We’ve all come across a noisy sleeper at some point in our lives, or maybe you are that noisy sleeper! Whether it’s our partner, a fellow passenger on a plane or train or a close relative, we’ve all probably been disturbed by the distinct sounds of somebody blissfully asleep and completely unaware of the disruption they are causing. But who snores more? Men or Women?
There are certainly biological, social and environmental factors at play which affects who snores more but statistically speaking the loudest sleeper is most likely to be a man.
According to the National Sleep Foundation of America “The issue goes beyond just a little night noise: About half of snorers may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that’s also related to sex. OSA, which affects more men than women, happens when the upper portions of a sleeper’s airways become closed off, blocking oxygen and restricting respiration. The result: A gasping breathing pattern that echoes the sound of snoring for the sufferer and induces multiple sleep interruptions during the night.”
Snoring is a complex physical condition that cannot be defined simply as condition that affects one sex or another. But according to the National Sleep Foundation of America there are 3 distinct reasons that men snore more
Men are born with air passages that are narrower than women’s—and this can cause more night time noise. The smaller the airway, the harder it is for air to flow during the normal breathing process. What’s more, when air is forced through a tiny opening, the tissues that surround it vibrate vigorously and snoring becomes louder as a result.
The use of alcohol and tobacco are significant contributing factors when it comes to snoring: Alcohol relaxes the muscles around the throat and smoke triggers inflammation in the body’s airways. Both of these things can cause snoring to be louder and more frequent. Statistically, men drink alcohol more often than women do; they’re also more likely to drink it in excess. Men smoke more than women as well, leaving them vulnerable to snoring as a side effect.
Carrying around too many pounds not only negatively affects one’s health, but it can also up the odds of snoring. Excessive weight contributes to poor muscle tone and creates excess throat and neck tissue—both of which vibrate when the sleeper breathes deeply, causing an increase in snoring. And while it’s true that men and women are almost equally overweight in this country, men still lead the charge with 74 percent considered overweight or obese, compared to 67 percent of women.
If there’s a snoring battle raging in your bedroom, know that you’re not alone. The good news is that you can make changes to factors such as lifestyle habits and weight gain that may lower your risk of snoring. Consider an appointment with your health care provider to discuss your snoring, its possible causes and the possibility of OSA”.
For more great articles check out the National Sleep Foundation of America’s website Sleep.org