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Heart health

Snoring as a risk factor for hypertension

admin 283 views January 27, 2020

Snoring is not a localised issue: it touches on other aspects of our wellbeing, one of them being blood pressure. Does snoring cause high blood pressure or is the fault due to hypertension? Here we look at whether the link between these two exists, and how we should treat snoring and high blood pressure.

The link between snoring and hypertension

The simplest way to explain the relationship between snoring and hypertension is through the process in our body. People who snore because of a narrow airway may habitually stress the body more during sleep.

During snoring our brain experiences oxygen starvation and it leads to micro-awakenings. This influences the sympathetic nervous system, and brain produces adrenaline as a response to stress in the body. Initially, adrenalin in the blood is a spasm of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure. So, this is how snoring can cause hypertension. Does it work both ways? No, and let’s figure out how and why.

Does snoring cause high blood pressure?

The link between snoring and high blood pressure is still in doubt. A recent study published in Biomedical Journal concluded snoring has some bearing on high blood pressure, but high blood pressure has no relation with snoring. People with moderate to severe sleep apnea are seven times more likely to have high blood pressure, than those with simple snoring and no apnea at all. The latter were one-and-a-half times more likely to have high blood pressure than those who didn’t snore. 

Can high blood pressure cause snoring?

Simply put, no. But the risk factors of hypertension are:

  • Smoking
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Alcohol consumption 
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics

Treating snoring and high blood pressure

Having concluded snoring causes hypertension, it naturally brings us to think that treating it should solve hypertension as well. But treating snoring and blood pressure differs from simple OSA treatment. Mostly as two types of blood pressure exist and each demand a different approach.

In the case of high blood pressure and snoring:

  •       Less salt in the diet
  •       More regular physical activity
  •       Lose weight if you’re obese
  •       Limit your alcohol intake

In the case of low blood pressure and snoring:

  • Use more salt
  • Drink more water
  • Wear elastic stockings

Don’t forget to monitor your sleep and track snoring intensity. This can be achieved with an anti-snoring app, like Goodsomnia Lab which records your sleep, and provides a sleep report with statistics of your snoring intensity, trends and more. It’s also helpful when visiting a doctor for treatment.

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