damages that can shorten your life by several decades.
In a similar way, once your heart and brain begin to suffer from oxygen depletion, it can be very difficult for the tissue to be repaired. While these effects may seem very small on a daily basis, the detrimental effects can add up over the years.
Regardless of your age, one of the best things you can do is to ensure that you treat snoring as a serious health issue. The sooner you get this problem under control, the better chance you will have of leading a healthy and full life.