1. When does regular snoring become "problem" snoring?
Whenever the sound of snoring creates problems -- whether for the snorer, a bed mate, roommate, or others in the household, it may be considered "problem snoring" . There are really no other criteria for this other than the levels of tolerance within the household. Some marriages have ended in divorce as a result of one spouse's intolerance to others snoring.
2. Is it up to everyone else, then to "tolerate" the loud snoring?
Often times, someone who snores loudly does not realise or believe they do it.
Even when an irate spouse complains of it, they may still deny it. This is actually typical of problem snorers. It should be understood that, because it is done uncontrollably, snorers are not at fault for their snoring. But is should also be understood by snorers that they may indeed be creating problems for others, whether they care to admit it or not. Spouses, roommates, even hunting and camping partners are often faced with a very real and sensitive problem…where nobody is at fault.
3. My spouse literally stops breathing. It scares me to death! Is this normal?
No. This is not normal and it is a symptom of a far more serious respiratory disorder called "Sleep Apnea".
4. What is "Sleep Apnea"?
Simply put, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), as it is properly called, is a condition where snoring becomes so severe and erratic that is upsets the normal neurorespiratory process and stops breathing. The body's natural defence against suffocation is waking (or partially waking) up. Renewed air intake is signalled by a sudden loud snore. This may occur anywhere between a few to over 100 times per night.
5. Is it dangerous?
It can be. Sleep Apnea has been linked to heart failure resulting in sudden nocturnal death. But it is usually associated with other disorders, such as: insomnia, abnormal motor activity during sleep, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, COR pulmonale, sexual impotence, morning headaches, polycythemia, and chronic daytime fatigue. In mild cases, victims may actually get adequate sleep, but experience constant tiredness due to night time periods of decreased blood oxygenation.