Snoring is Close to Your Heart

Snoring Close to your heart

If you snore, you could be putting your heart at risk.  You could have a condition called sleep apnea, which is when the sleeper quits breathing for brief periods of time during their sleep, and snoring is one of the main symptoms.  Not only does the condition affect your sleep, leaving you tired during the day, but it also affect the triglyceride (fat) levels in your blood.  Triglycerides contribute to heart disease, since the fats tend to narrow the veins and arteries in the body.  This restricts the amount of oxygen that is circulated, and if the build-up is too heavy it can lead to a heart attack.

A study conducted through the University of Sydney in Australia suggests that treating your snoring problem with the use of Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease that leads to heart attack and stroke by about 25 percent.  The blood fat levels of the 38 study participants was studied over a 24-hour period of time after eating standard meals, both before and after two months of CPAP use with another two months of a CPAP placebo device.  The results showed that triglyceride levels were highest in the middle of the night during sleep in most patients, nearly seven hours after eating a meal.  The period of time when the CPAP was used showed the levels lower than with the placebo device or with no treatment at all.

The CPAP pushes air into the trachea that keeps airways open, allowing a higher level of oxygen to enter the blood stream.  With the extra oxygen molecules in the blood, the red blood cells are better able to attack foreign substances in the blood, namely that fats that can collect on the walls of blood vessels.  Not only does it increase resistance to foreign cells, but it keeps the muscles healthier and better able to function during the day, in order to burn off any fats that remain.

The University is continuing the study to determine if the higher triglyceride levels at night provide a higher risk for night shift workers, since they tend to eat their meals when the levels highest, making their bodies unable to process the fats they consume.  In combination with a snoring problem, it appears that night shift workers compound their risk of heart disease if they do not seek treatment for the snoring.

If you know of other studies of this nature, please share that information here so that we can all learn about the side effects of snoring together.