Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Loud Snoring Independently Correlated with Daytime Sleepiness

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, snoring may be an independent factor for daytime sleepiness in sleep apnea sufferers. The study was conducted by a retrospective statistical analysis of patients who underwent polysomnography for diagnosis of sleep apnea, and it considered many different possible correlations. What researchers found was surprising.

The highest recorded volume of snoring in the subjects was strongly and independently correlated with daytime sleepiness--commonly considered as a symptom of sleep apnea--as measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) in apneic patients, but not in other patients. Interpreting these results is difficult, but researchers concluded that snoring intensity may explain daytime sleepiness that cannot be fully explained by variables measured by polysomnography.

The mechanism is very difficult to imagine, but since the ESS is a subjective measure, perhaps there is a deeper, more cognitive effect of snoring on the quality of sleep. We know that snoring disturbs cosleepers, but perhaps it also disturbs the sleeper himself in a way we cannot appreciate.

Although the study only correlated the effect of snoring for apneics, it is possible that all snorers suffer diminished quality of sleep. To learn more about the benefits of snoring treatment, schedule a snoring consultation at the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 9:29 AM