Snoring, disturbed sleep, and the effect on your everyday health

If you’ve ever been woken by your partner’s deafening snoring tones or struggled to slink into slumber because of the noise coming from your bedside partner, then you’re not alone!

Flu. Closeup image of frustrated sick woman with red nose lying in bed in thick scarf holding tissue by her nose and touching her head

Snoring is one of the most common partner disturbances when it comes to sleep and what starts off as a niggle can soon become very annoying especially when you’re trying your best to get off to the land of nod.

I mentioned in last week’s article the latest newspaper report about the rise of the snoring room for the wealthy property buyer – basically a separate bedroom to banish your snoring partner to – but it’s not new. People have been sleeping apart due to someone snoring for a very long time.

However, disrupted sleep can leave many couples short tempered with each other leading to rows and squabbles, and even to divorce in extreme cases. So if snoring is a real issue then a snoring room, or what us ordinary folk call a separate bedroom, can be no bad thing!

Over recent years there’s been lots of research into how many couples now sleep apart and how beneficial – or not beneficial – it is for your sleep.  And there is a large number of us who do sleep in separate bedrooms – for many reasons whether that’s snoring, health or just personal space.

Women suffer more than men do. A large research study found that 31% of women, and 19% of men, are disturbed by snoring, with many saying that they think their sleep would improve quite significantly if their partner didn’t snore. Yet in the same research, 78% did report they shared a bed.

It’s well known that severe cases of snoring, and particularly sleep apnoea, have made a very detrimental contribution to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.

Snoring and disturbed sleep can affect you much more than just making you tired and irritable, and falling asleep or taking daytime naps. Professor Francesco Cappuccio and his team at The University of Warwick have explored what daily napping says about our health. The team studied the daytime napping habits of more than 16,000 men and women in the UK and found daily napping, of both under and more than one hour — to be a warning sign of underlying health risk — particularly respiratory problems.

The team believes that the risks associated with those prolonged or extra hours asleep may extend beyond heart conditions to represent warning signs of depression, infection, inflammatory conditions and, in some, the early stages of cancer.

“It doesn’t mean that longer sleep causes these diseases,” says Cappuccio. Instead, the fatigue from sleep disturbed by snoring that is keeping people in bed excessively is a symptom of something going wrong. “It’s a consequence of the disease, not the cause,” he says.

Cutting out snoring and sleeping better is the key to good health for all of us.

However it appears that snoring and disturbed sleep can affect you much more than just making you tired and irritable – it affects simple everyday health. We now have new medical findings that it affects our health in significant, but lesser ways – illnesses that are very common and that we accept as part of everyday life.

Scientists now say they have found proof that failing to get enough sleep can greatly increase your risk of catching a cold. The US researchers found that people who sleep 6 hours a night or less are at least 4 times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus, compared to those who sleep for more than 7 hours.

Writing in the journal, Sleep, the team members say their findings prove just how vital it is to have undisturbed regular sleep to stay healthy.

It’s not rocket science so don’t ignore this sound advice – Stop Snoring now.

John Redfern