Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts December 1999
Short Cuts:HEALTH BEAT
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
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.
LOREN G. EDELSTEIN
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