Can you die from snoring? Can snoring be severe enough to cause death? I have done some research and what I found out was SHOCKING! Here’s the straight answer to the question can you die from snoring:
Normal snoring won’t cause death. But let’s not smile yet. There is another condition related to snoring, called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a very serious sleep disorder and if left untreated, it, in fact, can cause death. There are also many other health complications related to sleep apnea.
Can Sleep Apnea Really Cause Death?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep condition. People suffering from sleep apnea face discontinuities of breathing while they are asleep. They can’t breathe for 10-20 seconds during sleep. Also, most people with sleep apnea wake up hundreds of time from sleep for a short period. The waking occurs very suddenly, so people are not aware of it. The brain does this sudden awakening when it can’t get enough oxygen due to the breathing discontinuities.
Some experts have expressed that sleep apnea can’t be responsible for death. Their point is that, when the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it triggers an awakening. As a result, the breathing starts again and the brain starts to get oxygen. Consequently, there is no chance of getting suffocated due to sleep apnea. So, sleep apnea can’t be responsible for death.
But this point is invalid in many cases. Here is my point:
Arguing sleep apnea can’t cause death is a bit like saying you won’t be dead from AIDS. HIV is not directly responsible for making people dead. The health complications that originates from HIV are responsible for dead. This is similar to the case of diabetes. Diabetes directly can’t make you dead. It’s a long term process that is responsible for poor lifestyle, poor health, dysfunction, pain which ultimately can lead to death if not proper steps are taken.
Sleep apnea is responsible for hundreds of health risks including disrupting the circadian rhythm, misbalancing the brain as well as body chemistry, interruption the respiratory function, preventing proper cardiovascular functions, causing high blood pressure etc.
If sleep apnea is left untreated, it will surely lead to death. In fact, recent research has found that mortality risks are higher in people that are suffering from sleep apnea.
So, want to be serious about sleep apnea? The decision is yours!
What Happens If Sleep Apnea Is Left Untreated?
If your sleep apnea is left untreated, the following complications can arise:
- According to the sleep heart study result of 2001, people are more likely to have a heart attack
- The risk of having a stroke rises 2 or 3 times more
- The chances of premature death increase up to 3 times
- A recent study has found this result: people with sleep apnea for more than 5 years suffer a 30% increased chance of heart attack or worse, dying. This research was conducted in Yale University.
- According to a study done by the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort in 2008, 42% of people with sleep apnea died of heart diseases.
- Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiac infused death 5 times
- In 2005, a study published in ‘The New England Journal Of Medicine’ has informed that people with untreated sleep apnea have a higher risk of dying in their sleep due to a cardiac attack!
Sleep Apnea & Heart Diseases
A recent research has come out with the findings that more than 22 million people in America are now suffering from sleep apnea. There are some statistics reports indicating that about 38,000 people each year die from heart diseases that are directly related to sleep apnea. [Source]
So, if you are suffering from heart diseases, you should immediately check your sleep status. Heart diseases are the number one reason for death in the USA. About 6% of heart diseases deaths are linked to sleep apnea.
Heart diseases appear slightly differently in women than men. Women generally suffer from these two most common heart diseases: atherosclerosis and non-obstructive coronary artery diseases.
Heart diseases normally happen due to fat and cholesterol sticking to the artery walls. This with time stiffens the heart and starts to reduce the elasticity and strength of the heart. Consequently, the coronary arteries fail to transport blood to the heart efficiently. The poor blood flow through the heart results in a deadly consequence.
As sleep apnea further decreases the oxygen reach in the brain, it worsens an already bad situation. Some other factors that lead to heart diseases are drug usage, smoking, alcohol consumption etc. These factors eventually stiffen the heart, increases the blood pressure and lead to poor blood flow throughout the heart.
Sleep Apnea & Drug Usage
Illicit drug use can damage most of the organs in the human body. This damage eventually leads to sleep apnea.
- Using too much cocaine can damage the structure of the upper nose airways. As a result, the nasal tissues collapse while sleeping.
- Opiates are largely responsible for depressing the respiratory system while you are asleep. When the brain signals get depressed due to the opiates, they start to get weak. This results in poor muscle tones which lead to poor breathing.
- Alcohol is another famous contributor to respiratory depressant. It should be avoided at all cost before sleeping.
Sleep apnea, poor sleep quality and usage of drugs are more like sewn in the same string. A recent study in 2009 conducted by the National Institute of Health Study has found out the following: people suffering from sleep apnea often use drugs to get proper sleep and remove fatigue and tiredness throughout the whole day.
But the thing is, drug usage makes the matter further worse!
Sleep Apnea & Mental Disorder
As sleep apnea stops oxygen from reaching the brain while one is asleep, it can lead to severe mood swings, mood disorders as well as mental depression.
- Sleep apnea is responsible for fatigue, tiredness throughout the day, sleep deprivation as well as sleep fragmentation. All these results in mood disorders and various mental disorders.
- Drug usage can result in mood swings, sudden change of behaviour as well as risky behavioural changes.
- As sleep apnea worsens the mental condition, it can lead an individual to drug abuse and alcohol consumption. These can make the whole mental condition even worse.
- People with untreated sleep apnea goes through a cycle of insomnia, sleepiness throughout the day, fatigue and extreme weakness, prone to suicidal tendencies, as well as other mental ill-conditions.
So, What Can We Do?
First, we need to take snoring and sleep apnea seriously. I hope after reading the article you can guess how serious can untreated sleep apnea turn out to be. So, if you are any way suffering from sleep apnea or poor sleep quality, talk to a sleep specialist immediately. If proper actions are taken at an early stage, the risks of sleep apnea can be minimised.
Sleep apnea can start from snoring. So, if you are a regular snorer, you should take steps to reduce or prevent snoring. When I was a regular snorer, I tried many things to stop my snoring.
Before you do anything I would recommend this quick 5 mins exercise that might fix your snoring and apnea permanently. It did for me after trying multiple devices. Some worked for a short time and others never. But This did for sure and 14 months later I am still free of snoring!
Preventing snoring is the first step to preventing sleep apnea.Be smart. Treat your sleep apnea and lead a heart-risk free life!