The Physical Symptoms:
One of the very strange challenges that the entire topic of snoring faces, is that, well, most people don’t think it’s all that big of a problem. As a result, many people are quite skeptical when told that snoring is a severe physical and emotional health problem.
It only takes a minute, or a cursory glance, at the list of physical symptoms associated with a snoring problem to quickly embrace this funny sounding noun/verb into the class of serious health problems.
Here is just an opening list of the health concerns that could occur from snoring problems (and remember, please, that we’re just looking at physical snoring problems right now; emotional problems come later!).
sleep apnea (described on the following page)
headaches throughout the day (due to poor quality sleep and poor airflow through trachea)
swollen legs and arms (due to lack of oxygen flow)
an overall weakened immune system
hearing loss (if the snoring problem is very loud; remember, snoring can be as loud as a passing jet!)
In addition, most of us assume that snoring problems are associated with adulthood; and, as such, that the physical ailments noted above are limited to adults. This is not the case at all, since many children and adolescents snore (particularly those with related airflow inhibiting conditions, such as asthma).
If you, the reader are not a snorer, but have lived with (or currently live with) a first class snorer, you might find yourself shedding a tear or two as you read this section. That’s because often overlooked in the whole snoring discussion are those people who don’t snore.
These are the husbands, the wives, the kids, the nanny, the siblings, the in-laws, and even the neighbors who have found themselves on the receiving end of a chain saw, or a lawn mower (the sounds of a snorer), that tended to start at around 10:00 pm, and continued unabated! Until about 7:00 am the following morning.
For such people, trying to fall and stay asleep was not merely an exercise in stress coping; it was an exercise in crisis management!
The Emotional Symptoms:
It’s not at all overly dramatic to suggest that the emotional costs of living with someone with a snoring problem are as severe, or possibly even more severe, as the physical toll associated with snoring problems. This is because snoring can lead to a disturbing array of emotional problems, including:
lack of sleep, leading to depression and anxiety
marital breakdown and divorce, due to lack of sleep and lack of empathy (remember, the partner with the snoring problem doesn’t often know the pain that they are unwittingly causing!)
eviction by a landlord and the resulting humiliation (this may sound funny, but some people have literally been kicked out of their homes because of their snoring problem!)
warring roommates and neighbors
job loss, due to inability to concentrate and focus (because of sleeplessness)
memory and retention problems due to sleeplessness
And within these problems (and this just a simple list, an entire book can be filled to document the real life emotional damage caused by snoring) are a host of painful mental states that infect both the guilty snorer, and the enraged non snorer.
These unproductive emotional states include:
feelings of violence
lack of confidence and self-esteem
And let’s not forget the millions of non snorers who drive cars or operate heavy machinery; without a solid night of sleep, some of them can (and regrettably do) put both themselves and others at risk.
Indeed, the emotional problems associated with snoring are, unfortunately, less discussed; especially since the snorer himself or herself isn’t aware that he/she is causing so much unintentional emotional damage! Yet, as you can easily see (perhaps even in reflecting upon your own life), the emotional costs of being a snorer or living with someone who has a snoring problem can be severe and incalculable.