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Snoring Facts
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Next PagePrevious Page Breathing During Sleep

To stay alive, people must breathe while asleep.

Most people breathe normally while asleep. But many, including some children, do not.

There are four major types of sleep breathing.

Types of sleep breathing

  • Sleep apnea is a common and serious disease of sleep breathing.
  • Borderline sleep apnea is the term we use for sleep breathing that is harmful, but does not fit the definition of sleep apnea.
  • Simple snoring is loud noisy breathing that is not harmful to the snorer. As we'll see, the word "simple" is important. But even simple snoring may harm people nearby if they cannot sleep because of the noise.
  • Normal sleep breathing is, by definition, not harmful.

Snoring and sleep breathing

Snoring is not normal. It is a signal that air is flowing abnormally in the breathing system.

In some cases the airflow abnormalities associated with snoring are unhealthy (harmful). In some cases they are not harmful.

The diagram at right shows this graphically. The shading indicates whether all persons with the same type of sleep breathing snore.

Most, but not all, people with sleep apnea snore. Most, but not all, people with borderline sleep apnea snore. By definition, all persons with simple snoring snore, and all normal persons do not.

The AcuSleep Test Measures Snoring

The AcuSleep test measures how much a person snores, when they snore, and in what body positions they snore. These are useful measurements.

The AcuSleep test does not judge whether snoring is occurring as simple snoring, whether it is occurring as part of borderline sleep apnea, or whether it is occurring as part of sleep apnea. Thus, the AcuSleep test does not judge whether a person has sleep apnea or not.

References and Notes

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