Ask the doctor: Does snoring spike blood pressure?

Q. Is it true that snoring raises your blood pressure? I'm a snorer, and I worry that it puts me at risk for other conditions.

A. Severe snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have OSA, then your breathing is blocked temporarily many times per night. That causes oxygen levels in your lungs and blood to start falling. Your brain sees this happening and sends adrenaline into your bloodstream. This stimulates the breathing center in your brain. It also makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure. Fortunately, treatment for OSA can lower blood pressure.

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