Snoring while awake may seem like a normal occurrence among many, but is it really ‘normal?’ or is there much to it you should know?
Typical or not, there is more to the story, which you may have overlooked in the past.
What is Awake Snoring?
You may have probably noticed someone snoring while awake, or perhaps you are experiencing this somewhat unusual occurrence. The circumstances may vary from one person to the other, but with the same outcome, the snore.
Snoring occurs at different sleep stages for other individuals since some begin as soon as they have their first nod when falling asleep. Such people may have a stay-awake feeling during that time, meaning they are neither really asleep nor consciously awake.
Interestingly, those who snore in this sleep transition stage often don’t realise it. Although in other instances, they may snore just loud enough to notice.
If you share sleeping rooms and there is that partner who snores (perhaps your roommate), there is a high chance they are not aware of their snoring tendencies, to which trying to alert them when they’re awake always meets the “but it wasn’t me” reply.
Is This Alarming?
Snoring while awake is a symptom of OSA, a condition that changes the regular periodical breathing pattern of the patient, with the breathing pauses for 10 seconds before resuming to a normal rate. Once this momentary pause passes, breathing continues but with a noisy snore. In others, it can take about a minute. There could be dangers associated with awake snoring, such as related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Studies have proven that collapsible narrow pharynx is also one of the signs of OSA suffering. Those with the condition may also find it more difficult to breathe normally through the nose due to additional pharyngeal pressure. This simply means that if you are an OSA patient, you are likely to have breathing difficulties.
Due to the narrow breathing passages, OSA can be detected by analysing breathing sounds when the supposed patient is awake.
Therefore, this also explains why it is not uncommon for those with OSA to snore while awake and may also be heard snorting when having one of those loud hearty laughs.
It is alarming, yes, and you should consider visiting your doctor once you notice such changes in your breathing pattern.
Can You Experience Other Snoring-While-Awake Occurrences?
You may have heard other instances of people snoring while awake, only that in such cases, they may be somehow different from what you have experienced or witnessed before.
For instance, those who undergo meditation procedures may experience the same level of calm and relaxation that happens when they are asleep. Thus, they end up falling asleep, or their bodies mimic the same state they’re in when they are sleeping, hence snoring.
OSA patients are likely to experience this more than non-patients. Since their airways are pretty narrow, as the body muscles relax, so do those within the airways and the palette tissues.
Snoring is not common since those who snore, especially when awake, are few and far between. The good news is that snores can be quieted when asleep by adjusting their head angle. The adjustments set the palette at an angle where its soft tissues do not have to keep everything out of the airway.
Other than the sleeping position causing you to snore, which tricks you into believing you snore ‘normally,’ it could be a symptom of OSA. You should not be quick in making assumptions regarding your snoring habit; instead, seek a professional medical point of view to enable you to gauge the extent of the problem.
Remember that OSA is no child’s play and could be relatively harmful; thus should not be ignored at the first sign.
Finally, stuffy sinuses, which often occur due to colds and allergic reactions, may also constitute other reasons for snoring while awake. This is usually characterised by endless snorts and sniffles when attempting to breathe. Most people find it difficult to breathe through their noses when their airways are blocked in such conditions.
Note that this is not a common occurrence but can still happen.
However, the reassuring factor is that colds come about and disappear after a short while, hence nothing too serious to worry about, other than to maintain your warm soups and take medication if necessary.
However, if the cold persists over more than two weeks, then you may have to consult a medic.
Snore-talking and snore walking may not be realistic snoring occurrences. Snore-talking may have more to do with a raspy voice when speaking than actual sleep-snoring, while snore-walking seems to be more of a far-fetched idea. Maybe it can happen, only that it is yet to be known hence lacks adequate points of reference and verification.
You may not be aware that you are snoring, but if someone alerts you that you snore when sleeping, then it most probably happened. It could be the usual snoring that occurs due to the body posture when relaxed or could be a symptom of OSA.
Either way, to ensure your snoring condition is normal or not, you should consider engaging your doctor for further clarification and tests.