14 May 2019

Things that make us go … hmmmm

RedHerring Sleep

Sleep, according to the Upstart Crow, doth “knit up the ravell’d sleave of care”. The Bard had less to say, however, of sleep’s intermittent byproduct: snoring!

So we are grateful for research in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, that confirms what many chaps suspected, but were too afraid to say out loud – not only do women snore as loudly as men, they underestimate how often, and how noisily, they do so.

The study found that objectively measured snoring was found in 88% of the women (591 of 675), but only 72% reported that they snored (496 of 675). In contrast, objective snoring (92.6%) and self-reported snoring (93.1%) were nearly identical in men.

But before you dismiss these findings as a just another small shot fired in the gender wars, there is a genuine point to be made.

According to the authors, there is a social stigma associated with snoring among women. Therefore, women may not reliably answer questions about snoring, which may contribute to the under-diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea in women.