There are 99 problems in the world (actually there are more, to be honest)… but snoring is definitely one of them. But the good thing about problems is that they can be fixed. And snoring, along with its uglier, meaner, bigger cousin Obstructive Sleep Apnea, are both included in this.
And what do you need to solve pretty much any problem?
You need information.
The more we know about snoring and sleep apnea, the better off we will be in the fight to treat these troublesome conditions. A lot of people snore in New Zealand. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to do everything within our power to alleviate the problem.
So here is some information about snoring among the population of New Zealand. As we all learn more of the facts about this problem, we can also help to diminish the pseudoscience and shed some light onto what is really going on—and that is most definitely a good thing.
2 To 4% of the Population Suffers From Sleep Apnea (source)
This might not seem like a lot, but trust us. Though these numbers might seem small, this is not a small problem.
People who suffer from sleep apnea are 2 to 7 times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident, are at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, and tend to be more sleep deprived than people who do not suffer from it.
Up to 60% of Men and 40% of Women Snore
Yes, men are more likely to snore than women—but don’t let this fool you into thinking that women don’t deal with the problem as well.
As it turns out, men and women both deal with it on a pretty regular basis… but being a snorer is not the only challenge. If your partner snores, it might even hurt your quality of sleep worse than it is hurting theirs—and that is a bad thing.
Less Than 5% of Snorers Seek Medical Help of Some Kind For the Problem
Since snoring doesn’t seem like a super-big-deal, people often pay little attention to it. They see it as more of a minor annoyance than an actual medical problem, despite how debilitating and dangerous it can actually be.
About 25% of Adults Snore On a Regular Basis
Not all snorers are ‘habitual’ snorers. But those who do snore habitually are at a much greater risk for problems than those who do not. Simply put, the more time you spend snoring, and the worse your snoring is—the worse the problem is going to tend to be for you and your partner.
Snoring begins to be dangerous when it starts to affect anyone’s quality if sleep. Sleep is super important, and snoring can be a direct cause of sleep loss and sleep deprivation.
Does your partner wake you up in the middle of the night with the noise from their snoring? As it turns out, you may be suffering from sleep loss because of it… and this could have long-term, detrimental results.
Studies Show That Partners of Snorers Lose Out on an Average of 90 Minutes of Sleep on Most Nights (source)
Sleep loss is certainly no joke. Building up this kind of a sleep debt can have very damaging long-term effects. It can hurt libido and interest in sex, increase relationship tension, increase stress levels, cause both partners to be more fatigued throughout the day, and raise blood pressure levels. And over time, this can all take its toll.
Snoring (or not getting enough sleep because of it) can even contribute to weight gain! In fact, people who are sleep deprived have been shown to burn fewer calories when given the same diet and exercise routine than people who are well rested and on the same plan—even though their activity level may be almost exactly the same.
Maori Are More Likely Than Non-Maori to Suffer From Obstructive Sleep Apnea
According to a work called ‘Societal costs of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome’ published in The New Zealand Medical Journal, Maori in the age range of 30 to 59 years of age are more likely than non-Maori to suffer from OSA.
It should also be noted, however, that ethnicity itself does not seem to be an ‘independent’ risk factor after controlling for neck circumference and body mass index.
People Who Suffer From Obstructive Sleep Apnea Are Almost Twice as Likely to Develop Cardiovascular Disease or to Suffer an Accident
According to research conducted in New Zealand, People who do not suffer from OSA are at a 36.1% risk of experiencing non-motor-vehicle accidents, while those who do suffer from it increase that risk to 55.4%.
Similar results can be seen with heart disease. The risk factor for those without OSA is 8.6%, while the risk for those who do suffer from it is higher at 15.8%.
Obviously, the biggest danger with obstructive sleep apnea is the sleep deprivation it causes. Snoring can cause similar problems, but OSA is much worse because it forces your brain to wake you up periodically to take breaths. This keeps you from sleeping as deeply as you need to, and actually disrupts your sleep schedule—sometimes many times throughout the night.