Do you have a father, son, grandfather or husband who snores? Does the volume waken others in the family? If so, you're not alone. The National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) 2005 Sleep in America poll shows that 67% of this country's adults are married or live with someone who snores.
"Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a very common - but potentially dangerous - sleep disorder," says Lee Brown, M.D., professor, UNM Internal Medicine and director of the UNM Sleep Disorders Center.
An estimated 18 million people have sleep apnea, but million aren't aware they suffer from the disorder, which is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can result in both sleep disturbance and reduced oxygen delivery to vital organs. Sleep apnea has been associated with hypertension, heart disease, mood and memory problems. "Our poll shows 39 percent of men and 25 percent of women snore," said Richard L. Gelula, NSF's chief executive officer. "They can be at risk and should pay attention to their sleep, particularly if there are pauses in breathing, and if they are overweight or obese."
"People with sleep apnea suffer many consequences" says Brown. "Because of their disturbed sleep, they often are sleepy during their waking hours. While not all snorers have sleep apnea, it is important for anyone who snores to discuss the problem with a health care provider."
If you snore, or knows anyone who does, take the "Snore Score" on NSF's newly redesigned Web site, www.sleepfoundation.org, where you will find additional information about sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues. For more information on the Sleep Disorders Clinic, call 272-6110.
Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322