Why Snoring Is GOOD for Your Health

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It’s loud,
annoying for your partner, and has long been thought dangerous for
your health. But could heavy snoring actually extend your life?

That’s the
controversial suggestion emerging from a recent study on sleep apnoea.

For years,
the condition, which causes interruptions in breathing during sleep,
has been linked to high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.

It also raises
the risk of car and work accidents.

But now an
Israeli study of 600 people over 65 has found that the risk of early
death in people with moderate sleep apnoea was less than half that
of people with no history it.

The study also
showed that the risk of early death for those with a severe form
of the condition was the same as a healthy control group, when it
was expected to be higher.

One theory
is that the constant breaks in oxygen and blood supply to organs,
caused by the pauses in the breathing, somehow strengthen the heart
and brain; this means that if a heart attack or a stroke occurs,
the body is better able to deal with it.

say that the way the condition is treated in older people may need
to be re-examined.

Sleep apnoea
can result in the airways in the throat collapsing, cutting off
the air supply for about ten seconds a time.

Many of these
breaks can occur during the night, but because the sleeper wakes
for only a few seconds at a time, there is rarely any memory of

The distinctive
rumbling sound of snoring is produced when the muscles in the nose,
mouth and throat relax during sleep.

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10, 2009

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