Snoring is no laughing matter

Window-rattling snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

People with sleep apnea may stop breathing several times during the night, or seem like they are holding their breath. The condition is more common in men than women. Daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, irritability, and forgetfulness are other symptoms.

Being overweight or obese can lead to sleep apnea, but even modest weight loss can help improve breathing and reduce snoring. Drinking alcohol less than four hours before going to bed and taking certain medications, especially sleeping pills, can also be sleep apnea triggers.

If you or your bed partner has noticed you have signs of sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. The condition can be treated with airway machines that allow you to breathe normally while sleeping. Certain prescription dental devices may also be helpful.

Sleeping on your side or stomach, taking decongestant pills (as directed on the label), and using nasal dilating strips are other ways to keep nasal passages open and decrease snoring.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Follow us on Facebook for useful advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.