Sleep and Snoring

Although people who snore loudly are frequently the target of bad jokes and the occasional victims of middle-of-the-night elbow thrusts, snoring is no laughing matter. The noise level that starts to affect sleep is around 40dB. Snoring can range from 50dB to anywhere above 100dB. So if you or your partner snore, it is definitely affecting your sleep as evidence has shown the louder the snore the worse we sleep.

Loud snoring can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your breathing during sleep. Snoring is a sign that the airway is not fully open and the distinctive sound of snoring comes from efforts to force air through the narrowed passageway.

It is estimated that 10-30% of adult’s snore. For most sufferers, snoring has no serious medical consequences. But for some people extremely loud, habitual snoring can be the first sign of the more serious disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA has a particular pattern of breathing during the night with pauses in the snoring followed by gasps as the breathing starts again. These pauses can last from a few seconds to over a minute and can occur hundreds of times a night.

We know that the sound of our partner snoring can be irritating and lead to a lack of sleep, but that lack of sleep over a prolonged period can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. If you’ve managed to accustom yourself to the sound of your partners’ snoring, you may think that it’s not impacting your sleep quality, but you’re wrong. Although you may manage to sleep through the night, you will not feel as refreshed in the morning as you should.

You may wish to take the TweakSleep challenge to look at ways to improve your sleep.

Kathryn Ohara