Dr. David's

Pearls of Wisdom

Why do I snore?

The most common reason we snore is because of a blockage in our natural breathing passage. There could be a blockage in the nasal passages or near the opening of the airway. Many people are suffering from sleep apnea, which is a blockage that is severe enough to stop us from breathing while sleeping for a few seconds at a time. The blockage to the nasal passages can be a result of traumatic injury. A blockage in the airway can be related to genetics or high levels of fat tissue that make airway collapse during sleep more likely.

Why do I wake up gasping in the middle of the night?

When we are sleeping, our parasympathetic system takes over. This means our subconscious takes over bodily operations needed to survive, such as breathing. When we experience sleep apnea, we suffocate in our sleep to a point where our brain needs to act quickly due to critically low oxygen levels. Our brain realizes when we are suffocating in our sleep and solicits our survival instincts. When the brain registers there is not enough oxygen reaching it, it wakes our subconscious up in a rush so that we can breathe in more easily and regulate our bodily systems again.

Why do I wake up with a dry mouth and bad breath?

If you sleep with your mouth open, you are suffering from sleep-disordered breathing. Breathing though the nose is the correct passage air should move through while at rest, but a nasal blockage can cause our subconscious to tell the mouth to open to receive more oxygen. When we breathe through our mouth for multiple hours at night, the oral tissue becomes very dry. This is because our mouth is not designed to filter the air we breathe like the nasal cavities. This results in waking up with an uncomfortable dryness in the mouth, which can contribute to bad breath as well. Bacterial that inhabit the oral cavity feed on left over sugars from the food we eat. A byproduct of the bacteria that eat these sugars is acid and odors. Because mouth breathing reduces salivary flow, these bacteria are not flushed away as much with our saliva. This results in more bacteria feeding activity and odors.

Why do I wake up feeling tired after sleeping for many hours?

Sleep-disordered-breathing limits the amount of oxygen that reaches our brain and other organ systems. Oxygen is the most vital molecule that restores the damage done to our body daily. When we sleep, our body and its organs rest too. The oxygenation that occurs in our sleeping body strengthens ourselves for the following day, and this process needs to be repeated daily. When we are not receiving good quality sleep/proper oxygen absorption while sleeping, our bodily systems are not healing. Therefore, those with sleep apnea wake up not feeling rested even after sleeping for many hours.

Common questions about sleep apnea