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Healthy Habits: Snoring can indicate a potential sleep disorder

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 12:06 AM

The familiar noise of someone's snoring is more than just an annoyance. Snoring is actually a sign that something is blocking someone's airway or nasal cavity while they sleep and can indicate a potential sleep disorder.

While snoring is more common among men, it can be something that happens to anyone, especially as we age. Even children can develop snoring that could lead to sleep disorders. As someone's snoring gets worse and disrupts sleep habits, it is important to seek medical help because it can also be a key factor in diagnosing sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea is a condition where a sleeping person's breathing pauses for 10 seconds or longer. This can be associated with drop in oxygen saturation and can affect the heart, lungs and daily activities over a period of time.

Though a sleep disorder would be diagnosed by a health professional, there are simple tips you can use to reduce snoring. The National Institutes of Health share these tips to address this pesky habit that interrupts sleep:

Lose weight if you are overweight

Cut down or eliminate alcohol and other sedatives at bedtime

Avoid sleeping flat on your back

As always, a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea can only be diagnosed through a sleep study performed by a health professional who specializes in sleep disorder diagnosis and treatments.

Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary's Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one; to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/healthyhabits2013.

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