Snoring or Sleep Apnoea?

Snoring is one of those annoying involuntary bodily functions that affects most of us at some point or another. In fact, it is estimated that there are around 30 million snorers in the UK alone. That’s a lot of noise! Whether you’re suffering from a cold or you had one too many beers at the party, it’s fair to say that snoring is pretty normal. 

But what if your snoring is something a little more serious? 

Snoring or Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing patterns. It is estimated that 1.5 million people suffer with OSA, which can have a huge impact on quality of life as well as increasing the risk of developing other health conditions.

So, how can you tell whether your snoring is actually sleep apnoea?

Snoring is simply a sound caused by a partially blocked airway, wither in the mouth, nose or throat. This blockage causes a vibration which creates the sound you hear when someone snores. It can be caused by several factors:

• Excess weight
• Deviated septum
• Alcohol
• Allergies
• Colds

Sleep apnoea, however, is a sleep disorder which causes multiple pauses in breathing during sleep. There are two types of breathing interruption which is characteristic of sleep apnoea:

• Apnoea – muscles and tissues in the throat relax enough to block the airway for more than 10 seconds.
• Hypoapnoea – a partial blockage that results in airflow reduction of 50% or more for over 10 seconds.

People who suffer with OSA tend to experience both types of interruption as they sleep, leading to sleep deprivation and poor quality of rest. While snoring is a symptom of sleep apnoea, it is not the cause. Other symptoms of OSA include:

• Noisy breathing
• Gasping or snorting
• Interrupted breathing

If you think you have sleep apnoea, it is very important to get it diagnosed and treated accordingly. The condition can lead to an increased risk of other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems and sleep deprived partners.


If snoring is affecting your life, try using a smart pillow such as Zeeq. Zeeq will gently alert you when you are snoring so that you can change position and make yourself (and your partner!) more comfortable.

If you would like to find out more about how a REM-Fit Mattress, REM-Fit Sleep Monitoring technology or Zeeq Smart Pillows can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via

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