Now I understand why many old couples sleep in different bedrooms when they reach a certain age. They can’t stand each other’s snores. For many, many years, they have probably endured each other quirks, and found them bearable. But to lose sleep because of someone else snoring – that is bad trip! Sleep apnea is no joking matter.
Imagine what happens when you lack sleep: you’re dizzy, sleepy, ergo, cranky all day.
Case in point: my parents. For the past 3 years (at least), they have been sleeping in separate bedrooms. Not because they can’t live with each other anymore (uhh, well, yeah, sometimes siguro, hehe), but because the other can’t sleep while one is snoring so loudly.
So now I see the future of our senior years: separate rooms. Grabe maghilik si hub. More often, I can’t sleep because I watch him as he goes into brief moments of apnea. I sometimes count 15, 20 seconds before he takes a very deep, almost gasping breath. At times, I have to shake him to make sure he wakes up to take the next breath.
Aside from the fact that it can potentially destroy marriages, snoring is a manifestation of sleep apnea – brief moments when the person stops breathing. During those apneic moments, the brain and other parts of the body are not getting any oxygen. We all know that oxygen is needed for all processes in the body to take place. Because of oxygen deprivation (called hypoxia), you may feel dizzy, nauseated, and tired, and get bad headaches. Severe hypoxia may even lead to coma.
Some people recommend certain special pillows and mattresses to help reduce snoring. But it’s important to find out the cause for snoring. In most people, it’s an obstruction in the airway – large tonsils, narrow airways, blocked sinuses. Sometimes it’s also in the sleeping position; turning on the side lessens vibration of tissues against the airways during breathing.
If you find your or your roomie’s snoring annoying, go check with the doctor soon. It could highly be sleep apnea. (Note to self: drag hub to the doc.)