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Get Some Sleep: No snoring is safe
December 14th, 2010
08:20 AM ET

Get Some Sleep: No snoring is safe

Every Christmas Eve it’s the same story: Dad has too much eggnog and too much turkey and the next thing we know, there he is in front of the fire, snoring like a freight train. We use to always have a chuckle at his expense before nudging him awake and urging him up to bed.

Well, the laughing stopped a long time ago because as a sleep physician I have learned that snoring can be a serious sign of sleep apnea and sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Sleep apnea, as I think most people know, is a collapse of the upper airway during sleep that leads to frequent mini-awakenings of which the patient is rarely aware. It often causes a lowering of the oxygen levels.

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We use to think that if people snored, but they tested negative for sleep apnea, then this was mostly a nuisance for the bed partner. We called this “benign” or “primary” snoring and we rarely treated it. That is all starting to change.

Now there is more than one study showing that snoring alone (without sleep apnea) increases the risk of serious disorders such as stroke and metabolic syndrome. This is important news because snoring is so common and so treatable. One large study of middle -aged men and women found that roughly 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women were habitual snorers. Occasional snoring is virtually universal.

An important study, published in the December issue of the journal SLEEP, gives new evidence for snoring as an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of abnormalities that includes high blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher), increased fasting glucose level (100 mg/dl or higher), increased triglycerides (150 mg/dl or higher), decreased HDL levels (less than 40 mg/dl for men, less than 50 mg/dl for women) and increase abdominal obesity (waist circumference greater than 40 inches for men and greater than 35 inches for women. If people have more than three of these five abnormalities, then they are said to have the metabolic syndrome which then increases their risk of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

There is controversy about whether this is really a “syndrome.” There is also some disagreement about how to define it, but the one I give here is from The National Cholesterol Education Program and is the most commonly used.

Regardless of whether this is really a syndrome, we know that the individual disorders have serious health consequences, so this study showing that loud, habitual snorers have nearly triple the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome is quite significant from a public health perspective.

Another interesting study, also published in SLEEP in 2008, showed that people who displayed loud snoring throughout the night during a sleep test were 10 times more likely to have carotid atherosclerosis, which means plague buildup in the carotid arteries of their neck. This is a major risk factor for stroke.

Studies such as these are changing how I advise patients who have sleep studies that are negative for sleep apnea. I now always discuss, in my report and with my patients, whether they had loud, steady snoring. If they did, I recommend treatment, usually with an oral appliance, sometimes with CPAP.

The take-home message? Snoring is not benign even in the absence of frank sleep apnea. All adults (and kids too) should be screened for snoring by their primary care doctors. Keep in mind that overindulging in egg nog and other alcoholic beverages increase the likelihood of snoring and sleep apnea. (Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how alcohol affects your sleep.) Most importantly, snoring should no longer be seen as a joking matter or as just an annoyance to the bed partner. If friends or family members snore, show you care and urge them to seek a medical evaluation. You’ll sleep better knowing that you helped improve the health of someone you love.

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She’ll blog on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

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  1. Matt

    This is off the subject and picky, but the confusion of use to and used to is a huge pet peeve. This should help:

    http://www.5minuteenglish.com/mar20.htm

    December 14, 2010 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Lisa

    I am 110 lbs and snore like a freight train. My poor husband can't sleep after I start snoring. I've have been tested, I do have sleep apnea (the doctor did not want to test me at first and said there was no way I had sleep apnea). I couldn't do the cpap machine and I tried dilgently for 2 weeks. I am now considering the mouthpiece from the dentist. At any rate, if you snore loudly, feel tired constantly over a long period of time, you may want to consider having a sleep test. I am sure most people that snore won't be running to their doctor's unless they really think they have a problem.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Paul

    I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I am slim person with good food habits. Don't know what's the reason for snoring. So I went for surgery rather than CPAP machine (this is just a patch, not a fix). Surgery fixed my problem sofar. At tleast that's what my wife says. I feel much better now....

    December 14, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sybs

    I got my cpap on 07/15 of this year and have never been happier. I get more sleep than I have for the past 3-4 years and didn't even know it! My father had it and died while on dialysis due to all the meds he had to take for the metabolic syndromes he developed as he got older. See not knowing that the apnea caused this, he did the medicinal route (heart meds, diabetes meds, etc) which destroyed his kidneys. I'm hoping to stave all this off by cpap, better eating, better exercise now that I have decent energy, etc. Don't give up on your cpap, get a different face mask or better yet nose pillows are really the way to go. I get awesome great sleep with the swift lt nose pillow system – more unobtrusive and less noisy, no air in the eyes and better fit. Trust ME it's worth it!!!!!

    December 14, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Katie

    My husband snores but has NONE of the other symptoms – he is not overweight (he has a high metabolism and is usually about 5 – 10 pounds underweight), has a very low blood pressure, low triglycerides, and not a hint of diabetes. I have urged him to discuss snoring with his physician but the physician usually brushes it off as a nuisance for me (which it is) and myhusband is not inclined to pursue it. He's tried simple methods – changing his position, using breathe-right strips or other things, not drinking alcohol within two hours of sleeping, etc, but nothing works. I doubt a C-Pap would have much effect either, except to annoy the heck out of him and waste electricity. This article sounds like doom and gloom but gives absolutely NO information about what someone should do. Typical of today's philosphy of imparting one-sdied information to instill fear.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • talon10

      Everybody snores. This article is stupid and irresponsible and misleading. It's fear mongering.

      December 14, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  6. gary

    right in the middler of reading this article i fell into a deep sleep.woke up refreshed.maybe all i needed was another boring article on sleep pnea to get a good nap

    December 14, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. checi

    You nay-sayers and funny guys don't know what it's like to be told that you literally stop breathing when you're asleep. My daughter and my sister noticed that I actually stop breathing for a prolonged period when sleeping. I wake up choking for air sometimes. That is sleep apnea too and it isn't always just 'a little snoring'.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Supervlad

      OK, so get your apnea treated. It doesn't mean that, like the chicken little moron author of this article would have you believe, that everyone that snores needs medical treatment.

      December 14, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
  8. belch, burp & Fart, No Snore

    yup...I'm rarried to RAMBONE!

    December 14, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Robita

    The medical industry is the biggest scam in the world. They pick somthing, anything people do, pretend to study it, tell you it could kill you, then sell you somthing EXPENSIVE to "help" you. CNN has become nothing more than a corporate shill. Don't believe the hype, Fight the power.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Beepo

    Just watch " LOPEZ TONIGHT " , excercise, eat right and see your doctor on a regular basis...you will be fine 🙂

    December 14, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Chris

    Hmmmm...no snoring isn't safe. Cell phones aren't safe. Microwaves aren't safe. Smog isn't safe. Driving isn't safe. Alcohol isn't safe...no wait, they did a study – it is safe...ooops another study says it's not safe again. Tobacco isn't safe. A slice of pizza isn't safe. McDonald's isn't safe. The Internet isn't safe. The ozone layer isn't safe. Every medication on the market isn't safe. Sounds like living isn't safe so I guess we're all doomed to die.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nova Tony

    More "medical" bull!@#$. This is a waste of tax dollars.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. VinceRN

    Cui bono?

    Yes, everyone should pay money to this doctor and his colleges, then buy a machine made by a company he invests in so they can sleep. Then they will be dependent on that machine and have to service it and replace it regularly. And of course they will never again be able to sleep without electricity and will be making money for this doctor and his colleagues for the rest of their lives.

    Sleep apnea is a very serious, even life threatening problem for some, and CPAP machines have definitely saved lives. However occasionally snoring doesn't not mean you have to be dependent on one for the rest of your life.

    Sleep doctors generally only have one answer, if you go in for a sleep study you will be told you need to be dependent on a machine, and on a wall plug, for the rest of your life. There are also surgeries for the most serious of cases, but it always starts with telling you to buy a machine from which the doctors profit.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Supervlad

    Great, the nutcase CNN medical lobby is going to make snoring illegal too.

    Maybe the FDA can demand that everyone who snores be forece to wear that idiotic headgear under penalty of deat...oh wait never mind they can't kill you, they are trying to force you to live forever.

    CUT THE CORD TO SLEEP "DOCTORS"! Stop feeding htem insurance money and snoring will go back to just being a nusiance.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Arnie

    I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a couple of years ago and was unable to sleep with the mask at the hospital sleep center or at home. I don't think it was the fit of the mask, but the fact that I was uncomfortable with having anything over my face. I probably spent $1-2,000 in co-pays for a machine that just sits on a table collecting dust, but I tried every mask that they had at the time and I went home with the most comfortable one. The medical personnel at the hospital sleep center were dismissive of having an operation and I don't know about the mouth guards and specially shaped pillows.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Leo

    What a relief it is to read other peoples feelings about the money grubbing medical industry. The scary part is that so many people don't even question the doctors advice. The side affects of medications are worse than the symptoms in my experience.

    Try some fresh air and exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Turn off the TV and do something constructive with your time.

    Live your life more fully and accept your death. That's what sweet dreams are made of.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. john

    I found the CPAP made good sleep imposible as it made me sleep on my back which I never have been able to do. Got rid of the Cpap and try to sleep on my sides and avoid rolling over on my back.. The CPAP is a poor solution to the sleep apnea problem and doesn't address the underlieing causative factors such as deviated septums, obesity, etc.,

    December 14, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      You can't use the cpap because you can't sleep on your back right? Then why would you have to try to sleep on your sides instead of on your back when not using the machine?

      December 14, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
  18. sleeping good

    CPAP machines are a pain, BUT if fitted properly with trial and error and wear them consistently, you will get used to them and won't sleep without them..oh and must have a humidifier for dryness prevention a must. I've literally lost a handful of good careers due to sleep Apnea and a marriage for that matter. Since wearing it the last 8 months Ive felt better, shed some weight and don't feel very tired after 2pm. I was very hesitant to wear it due to all the reasons everyone has mentioned, but I found a great place to buy supplies http://www.cpap.com and it's affordable! When I went to a sleep center and bought supplies through them and insurance, I spent $1400.00 out-of-pocket. I paid half that online. I am a customer only and do not represent the company, but I suggest buying online at a reputable site. Bottomline, got to find the right mask and machine that works for you, the research and expense will pay off in the end, you get your life back!

    December 14, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. lilsfgal

    I'm not known for snoring but thanks to a handful of life changing events, I've had significantly less sleep, including now living with a partner who does snore. As a result of the sleep deprivation (I'm best at 7-8 hours but probably only getting 5-6 hours). I'm noticing there's a difference and it's not a good one. I can vouch for the craving more sugar/carbs to make up for the lack of sleep. I walk just about everywhere and take the stairs but I'm gaining weight faster than I ever have before. Tempted to send him this article and get him a sleep mask for Christmas :-/

    December 14, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Aron

    Sleep apnea is the latest scam. I must have missed the news of the epidemic of people knocking off in their sleep from snoring. Just another way to sell machines or medication and drive up medical costs. This type of thing is constantly force-fed to people through the paid media in order to make them eventually believe they can't survive without it. How many medications and contraptions do you need to keep you going? Try getting some exercise and dropping a few pounds. BTW, I've always hear people say they'd prefer to die in their sleep. Now they're trying to take away the best way to go.

    December 14, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. m

    I'm not so sure about those sleep studies. I had one. I didn't sleep well and probably only slept for a total of 5 hrs. They tell you it's like being in a hotel. Yes, it's a nice room with a private both. But it's more like being in a hospital. You're hooked up to wires and being watched. How can anyone sleep well like that?

    Needless to say I didn't. I think the only thing these studies prove is that people don't sleep well in a strange place, hooked up to wires and being monitored.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Marla Dean

    My husband also had a bad experience with a CPAP machine.
    He doesn't fit the stereotype here. He is very thin, bikes 6 miles each way on his commute every day, and is in excellent shape. Yet, he has snored very loudly since I met him when he was 18. Our children actually felt sorry for me having to sleep next to that noise.
    When he tried the machine, it was like sleeping next to Darth Vader! He's a mouth breather, so he would break the seal on the thing, then the pressure would increase. It would wake both of us up when it choked him several times a night. He tried several different masks, but nothing worked.
    I find that poking him until he turns over works much better for the sake of our sleep.
    Now, if I could just get rid of the night sweats (sigh).

    December 14, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Tami

    As a sleeping partner of a snorer I am gaining weight. I spend several hours each night poking him in the ribs so he will wake up enough to breathe. I think his snoring is making me heavier also. He has no energy and on weekends would never got out of bed if he did not need to. He claims he never used to snore, but his mom says he has always snored. His dad not over-weight snores. Genetic snoring will be the next article lol. I was going to get him into the doctor but it doesn't sound like there is any great solutions out there, and getting him to loose weight is impossible....

    December 14, 2010 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. jlf

    Extremely informative!

    December 14, 2010 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Judy from MI

    I have used a CPAP for almost ten years, and love it! I have not had some of the positive side-effects (like effortless weight loss) that others mention, but I definitely sleep better when using it. I like it so much that I have a battery back-up and generator in case we lose power. I've even taken it with me when camping and on a trip to China.

    A suggestion for anyone new to CPAP, or who is having trouble adjusting to CPAP: Before trying to use it at night, get used to using it during the day, while reading a book or doing other quiet activities. If you only try the CPAP at bedtime, you may toss & turn from the unfamiliar mask and air pressure, and end up associating the CPAP with frustration of being unable to sleep. Then each time you put on the CPAP, you remember how frustrated it made you in the past, which gets your adrenaline up and keeps you awake. If you get used to CPAP during the day before using it at night, you avoid this vicious circle.

    Another suggestions - if the air pressure bothgers you, there are CPAPs with "ramp up" settings that start off with low air pressure, and then gradually increase over an hour or so (but which time you are hopefully asleep.) I also agree with the suggestion to go to a home health company and try on different masks - there are many types out there.

    As for all the people who say, "Just go on a diet," I've been there, done that, didn't work. I've eaten a healthy diet of mostly fruits and vegetables for thye past 30 years, yet I am 100 pounds overweight. If I cut back much on food, I get famished, feel cold constantly, have my hair fall out, and get all sorts of infections. The idea that weight is simply determined by how much you eat and how much you exercise is a lie. If you eat less, your body can compensate by burning fewer calories,in some cases even turning off parts of the immune system. My sister, who was also very heavy despite a healthy diet, died suddenly of an unknown infection at age 4, and I think that's what killed her.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bill

    This is a perfect example of why the medical industry cannot be trusted. They have discovered another "major" health issue, and they are trying to scare people with it, to be able to sell you something, that maybe (no guarantees though) maybe help you live longer or possibly avoid some horrible fate.
    Wake up people this is the modern day snake oil salesmen. It's only snoring, embarrassing in public, annoying if it's your spouse. But not fatal.
    Please use some common sense.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Loney pill man

    I use the CPAP and love it. Pills are not the answer to medical prolems with a root cause of Sleep Apnea. I have reduced many of the pills I used to take daily after being on the CPAP a couple of months

    December 14, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. They have it backwards

    This research tells me that fat, unhealthy people snore more, not that snoring makes you fat.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Eric T

    Try the Oracle mask. Not a face mask. Basically, a mouthguard you use along with nose plugs. No more lines all over your face.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. jerry

    I have struggled with apnea for a long time. I recently changed my mask and it seems to help. It is awful condition and leads to many other health issues. I do hate my CPAP but it can help if used correctly. Drugs/ sleeping aides can help but make you very tired in the morning. After about 4 years i still have issues with CPAP therapy.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. NameUnimportant

    Not everyone diagnosed with sleep apnea is obese. I am a highly athletic person who works out regularly and has less than 5% body fat. It runs in my family, as my dad also has it and is not overweight. But the difference between my dad and me is that he ignored it when he was younger (plus doctors were unaware of the dangers then), so now he has high blood pressure and has had multiple strokes and heart attacks. It's a miracle my dad is still alive. My dad's issues made me so paranoid that I went straight to the doctor as soon as I suspected I might have it. They evaluated me - and sure enough, I inherited it from Pop. In fact, I think I may have even observed it in my infant son, so I am planning to have him checked also. Several medical professionals have told me that apnea can be fatal in babies, as it is a potential cause of what was once called "crib death" 20-30 years ago. I wish my parents had had me checked when I was a child, because even now I have heart palpitations which may have been caused by untreated apnea.

    Although I hate having to wear the stupid-looking mask, I prefer that over losing my mind due to blood vessel explosions in my head. Fortunately my dad is still alive with probably about 80-85% mental faculties. He's not the brilliant man he used to be, but it's a miracle he's not a vegetable. His docs don't even understand why he's alive - but who's to say I would be as fortunate? I would rather die than lose my mind or have to rely on someone else to take care of me - so until the medical community comes up with a better solution, I'll just have to deal with this one.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. coolncalm

    I wish I could comment but I cannot stop laughing at all of the comments about the machine!

    December 14, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Me

    try a 2×4.......my husband is still trying to figure out why he wakes up with a headache. He snores....i swing !

    December 14, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Vic

    It seems that those who suffer from sleep apnea agree that there's got to be a better way. Whomever invents that "better" way will be a very rich person. Sleep apnea is more widespread than people believe. I've snored since adolecence, was a great athlete, but had the same symptoms that have been mentioned, i.e. no energy. I backed away from activites and gained weight, but even during that process and exercising, it seemed as if it wasn't resulting in my losing weight. I had the sleep study, use the bipap as much as the insurance covers. Now I'm over 300 pounds, but still as athletic as a 300 pounder can be. I still have an athlete's mind, but a body of a sluggard. Thank God, no diabetes or high blood pressure, etc. Hopefully I can make changes before it reaches that point because if I stay on this path, I think it's inevitable.

    December 14, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LeeCMH

    The snoring and sleep apnea problem, as with many things, is a matter of degree but it is getting harder go get an honest opinion from medical professionals.

    Snoring can be a noisy vibration or it can be cessation of breathing to the point of nearly waking. There's a spectrum. I have to agree with "bill" to his point that many expensive cures are finding diseases. It is so true that much medicine is just like Best Buy where they try to upsell or sell attachments (don't forget the insurance).

    Over the past 15 years, I've known two people with whom I slept. One person had horrible apnea that even disturbed me to the point of mentioning it. He died of a heart attack, but had a sustained a blood cholesterol of over 700 mg/dL for years and smoked cigarettes.

    Another person snored, but only mildly. While sometimes I had difficulty going to sleep, I do not recall waking because of the snoring and never witnessed an apnea event. This person visited a "sleep" doctor and lo, he needed a CPAP. After analysis and seeking additional professional medical opinions, we finally arrived at the conclusion that he occasionally snored lightly but did not suffer from apnea. He did not buy the CPAP and years later is fine.

    I wonder what potential reward the doctor had in selling the CPAP. Did he share in the profit? Did he receive kickbacks? Does he own stock in the CPAP company. The Best Buy employees are rewarded for the number of insurance products or attachments they sell hence their in-your-face attempts to push these products.

    It reminds me of my current dilemma in getting somone to look at my gas furnace. I am concerned the person will attempt to sell me a furnace while the problem is probably a bearing on a fan. How to I get an honest appraisal?

    Same with a person seeking a diagnosis and possible treatment for snoring/apnea. If the person has the likely mild vibration problem, they still might be upsold to the expensive - thousands of dollars in initial cost and high ongoing costs - "treatment."

    Medicine increasingly is only responsive to the almighty dollar, not real health concerns.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. matte

    "Obesity increases the risk for sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes."

    fixed. what a wrong and misleading statement!

    December 14, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jorge washingsen

      Could add that starvation can also cause death.

      December 14, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  37. Scientist

    This is ridiculous. If you read the article that the author quotes, it says very clearly that strong *correlation* has been found, and that non-sleep-apnea snoring can possibly be used to screen candidates for disease. That doesn't mean that snoring is a *cause* of disease. Anyone with a basic understanding of science should be able to distinguish between correlation and causation. Example: a certain type of body fur is strongly correlated with being a dog (i.e., dog and fur *appear together* very often); but fur doesn't cause "dogness", it is a symptom; if you shave a dog, it doesn't stop being a dog. Same seems to apply here for snoring, and I quote the original article: "evaluating sleep symptoms can help identify individuals at risk for developing metabolic syndrome".

    This article is a perfect example of one of the main problems with American health care: under the pretense of freedom for patients and doctors, untold billions of dollars are wasted in "therapies" that are not supported by scientific evidence, and won't improve upon existing solutions or even work at all. The result is that we all pay a lot more for our insurance, and the public loses faith in actual medicine, the one that, based on good scientific practices, is curing disease every day.

    The doctor that writes this article signs as the founder of a sleep clinic, and hence would seem to have an incentive to promote this type of poorly supported claims. Even under the assumption that she writes it in complete good faith, conflicts of interest are sneaky like that, and can bias the reasoning and the conclusions of perfectly well-intentioned individuals.

    People, be aware: learn some science, it is critical to navigating the 21st century.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Me

      Most of the time reader comments on this site are a guaranteed quick laugh. Your comment is the first intelligent argument I have seen posted to one of these articles. Since I doubt anybody else will, here's kudos to you!

      December 14, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      The article is designed to reach the lowest common denominator. Snoring is a sign that correlates strongly with an ongoing physical airway obstruction that results in lowered oxygen saturation levels, multiple arousals out of sleep and lack of sufficient time in normal sleep phases. The symptoms exhibited generally include high blood pressure, daytime sleepiness, low testosterone levels, ED, etc. So, yes, snoring is a warning sign.

      By the way, I'm a medical professional with severe OSA and yet a cursory search on Google can provide anyone a more thorough understanding of OSA within minutes.

      Skepticism is necessary but it's important not to dissuade folks from seeking proper medical attention when it comes to this condition.

      December 14, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
  38. Face Mask Man

    I also am a CPAP fan, but you really do have to keep trying masks until you find one that works for you. There are at least 3 different kinds that I'm aware of. They differ in that t some cover only your nose, some cover your nose and your mouth, and some cover your whole face. For me the whole face mask works much better than any of the others; definitely don't give up until you've tried this one.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Beepo

    I'm suprised nobody has said anything about Obama being behind this.....its all his fault right? LOL

    December 14, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. jorge washingsen

    CNN should make that N bigger in the story line so it is not mistaken for an H.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Daniel Mac

    Its the same stuff every few months.. 'Sleep apnea is coming to get you!!!' its not rocket science. A ton of information that makes you feel safe but disregards the real killer. Central sleep apnea, the one where your brain does not regulate your co2 levels correctly and no matter what you stop breathing over and over again at night. No real warning signs, just a vast reduction in life expectancy. There is not a lot they can do about it as its your brain misfiring... but still.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. svscnn

    "No snoring is safe"

    Which is why I ALWAYS wear jimmy hat to bed. 😉

    December 14, 2010 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Andy

    The CPAP machine is the best thing that ever happened to me. Takes a little while to get used to it, but I can't imagine life without it. It has greatly enhanced my quality of life.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Vhaiya

    You should read this..I want you to start excising soon. I am also planning to do the same. i think if we need to live good and healthy we all need to exercise to minimize our risk of getting heart attack and diabetics.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. jen

    the right mask , right fit makes all the difference. I struggle with moisture buolding in the tubing on cold nights, makes noise! Told to keep the tubing under the covers. So in addition to wearing the mask etc, I have to keep the tubing under the covers, now that's an attractive thing. looking for an alternative such as mouth gurad fitted by dentist or oral surgeon. 3 years with CPAP, and would love something else, and dump the mask!

    December 14, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Carol

    I, too, suffer from sleep apnea. And I , too, have had no luck with my CPAP machine. I wore it everynight for three months. I tried four different masks including the nasal pillows. I finally gave up. The mask felt like a toilet plunger as EIS put it and it was almost impossible to remove it to get up and go to the bathroom. Even with the "fast release" tabs. So it sits on the floor next to my bed. I am one of the lucky ones, my insurance paid for the entire thing. Too bad I can't use it.

    December 14, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mike

    I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea a few years ago. Before that I sounded like a power drill when I slept and was exhausted all day. I went in and got the surgery: tonsils, uvula, and part of my soft palate were all removed. The doctors warned me that it would be very painful since I had the surgery as an adult, but I thought they were exaggerating (little kids get their tonsils taken out all the time). Little did I know! Turns out, a tonsillectomy increases with pain as you age, so for me the next week was torture.

    But, after all was said and done my apnea was cured! I sleep silently now and wake up feeling refreshed. To all other people with sleep apnea I would suggest surgery over the CPAP if it's an option: short term it's pretty bad, but it's nice having the flexibility and comfort of sleeping without a machine tied to your face.

    December 14, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. brian

    It's always something. NEWS FLASH! We start dying the minute we are born.

    December 14, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Josh

    You'll sleep better knowing your doctor got more money. I love doctors and what they do for society, but sometimes they seem a little extreme when they urge everyone to get screened for snoring. Even if it is as big a problem as Dr. Shives argues, there are far more pressing and dangerous health issues both in the US and abroad. Lets focus on those first before we get worried about snoring.

    December 14, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Seth

    My wife was a habitual snorer; loud. I started sticking something in her mouth everytime it started and now amazingly enough she is cured.

    December 14, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.