There are secret shoppers, secret handshakes, secret admirers, and even secret snorers.
Everyone knows someone who snores so heavily at night that it disrupts others’ sleep, such as a partner or elderly family member.
But you still might be a snorer, even if no one hears you or has to constantly nudge you to pipe down. That’s the secret snorer. Snoring is when airflow or airways are obstructed during sleep, and it could be an indicator of a common condition known as sleep apnea or other serious underlying health issues.
“Snoring or sleep apnea could put you at risk for developing fatigue, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and other heart issues,” says Sleep Better Austin’s sleep expert Dr. Brandon Hedgecock. “It is good to know if you are a frequent and heavy snorer, or perhaps a secret snorer, so that you can seek treatment, get a better night’s sleep, and reduce your chances for acquiring these associated health problems.”
How can you tell if you are a secret snorer?
Here are four signs that likely say yes:
- You wake up with a dry, scratchy throat. You might be breathing through your mouth causing it to dry out when you sleep/snore if your nasal passages are obstructed.
- Your jaw is sore. You may suffer from a disorder affecting your temporomandibular joint (sometimes referred to as TMJ or TMD) that upsets the alignment of your teeth and jaw which can lead to snoring.
- You urinate frequently during the night. Breathing against a closed or obstructed airway puts stress on the heart causing it to produce a substance called atrial natriuretic peptide which is a diuretic that leads to frequent urination.
- You are a smoker or drink heavily. Both relax and decrease muscle function preventing proper breathing and airflow.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may be a secret snorer.
Some of these may be fixed by talking with your doctor about nighttime urination, looking into a dental device/guard to keep the jaw in place at night, and adopting a healthier lifestyle, like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol use and getting enough exercise.
If you continue to wake up with these symptoms and are not getting restful sleep, you could also have sleep apnea which is easily treated by Sleep Better Austin’s innovative Oral Appliance Therapy. Our comfortable and custom-fitted oral appliance consistently proves successful when other treatments, including CPAP machines, have failed.
To learn more about sleep apnea treatment, reducing your snoring, and getting a more healthful night’s sleep, please contact us to schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our experts in dental sleep medicine.