Please note: This article is written as it relates to non-medical snoring. If you have woken up gasping for air or witness a partner whose breathing pauses during sleep it may be an indication of a more serious medical sleep disorder, known as sleep apnea and a diagnostic sleep study may be necessary.
Snoring is a real problem for many people. Significant amounts of sleep can be lost, leading to chronic tiredness. In the worst cases this can cause anxiety, depression and bad performance when it comes to work, competitive events and other tasks. Even if we are not frequently woken by snoring most of us will be disturbed by it at some point in our lives. The noise can range from a high-pitched whine like a puppy through to a deeper rumble like thunder.
ZenPlugs decided to find out exactly the size of the problem. They performed a survey of 132 people which demonstrated some surprising results. These are summarized in the info-graphic on this page. The most dramatic result was that men lose 11 and a 1/2 times less sleep than women from snoring. This leads to the question as to why women snore so much less than men.
There are three main reasons for this:
-The space in men's throats is larger than that of women. This allows more room for vibration of soft tissues and the generation of snoring sounds.
-Men have been shown statistically to drink and smoke to excess more than women. Alcohol leads to an increase in snoring due to sedation. This is due to upper airway relaxation and a decrease in waking when snoring occurs. Use of tobacco causes inflammation of the upper airways which also increases the likelihood of snoring.
-The third reason is that as people age the muscle tone in their bodies decreases. Men are affected more than women in this way.
In ZenPlugs survey it was reported by more than 1/3 of women that after drinking alcohol snoring was worse. Another third also described lying on the back worsening the problem. The cause of this is the soft palate being pulled backwards by gravity.
More than two thirds of women dealt with snoring by kicking, poking or otherwise waking their partners up. They would have done much better to invest in a good pair of snoring ear plugs so that they weren't woken in the first place. The average amount of time that women were awake came to 40 minutes. This gave a total number of years of sleep lost per year by women living in the United Kingdom as 898,443. This number is huge compared to just 78,078 years for men.
Snoring is a serious problem for many people. Men lose more than 11 times less sleep due to snoring than women. This can lead to depression, anxiety and reduced ability to perform tasks. Wearing snoring ear plugs could be an ideal solution.