The amount of “stop snoring” products on the market confirms that many people are being kept awake by snoring.

While it is annoying to others, snoring is a real health threat to the individual with a snoring problem. Even moderate snoring can lead to heart problems and increase the risk of strokes.

The most serious reason for snoring is called “sleep apnea” and those who are diagnosed have a 40% higher chance of dying earlier than their peers.

What many people do not realize is that severe snoring causes your airway to narrow or completely close and you stop breathing.

Once this occurs, the oxygen levels in your blood quickly go down and the carbon dioxide increases. Your heart rate accelerates as it works to get oxygen and stresses your nervous system as well.

A family member may be able to listen and describe your snoring patterns, and may hear you make loud grunting, snorting sounds and then a short period of quiet follow by gasping sounds and then loud snoring sounds as struggle to breathe again.

This can happen over and over, continually stressing your heart. The more often this occurs, the more serious the sleep apnea. Those with severe sleep apnea will often fall asleep during the day at random inappropriate times as well because they are actually sleep deprived.

The list of health problems caused by sleep apnea are long and the most dangerous are the cardiovascular problems. People with sleep apnea are twice as likely to have multiple nonfatal heart incidents and ultimately a fatal heart attack.

Those with long term snoring issues can develop an irregular heart rhythm called arrhythmia and enlargement of the left atrium.

It also causes the narrowing of arteries in the neck due to plaque buildup which can cause a stroke. One of many studies linked the intensity of snoring with a higher risk of stroke.

Headaches, depression, and anxiety are also documented in those with severe snoring problems. Both men and women may also experience an increased need to get up to use the bathroom at night due to snoring and can even begin to have loss of bladder control during the day.

If you or a family member has a pattern of loud, prolonged nighttime snoring and also experience any of the other problems mentioned you can ask your family doctor to evaluate you condition and see if you are a candidate for a sleep study program.

This is an overnight study which will actually measure the effects of your snoring on your heart. Many are shocked by the number of times their heart stopped during the overnight study.

Based on the test results, your doctor can prescribe a CPAC unit which regulates your breathing and not only stops the snoring but more importantly prevents the heart stopping incidents.

The good news is that those who use the CPAC units experience dramatic improvement in their overall heath and risks to their heart.

Is snoring keeping you or your family member from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s time to see your doctor!