Do you snore? If so, then you’re like about half of the population. But have you ever stopped to wonder WHY you snore? The underlying cause, if left untreated, could kill you. Literally.

If that doesn’t scare you, here are 5 more reasons you owe it to yourself to find out why you snore

1. You just can’t seem to shed those pounds

Diets. Gym memberships. Juice cleanses. You’ve tried it all. But your weight gain might be actually related to what happens when you’re sleeping. If you have sleep apnea, then your metabolism is actively working against you. Without optimal blood oxygenation, your ghrelin and leptin hormone levels are thrown off, which affects how your feelings of hunger start and stop. Insulin’s ability to transport glucose to cells is also diminished. That means the effects of all your hard work will be somewhat fruitless until you address the underlying issue at hand.

2. Your sex drive could use a tune-up

You already know that your snoring is a burden on your partner. But what you might not realize is that when you have sleep apnea, you are also more prone to being tired and depressed. As a result, this makes you a lot less likely to get in the mood. Dealing with the cause of your snoring can lead to a more fulfilling sex life.

3. You want to stay active and kickin’ for many years to come

If you snore, you’ve probably written it off as just an annoyance (and so has your spouse). However, snoring is a symptom that could lead to worse stuff down the line like strain on your heart, hypertension, lung disease, and more. Getting your snoring problem checked out now means you can avoid these problems down the road.

4. Your mom or dad was a big time snorer

Did you have a parent growing up who snored? While you can’t inherit snoring, a lot of the symptoms of snoring, like high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes, might be things you’re predisposed to. In addition, sleep apnea triggers the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for your body’s “fight or flight” response. Since your body thinks it’s in an emergency situation over a prolonged period of time, your body’s cells do not use its energy source, glucose, as easily—causing your organs and metabolism to degenerate. This is how low oxygen levels can trigger health complications.

5. You know snoring isn’t really all that funny

People tend to discount the seriousness of snoring because it just seems like some annoying quirk. However, sleep apnea is serious. In fact, if left untreated, people with sleep apnea are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a stroke and have a 30 percent higher risk of suffering from a heart attack. So, above all, it’s good to get everything checked out ASAP.

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