December 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts December 1999 Current Issue
December 1999
AppleShort Cuts:

Snoring bed partners are more than annoying; their nasal noisiness can threaten the well-being of pillow mates.

A study at the Sleep Disorders Center of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found wives of chronic snorers lose 62 minutes of sleep a night, on average. Problems associated with inadequate sleep range from impaired daytime function to higher cardiovascular risk.

Researchers observed snoring husbands and their wives overnight in a sleep lab, and the subjects' brain waves, heartbeats and breathing were monitored. In each case, the husband suffered obstructive sleep apnea (a fancy term for what causes snoring). Sleep patterns were compared before and after hubby was treated with "continuous positive airway pressure," a technique using a mask that keeps breathing passages open during sleep. Not surprisingly, the wives' quality of sleep improved after their husbands' honking was silenced.

Given that about 9 percent of men and 4 percent of women are frequent snorers, researchers estimate the problem causes 475 million "excess arousals" (a.k.a. sleep disturbances) in the United States every night.


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