If any of this sounds familiar, make an appointment with your doctor. The next step is a sleep study, either at home or in a lab, to count the number of times you stop breathing in your sleep (it’s difficult to identify blockages while you’re awake in the office).
If it’s more than five times an hour, your doctor will discuss treatment options depending on severity and what might be causing it. The most common treatment is what’s called a CPAP machine—you wear a mask, which helps push air through the blockage to open it up. Oral appliances, which bring your jaw forward to open up your airway, may also be an option.
When you’re snoring with your mouth wide open, it’s not just your bed partner who can point it out—how your mouth feels in the morning can give you a clue, too.
“When you have that much air flow through the mouth, you don’t have as much saliva production, so your mouth has a tendency to get dried out,” explains Dr. Breus. This leaves you with dry mouth and throat first thing.