You could be one of 40 million americans not getting a good night sleep due to Snoring and Sleep Apnea problems.
When the airway is partially obstructed, we snore. It is because as we draw a breath, the opening it passes through is partially obstructed and the air rushes in faster, causing the surrounding tissues to vibrate and create the classic snoring sound.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway. The biggest issue is the tongue falling back into the throat while we sleep.
When the airway is totally obstructed, we stop breathing. When we stop breathing, our blood oxygen levels drop, our heart speeds up, and our blood pressure increases. Think of running your car engine with no oil. Bad things happen. If our heart is healthy enough, we awaken suddenly, gasping for breath. Once we breathe, our heart rate drops and our blood oxygen goes up, and we fall back to sleep. Until the next time our tongue blocks our airway and the whole process cycles again. This can happen many times a night, and wreaks havoc on our organs as well as preventing us from getting restful sleep, when our body should be replenishing itself. If our heart is not healthy enough, it may stall out during one of these stressful apnea episodes, and we may never wake up.