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Kiwis Prove to Be a Bunch of Snorers

13 December 2007

Kiwis Prove to Be a Bunch of Snorers

While the Christmas break should be a time of rest, many New Zealanders could be in for some restless nights given that an estimated 60% of Kiwis snore, according to a sleep specialist.

Sleep Well Clinic general practitioner, Dr Alex Bartle, said there have been a number of research studies conducted on snoring all of which have shown it to be a serious problem for both the snorer and their partner.

According to the 2006 Great British Snoring Survey carried out by the makers of Snorenz one in 10 couples have considered splitting up or living separately due to snoring.

“People who share a bed with a snorer can become short-tempered and frustrated with having their own sleep disturbed,” Dr Bartle said.

“Other impacts from snoring can include poor short-term memory and difficulty in concentrating on tasks.”

A medical study carried out in Sweden also looked at the wives of snoring men and found that they often showed symptoms of insomnia, morning headaches, daytime sleepiness and fatigue.1

“Some of these symptoms over the long-term can have a detrimental effect on relationships.”

Dr Bartle said there are also social consequences associated with snoring.
“When faced with a chronic snorer, some women resort to either sleeping in a different room or they simply continue putting up with the problem due to concern about people’s perceptions of couples that sleep apart.

“There is definitely a social stigma attached to sleeping in separate beds. While a couple who sleep apart may argue that the quality of their relationship hasn’t changed the lack of intimacy or proximity to each other can impact on their relationship.”

He said couples affected by snoring should actively seek a solution to help them get back together in the same marital bed.

“Snoring can be caused by excessive relaxation of muscles in the tongue and throat. Another common cause is that of nasal obstruction, which can limit airflow through the nose.”

For snoring caused by overly relaxed throat tissue or congestion in the nasal passage, over the counter products such as Snorenz can lubricate the affected areas to reduce snoring vibrations.

New Zealand distributors of Snorenz – eNZpharma – said they had been distributing their range of products in New Zealand since 2001 which comprise a throat spray and oral strips.

“We’ve seen steady growth in sales spurred on by the fact that in these increasingly time pressured environments people are simply not prepared to put up with snoring and a bad nights sleep when effective treatment solutions are available,” eNZpharma director Wayne Atkinson said.

However, for chronic snorers, Dr Bartle recommends that they seek medical help.

“Snorers are more likely to have serious health problems,” he said.

“Research shows that snoring can be associated with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. These are potentially serious health problems that should be addressed as soon as possible, with snoring potentially serving as an audible signal that all is not well.”


1Adverse Health Effects Among Women Living With Heavy Snorers. Authors: Jan Ulfberg; Ned Carter; Mats Talback; Christer Edling.

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