“How do you know if you snore?”
The answer according to some comedians is: “In the morning you check for bruised ribs from your bed partner jabbing you all night.” Of course, if you live with someone and snore, the chances are very, very good that they let you know… often in no uncertain terms.
But, what if you sleep alone? It may seem strange that as loud as snoring can be, it often does not wake up the snorer. You could be a heavy snorer and never know it. And snoring is more than an annoyance. It can also have serious health ramifications. Among other things, snoring can lead to higher incidences of high blood pressure, heart attack (snorers have a 34 percent greater chance of having one) and even stroke (67 percent greater chance). It can cause headaches, fatigue and has been linked to obesity.
That’s where SnoreLab comes in. SnoreLab is an app for iOS and (as of October) Android that records and analyzes your sleep breathing and tracks and graphs the results. The graph shows the intensity and frequency of snoring and lets your reCord sound samples as well. A basic version of SnoreLab is free and a more customizable version if available for $6.99.
An important thing to remember is that you can be a snorer and not know it. It’s easy to do a “sound check” on your own using SnoreLab. Once the app is downloaded, you simply plug in your phone and place it near your head as you get ready to sleep. You can set a delay to allow time to get to sleep. In the morning, you can review your data and listen to sound samples. The results may surprise you.
For example, I thought I was an occasional snorer. Every few weeks my wife would nudge me in the middle of the night and ask me to roll over. Evidently I was snoring a bit. But a friend mentioned this app and I decided to try it. The results were surprising. It turned out on some nights I was snoring almost 50% of the time. And not just small zzz’s, but very loud full blown roars. SnoreLab documented it all for me to see and hear. It seems that it wasn’t that I was snoring occasionally… it was just that my wife was, usually, a very sound sleeper.
I’m in the process now of trying to reduce my snoring. I’ve found that antihistamines help as do nose sprays and a Neti Pot sinus rinse. I’m still a work in progress, but with SnoreLab I can track my progress and regressions.
I suggest that even if you think you don’t snore, SnoreLab is worth a try… especially if you live alone.