What is SNORING?
During sleep, the jaw and tongue tend to relax and fall back toward the throat. This reduction in size of the airway will, in some individuals, cause the throat tissues to vibrate. Air being forced through this narrowed opening and the vibrations cause the noises we know as snoring.

Snoring can be a sign of an underlying medical disorder known as sleep apnea. Untreated snoring may increase a person’s risk for the development of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when the jaw and tongue fall back against the throat to an extent that the airway closes during sleep. During the closure it sometimes appears as if the person is trying to breath, but no air passes through to the lungs. Eventually, seconds to over a minute, the brain will wake to a lighter sleep stage and the muscles will tighten opening the airway allowing the person to breathe again. The person is rarely aware of these sleep interruptions believing they are sleeping soundly.

The closure of the airway and not breathing may occur up to 100 or more times per hour each night. This scenario prevents the individual with sleep apnea from reaching the deep restful sleep we all require. The end result is fatigue and daytime sleepiness despite having spent 8 hours or more sleeping. This lack of appropriate sleep and decrease in oxygen levels from sleep apnea can trigger severe and serious health conditions.

Tongue in normal position, breathing through the nose, keeps the airway open during sleep to allow
normal breathing.
Complete blockage of the airway occurs as the base of the tongue falls back against the soft palate forcing it against the back wall of the airway. No air can pass until the person wakes to a lighter stage of sleep for more muscle control to resume breathing.

• Daytime sleepiness, tiredness
• Loud snoring
• Choking/gasping sensations while sleeping
• Restless sleep
• Morning headaches
• Accidents due to sleepiness (auto, home, work related, etc.)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Congestive heart failure
• Arterial plaques
• Myocardial arrhythmias (irregular heart beats)
• Myocardial infarction (heart attacks)
• Sudden cardiac death
• Weight gain
• Difficulty exercising
• Decreased physical activity
• Poor concentration
• Irritability
• Marital discord
• Personality changes
• Poor attention span
• Reduced memory
• Decreased sex drive
• Impotence
• Diabetes
• Stroke
• Acid reflux

Sleep Apnea is an extremely serious medical condition that should be evaluated for if suspected, and appropriately treated when present. The least of symptoms may only include persistent fatigue, while at the other extreme premature death is possible, such as that suffered by Mr. Reggie White, the former Green Bay Packer football great. Doctors noted that Mr. White’s premature death was a result of sudden cardiac death (fatal heart attack) and was likely a result of an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) due to untreated sleep apnea.


Epworth Sleepiness Scale
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have likely affected you. Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

Scoring System:
0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance
3 = high chance of dozing

Chance of Dozing

Sitting and reading quietly:
Watching TV:
Sitting inactive in a public place
(e.g. a theater or a meeting):


As a passenger in a car for an hour
without a break:
Lying down to rest in the afternoon
when circumstances permit:
Sitting and talking to someone:
Sitting quietly after a lunch, without alcohol:
In a car while stopped for a few minutes
In traffic:

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment Center
Phone: 414-755-4788
Central Center • 2626 N. 76th Street, Suite #101, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Waukesha Center • 2727 N. Grandview Boulevard, Suite #100, Waukesha, WI 53188
Kenosha/Racine Center • 3500 Meachem, Racine, WI 53405
Appleton/Green Bay Center • W3132 Van Roy Road, Appleton, WI 54915