Sleep awareness is on the rise. Maybe you’ve noticed the recent influx of products developed to capitalize on helping you get a good night’s sleep or address your sleep issues? One major sleep issue these products claim to address is snoring. Although some tools and advice for snoring are useful, others are not.

We’re including a few of those tools below to help you decide if they’re worth using, or if you need to seek out a sleep specialist to treat your snoring. A sleep specialist can identify when snoring indicates obstructive sleep apnea. Many of the tools promoted today to prevent snoring don’t address this life-threatening issue.

The truth is that snoring is much more than a bedtime inconvenience that can be resolved with a quick fix. Certain types of snoring can be reduced, but all snoring is an indication of a blocked airway. In most cases, it’s a serious warning sign that your overall health is at risk and can lead to significant health complications if not detected early and treated properly.

If you let sleep apnea go untreated by a professional, your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, and Alzheimer’s increase significantly. Are you ready to start taking snoring seriously?

Here are 3 things you need to know:

1. Distinguish Short-Term Improvements from Serious Solutions

Snorers are often advised to sleep on their side to help open up the airway, as opposed to sleeping on their back. The age-old trick of using side-sleeper pillows could help alleviate the issue, but switching your sleep position won’t entirely solve the problem. It may help lessen the snoring, but it doesn’t treat the underlying, and dangerous, potential condition of obstructive sleep apnea which is often the cause of snoring.

Similarly, an app like SnoreLab can help increase initial awareness of the issue by detecting and recording sleeping sounds, but it doesn’t Using an app like this can help you determine that you should see a sleep specialist. Nothing could ever replace professional diagnosis.

Therefore, you don’t have to say “good night” to sleep-related products altogether. However, you should always prioritize expert treatment at the first sign of a potential health issue.

2. Understand Your Snoring Style

If you think that your snoring isn’t serious enough to seek professional treatment, think again. All three grades of snoring have health implications.

Grade One

This level of snoring involves infrequent, soft snoring sounds that often arise after drinking alcohol or when suffering from allergies or illness. Certain behavioral changes can offer relief in these cases, such as avoiding alcohol or losing excess weight. You should also consult with a sleep specialist, who can provide more guidance on your specific situation.

Grade Two

Snoring is more frequent, occurring three or more nights a week. You may have some difficulty breathing, and find yourself feeling drowsy during the day. Contact a sleep specialist at this stage to reduce the risk of illness and further complications.

Grade Three

Snoring is a regular occurrence. Your snoring is loud, and might even be heard down the hallway. Your blocked airway may lead you to stop breathing for brief periods of time, causing you to choke or gasp for air and wake yourself up. Here, it’s especially important to contact a sleep center immediately for potential diagnosis and treatment.

Bottom line? Even seemingly small cases of snoring can be a sign of a much larger issue. Before reverting to using only self-help products, seek a professional who can conduct a credible analysis and share preventive measures that you can trust.

3. Treatment Options – Approved by Sleep Professionals

If snoring is disrupting your shut-eye, certain supplements and gadgets may be helpful in offering temporary relief. However, it’s important to remember that these resources won’t serve as a long-term solution. Only a sleep professional can accurately help you with your sleep apnea.

Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, which can eventually progress to become a severe and life-threatening issue. Contact the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee for an expert assessment and preventive treatments you can count on.

Our first step is evaluating your sleep. This may include a sleep study to monitor to screen for sleep disorders. Once the results are assessed, we will make appropriate recommendations and treatments. Treatments may include use of a CPAP machine or lifestyle changes.

Learn more about how we can help here.