Do I have a sleep disorder if my snoring is not normal?

This question was asked in Chesney Shores, Illinois on 12/11/2012.
For as long as I can remember I have had moderate to severe snoring issues, and my family and college roommate recommend that I get a sleep study done because it doesn't sound "natural" and they are concerned. Is is possible I have a sleep disorder? Or could it just be an issue of me needing to find a better sleeping position? Should I have a sleep study done?

Doctors Answers (4)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 12/17/2012

No snoring is normal. However, loud snoring is more abnormal than light or soft snoring. Snoring is a sign that the airway is partially obstructed and it often associated with sleep apnea. In some individuals, snoring is present only when sleeping on their back. If you know this to be true in your case then make an effort to avoid sleeping on your back. A "roll bar" is the most effective device to prevent this. Sew a pocket on the back side of a tee shirt into which you place a cylindrical piece of styrofoam about 12 inches long and 3-4 inches in diameter. A sleep study would be a good idea as you may need to proceed with CPAP or BiPAP therapy. Your physician can order a sleep study and explain the treatment options.

Jana P. Kaimal, MD, FCCP
Answered on: 12/14/2012

Snoring is one of the most common indicators of obstructive sleep apnea. Feeling unrested during the day and drowsiness while driving are a couple of other indicators. It is best to seek a consultation with a board certified sleep physician to rule out a sleep disorder. Schedule an appointment by calling our office.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 12/12/2012

Snoring is never normal!! It does raise the red flag for Sleep Apnea. Other symptoms would be waking unrefreshed, waking during the night gasping for air. waking with morning headaches, excessive sweating in sleep, getting up multiple times to use the bathroom at night, decreased sexual interest. Also, if you snore and have hypertension, heart disease or diabetes you should definitely be evaluated by a sleep doctor. Untreated sleep apnea can cause heart rhythm problems, stroke, hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes to name a few health consequences.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 12/12/2012

A sleep study is a good place to start. Your family and friends may have noticed episodes of "gasping" or "choking" types of sounds that happens when your airway gets blocked. Typically, sleeping on your sides should help. If you want a diagnosis, you should start with a sleep study.