How Snoring Could Be Affecting Your Workouts

Almost everyone snores now and then, and it’s not always a problem. According to Dr. Stephanie Wappel, a sleep and pulmonary medicine expert, if you have a stuffy nose, drank alcohol before bed, or take sleep medication, you’re more likely to snore on any given night. Snoring infrequently is unlikely to have a negative impact on your health, sports performance, or weight-loss goals.

However, if you snore every night, it’s really loud, or it’s followed by gasping, choking, or breathing pauses, it’s more likely to be a serious problem that will disrupt your sleep, causing a variety of health problems and even jeopardising your fitness goals. “Many people who snore have a more dangerous problem termed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has an estimated prevalence of up to 24% in men and 9% in women,” Wappel explains. Many persons with obstructive sleep apnea are unaware of their condition, particularly those who are generally fit and healthy.

SNORING: WHY IS IT AN ISSUE FOR EXERCISERS?

Snoring can disrupt your training routines, whether you’re a serious athlete or just starting the process of improving your fitness. “When snoring disturbs sleep quality, it can have a detrimental influence on athletic performance, increase the risk of injury, and slow recovery,” says Wendy Troxel, PhD, senior behavioural scientist at the RAND Corporation and author of the forthcoming “Sharing The Covers.”

Wappel adds, “Sleep is absolutely vital for excellent sports performance.” “Moreover, if an athlete is a chronic snorer, it may interfere with their sleep quality by producing frequent, brief interruptions.” That could suggest that, despite sleeping for 7–8 hours, they’re only sleeping for a portion of that period, causing a ripple effect that affects their workouts.

Low energy and excessive daytime sleepiness, for example, might affect endurance and effort, according to Lisa Medalie, PsyD, a board-certified insomnia specialist and founder of DrLullaby. In addition, she claims that insufficient sleep causes poorer response time and mental processing, both of which might have a negative impact on athletic performance. Consider missing a major PR lift due to a lack of coordination, or failing to react quickly enough when someone delivers the ball to you in your next rec league game.

It’s worth mentioning that many of these similar impacts can be experienced if you’re an athlete who sleeps with a snorer. When snoring remains untreated, “bed companions are considered the secret casualties of sleep apnea,” Troxel explains, because their sleep (as well as the quality of their relationship) suffers.

Furthermore, while being overweight increases the likelihood of snoring, Wappel claims that up to 1/3 of patients with OSA are at a “healthy” weight. According to Troxel, certain types of athletes are at a higher risk developing OSA, even if they are in peak physical condition. She notes that athletes with a bigger neck circumference and more body mass (even if it’s due to increased muscle) are more likely to snore or have OSA, which has a number of health implications. “Having OSA can increase athletes’ risk for chronic health concerns including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, just as it does in the general population,” Troxel says.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU SNORE?

The simplest technique, according to Troxel, is to ask the person you sleep next to if they have one. “Bed mates are frequently the first to notice whether their companion has a serious snoring problem. In fact, it is frequently because of a partner’s complaints that a person seeks therapy at a sleep clinic.”

Another nice method, according to Troxel, if you don’t sleep in the same bed as someone else, is to videotape yourself overnight. While it may feel strange at first, checking the tape will give you a good indication whether or not you’re snoring.

WATCH OUT FOR THESE RED FLAGS

Finally, there are a few warning indicators to look out for that could signal snoring is interfering with your sleep. These, according to Wappel, include:

Having nasal congestion, dry mouth, a sore throat, or a headache when you wake up
Despite getting enough sleep, you don’t feel rejuvenated
Irritable Mood Sleepiness during the day
Poor attention or concentration
Low energy or exhaustion
Weight increase that was not predicted
Weight loss is proving to be difficult.
A novel hypertension diagnosis (high blood pressure)
Of course, these symptoms could be caused by something else, so if you experience any of them, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to figure out what’s going on.

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