Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Blue figured woman sleeping under a pink blanket with loud noise lines coming from her mouth. Silhouette of a figure running out of an open door dragging a pillow behind them.

The Snoring Plague

Confession: I am a notorious snorer. I’ve been known to send people fleeing from rooms (and neighboring rooms) in search of quiet or at least ear plugs. It’s embarrassing, but most of all it’s a huge disturbance to my sleep and quality of rest. Snoring can be an indicator of breathing difficulties while sleeping, which can cause long-term health issues and disrupt sleep.

Other family members snore, so I am not alone. But I’m in a high achievement zone when it comes to persistence and volume. I’m lucky that my husband seems to have become adapted and is able to sleep through it.

My dentists and other doctors have spoken to me about having a small mouth and nasal passages, which can make me more prone to snoring and sleep apnea. But no one really provided any good advice about what I can do about it.

Snoring complications

It worries me that I may have sleep apnea or other snoring-related issues that affect my sleep and the quality of rest that I’m getting. While fatigue is common for people living with RA, could I feel better if my snoring was alleviated?

Recently I spoke with a doctor about my concerns. I was honest in that I didn’t want to get a sleep test because all I’ve ever heard is that people with sleep problems are prescribed a machine (CPAP) that they forever-after have to wear while they sleep that resembles a Darth Vader mask and looks just as comfortable. While family members use it, I just feel like I have to draw a line in the sand. There’s only so many conditions and side effects from RA that I can handle, and I will not put up with another medical issue!

I know, completely childish and possibly dangerous to my health. Don’t be like me, OK?

Snoring exploration

This doctor must have heard these complaints before because he said, “don’t worry. There are other suggestions that I can make.” He asked me to get started in exploring the issue by downloading an app on my phone called SnoreLab. You turn it on when you go to sleep and it starts to record snippets of your sleep and provide a rough analysis of your snoring. It has a free trial and then can be purchased for more uses.

While I have just begun this exploration, the first couple of trials were not encouraging. My snoring scored an “Epic” level and a high score. But the app also provided some suggestions of things I can try to make breathing easier to alleviate snoring.

  • Side sleeping
  • Nasal strips
  • Mouthpieces
  • Air purifier
  • Humidifier
  • Allergy relief
  • Anti-snore pillow
  • Wedge pillow

There are other suggestions as well. Some of these ideas I’ve already tried and I believe that perhaps additional ones may help. It feels like one of these problems that will be best addressed with gradual experimentation.

Unfortunately, I know that allergies are an issue for me and already take medication. They still trouble me at night and block my nose for good breathing, so I’m not sure what else can be done on this front.

I did start using a wedge pillow to elevate my head and chest, which is supposed to help with keeping breathing passages clearer. I’m not sure if I’m getting better rest yet, but once I adjust a little more, I’ll give another test run with the SnoreLab assessment.

For RA patients, sleep is essential and sleep quality is important. I know that I need good rest in order to feel better. I’m hoping that by addressing my snoring problems, that I’ll get some health benefits from a better night’s rest.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • uu279f
    2 months ago

    You can make your own choice however I do know that long term sleep apnea can cause many more health issues!! I wear c-pap and it is rarely disruptive as I wear the dreamworks set up which fits under your nose instead of over your face.. I feel so much more rested and overall better during the day!! Just thought I’d share my perspective as a concerned nurse, fellow RAer and cPap wearer

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi uu279f. Thank you for writing and the suggestion regarding the nose piece (I happen to be the author’s husband). It looks like Kelly will be trying an autoPAP machine (at least that is what they are recommending she start with). Hopefully she will get some leeway on the face set-up. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Iwillsurvive
    2 months ago

    Please do think seriously about the cpap machine. I too was an awful loud snorer. I was tired in the morning, late afternoon and didn’t feel good at all. It did take a while to get used to it. but my headaches are gone. I still have the RA fatigue but I don’t get up still tired and sleepy. Please research the long term effects of snoring. it can cause heart damage and other issues. I can’t sleep without my CPAP now.

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank you! Appreciate the guidance and encouragement. I have been trying a PAP machine and am going to keep working at it. I’m finding it hard to adjust to, but trying to hang in there as I know it is supposed to help me. Best, Kelly (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips
    3 months ago

    I have to tell you, having a CPAP makes all the difference. I no longer need one. I still use the machine, that cool blast of air is fantastic.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 months ago

    Thanks Rick. I just read your comment to Kelly and she said “huh,” which trust me is progress. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips
    3 months ago

    🙂

  • Poll