Two states of sleep: REM and non-REM. Non-REM has four Stages of sleep – Level 1 to Level 4 based on decreasing wakefulness with Stag 4 being the deepest. REM is associated with the dreaming period. Muscles are paralyzed during REM.
- Deep sleep seems more resistant to apnoea and its related snores.
- Snoring associated with sleep apnoea is least likely to occur in stages 3 & 4 (deep sleep)
- Conventional snoring is most likely to occur in stages 3 & 4 (deep sleep) & also likely to occur in stages 1 & 2
- Conventional snoring is unlikely in REM sleep
- Snoring associated with sleep apnoea is most likely in REM sleep
- Sleeping pills may aggravate snoring associated with sleep apnoea by depressing the respiratory system and increasing light sleep at the expense of REM sleep
Snoring is a respiratory problem, not a sleep problem.
Snoring tends to be seen as a sleep problem in itself. In reality it stems from a respiratory problem that is simply highlighted by sleep. Satisfactory solutions to snoring therefore need to be found in the sphere of respiration and not sleep itself.