If you snore, you need to be aware of the ways in which your health is suffering through your problem. By being aware of the different stages of sleep and why each one is important to your well-being, you will be able to better understand the effect that your snoring is having on your health in the long term and why you should look for a product to help eliminate the problem.
Why Do We Sleep?
The science of studying sleep is relatively recent as until the 1950s, it was unknown that it was an essential phase of the body’s natural 24 hour cycle. Thanks to scientific studies carried out over the last half century, we now know that sleep has several stages, each one with its own purpose and characteristics. If you enjoy a sleep that is uninterrupted by snoring, the body moves between stages, completing cycles that last between 90 and 110 minutes all through the night. If you snore, however, this pattern is disrupted. The typical non-snorer gets around 2 complete hours of sleep each night during their stage of deepest sleep, and cycling through all of the stages continuously is the only way in which your body is able to recharge fully. Snorers cannot complete this cycle and therefore feel exhausted in the mornings, even after they have slept continuously for 8 hours.
The Stages Of Sleep
During the process of falling asleep, all of the activity inside the body slows down, with the beta waves produced by the brain slowing and changing into alpha waves. It is during this phase that you may experience sensations such as falling or hearing someone calling your name as your body temperature, breathing rate and heart rate decrease.
N1 or NREM sleep is when you experience drowsy sleep. The alpha waves in the brain become theta waves, your muscle tone will decrease and your eyes will slowly roll. At this point, the muscles in your throat and face will not have relaxed enough to cause snoring. This phase will last for around 5 to 10 minutes.
During this phase, your brain waves will begin to show signs of sleep with the brain producing sleep spindles, or bursts of activity. During this stage, your muscles fully relax, causing your tongue to fall back into the throat, obstructing the airways to cause snoring. While the average non-snorer spends roughly half their time sleeping in this stage, snorers remain stuck in this stage for longer than they should as the lack of oxygen prevents movement onto the third stage.
This phase sees the delta waves in the brain emerging. These slow waves show the transition into deep sleep which is when your body restores itself, and the increase in the blood supply to your tissues and muscles causes repair and growth. Hormones are also released to aid in development and growth.
After around 90 minutes into an uninterrupted sleep cycle, you should enter REM sleep – the 4th stage. While this is a relatively short stage, its time will lengthen with every cycle and if you are constantly being wakened because of snoring you will not be able to spend enough time in this stage. In this stage the eyes move around, muscles are switched off and energy is produced for the body and brain. More calories are also burned during this stage while ghrelin and leptin are regulated to control the appetite. During this stage you may experience vivid dreams as your brain is alert despite the sleeping state of your body.
As you can see, going through the complete sleep cycle is essential to your health and well-being, so resolving your snoring problem is vital to enjoying a better quality of life.