How much do you know about snoring? Most people know very little about it beyond the fact that it’s noisy, irritating and usually associated with grandfathers and distant aunts and it’s the butt of unkind jokes. We will listen to friends complain about the sleepless nights they endure because of it, but avoid admitting to it if we snore ourselves. Yet most of us do snore at some point or another, and nearly half of us do it on a regular basis – and that is just two of the strange but true facts about snoring most of us don’t know.
Did you know?
- About 15 Million people in the UK snore, while in the US, that figure stands at around 90 million.
- One out of two people will snore at some point in their lives. Two out of every three of those that snore are men. Snoring, which becomes more prevalent as people age, is not restricted to adults. Children are also known to snore.
- Snorers can wake up as many as 27 times during the night, even though they don’t realise it’s their own snoring that’s woken them. Their partners wake up slightly less often – about 21 times.
- The most common causes of primary or simple snoring is being overweight, consuming alcohol and smoking.
- When someone says you sound like an electric drill, they might be right, although a food blender, garbage disposal or tractor would probably be more accurate. The decibels involved are in much the same range – between an acceptable 50dB and a record humdinger of 92dB. Not surprisingly, tests indicate that loud snoring affects the hearing of both snorers and those who share their beds, when compared to “silent” partners who don’t.
- Partners of snorers also tend to visit the doctor more often. It seems that being kept awake by the sound of their partner’s snoring isn’t doing much good for their health.
- Sadly, snoring can destroy relationships. Couples which include a snorer are more likely than those that don’t, to move into separate bedrooms, or sadly end their relationships altogether.
- If you snore, you may be able to blame it on your parents (or theirs). Research has shown that in more than two out of three cases, snoring is an unwelcome decoration hung on the family tree.
- Strange but true: The US state of Massachusetts still has an old law on its books which bans snoring unless the bedroom windows are closed and locked! This means that those who snore in that state could well end up (at least in theory) in danger of arrest if their noisy sleep time annoys the neighbours. Fortunately for them, that law is not usually enforced anymore, in the same way that other outdated laws in that state are ignored for the most part.
- Hundreds of people have come up with ideas for possible solutions to the snoring problem that statistics suggest plagues more than half the population. Patents for 1,306 different concepts are listed in the European Patent office, while in the US, there are about 2,000.
As a subject of normal conversation, snoring is pretty much a no-no as a topic. It’s something to joke about happening to other people, or kept behind closed doors in very noisy and sleepless bedrooms. Yet it can impact on relationships and general well-being, and even lead to some serious health issues. With all those ideas that have been patented and produced around the world and the wealth of remedies handed down through the ages as well as some lifestyle changes, maybe there is silence at the end of the tunnel for all those snorers out there.
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