Too Many Fathers Ignoring Their Snoring

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Sleep Apnea and Fathers

Do you have a father, son, grandfather or husband who snores? Does the volume waken others in the family? Do jokes focus on dad's 'sawing' as he dozes off in front of the television at night?

If so, you're not alone. The National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) 2005 Sleep in America poll shows that 67% of America's adults are married or live with someone who snores. And many of the snorers are men.

"Our poll shows that thirty-nine percent of men snore, as opposed to twenty-five percent of women," says Richard L. Gelula, NSF's chief executive officer. "Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, which is a very common, but very dangerous sleep disorder. Men and women who snore could be at risk, and should pay close attention to their sleep, particularly if they have pauses in breathing, and if they are overweight or obese."

An estimated 18 million people have sleep apnea, but millions don't even know they have the disorder, which is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. The breathing pauses can result in both sleep disturbance and reduced oxygen delivery to vital organs.

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"Those with sleep apnea suffer many consequences" says Gelula. "Because of their disturbed sleep, they often are sleepy during their waking hours. In addition, sleep apnea has been associated with hypertension, heart disease, mood and memory problems." Gelula notes that while not all snorers have sleep apnea, it is important for anyone who snores to discuss the problem with a health care provider.

"This June 19th, as we take time to appreciate our fathers, let's remember that snoring is no laughing matter," says Gelula. "It can disturb the sleep of bed partners and other family members. It can also be a symptom of serious sleep disorder that can put dad's health and safety at risk. Let's help fathers, and others who have sleep apnea symptoms, recognize their sleep problems, and seek treatment."

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.

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The National Sleep Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting sleep-related education, research and advocacy. WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2005

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