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The Sound of a Good Night's Sleep

If you’re a noisy sleeper, you may have sleep apnea. But how do you know for sure?

Is that a jungle cat? A lawnmower? No, it’s you, snoring again—disrupting your partner’s sleep and sabotaging yours all at once.

But what is snoring, really? According to Mayo Clinic, snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.

Most who’ve experienced snoring (or the snoring of the person beside them) can agree that it isn’t pleasant. Breathing while asleep should be calm, quiet and easy, with the gentle sound of deep breathing reflecting the calm you feel during a night of quality sleep.

Although snoring may be dismissed as trivial, it can actually be a sign of a serious health problem such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that can leave people struggling for breath. Let’s take a look at the types and causes of snoring, along with the sounds of sleep.

Four types of snoring sounds

There are four types of energy sounds in a snore, according to News-Medical. Think of these sound types as a snore map:

·       Low-frequency single syllable (type 1),

·       Duplex sounds with low and middle frequencies (type 2),

·       Duplex sounds with low and high frequencies (type 3), and

·       Triplex sounds with all three types of frequencies (type 4).

These sounds create two different snore pattern “waveforms”—simple and complex. When your airways are momentarily closed (like they are in those with OSA), this creates complex waveform snoring. When your open airway vibrates, this creates simple waveform snoring. As you can see, there’s greater complexity in the snoring of those with OSA than there is with simple waveform snorers. But, both types of snoring can be present in OSA sufferers.

Sounds of sleep

While analyzing snoring, researchers have also classified the sounds that occur during sleep into three categories:

·       Snoring  (voiced non-silence),

·       Breathing (unvoiced non-silence), and

·       Silence.

Ideally, if you’ve visited a sleep lab or consulted a sleep specialist and managed to get your snoring under control, the sound of a good night’s sleep should be peace and quiet.


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