Women Snore As Much and As Loud As Men
April 25, 2019
New York Post – Never ask a woman her age, weight…or whether she snores.
That last bit of info comes from a new study of 1,913 adults believed to be suffering from sleep disorders.
“We found that although no difference in snoring intensity was found between genders, women tend to underreport the fact that they snore and underestimate the loudness of their snoring,” says the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Nimrod Maimon, professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and head internist at Soroka University Medical Center. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Participants in the study had been referred to the sleep doctors for evaluation of potential sleep disorders. The patients, whose average age was 49, were given a survey asking them to assess their own snoring. They were also observed overnight, so researchers could measure the snores for themselves.
They found that 88 percent of the 675 women participants snored, but just 72 percent copped to it. Men, on the other hand, actually overreported their snoring. Slightly more than 93 percent said they “sawed wood,” but scientists observed it in slightly fewer (92.6 percent) of them.
The researchers also found that while the women were generally smaller than the men, they snored just as loudly. They devised a snoring intensity scale, ranked into four levels: mild (40 to 45 decibels), moderate (46 to 55), severe (56 to 60), and very severe (more than 60 decibels).
Men on average topped out at 51.7 decibels, but women weren’t far behind, at 50. Overall, about 49 percent of the women had severe or very severe snoring, yet only 40 percent of the women rated their snoring at that level.
Snoring isn’t just a nuisance; it’s often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which has been associated with many other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Dr. Maimon worries that the negative stigma associated with snoring may prevent women from agreeing to participate in a sleep study. He suggests doctors look for other signs in women, such as daytime fatigue, that might indicate sleep apnea.