Where do we find most of the UK’s snorers?

A new survey shows that Scotland has more snorers, as a percentage of the population, than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

Scotland topped the list of snorers with 61% saying either they or their partner snored. The East of England was second with 55%, West Midlands third with 52% and the North East, perhaps surprisingly, had the lowest figure as a snoring region with an incredibly low 9%.

UK Snorers

In total, almost 2.500 people in the UK aged 18 and over were interviewed. All of them confirmed that they were in a co-habiting relationship and were questioned about their sleeping patterns, habits and those of their partner.

The respondents were asked a series of questions that included ‘Does your partner ever wake you up in the night?’
Almost three quarters of respondents, 72%, stated ‘yes’ to this question that was split into two main categories. ‘With their snoring’ accounted for 42% and ‘moving around’ for the other 26%. Also, 13% admitted that at some time they had woken themselves up because of their loud snoring.

What is it like to sleep with a snorer?

It’s estimated that there are around 15 million snorers in the UK, and over two-thirds of these are men. Research carried out by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association reveals that two thirds of partners normally only manage between three and five hours sleep a night. Those sharing a bed with a snorer can endure a noise that can reach 100 decibels. So what impact does snoring have on a partner, and what can be done about it?

A leading consultant ENT Surgeon commented: “Sleep takes up between a quarter and a third of our lives and serves to refresh and restore our bodies, yet snoring is damaging for so many.”

“Severe snoring is not only socially disruptive to partners, and often leads to couples being forced to sleep in separate rooms at night. It can also signal more severe sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea with which patients stop breathing periodically at night, waking up grumpy and tired with early morning headaches.”

“If you or your partner snore so badly that you cannot even share the same room, you need to do something about it immediately.”

One of the principal causes of snoring is obesity, which affects 25% of UK adults and 20% of children. Obesity rates have nearly doubled over the past 10 years in England.  Obesity has recently been described as the ‘new Smoking’ by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in terms of its impact on health and the costs to the NHS.

In England 62% of adults were overweight or obese in 2012, which equates to 57% of women and 67% of men. Being overweight is lowest in the 16-24 years age group, and higher in the older age groups among both men and women. The UK population is growing, ageing and becoming more obese. Health care professionals should take every opportunity to address this growing epidemic of obesity and its associated problems.

John Redfern