Mayo Clinic study is first to scientifically document that bed partners lose an hour of sleep per night due to snoring spouse

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- A new Mayo Clinic study confirms what many have claimed for years: they're losing ZZZ's sleeping with a partner who snores loudly.

"Our study found that eliminating a patient's snoring and obstructive sleep apnea -- breathing that stops and starts during sleep -- significantly increased bed partners quality and quantity of sleep," says John Shepard, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center and senior author of the study. The research is published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Investigators studied 10 married couples in which the husband was being evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea. Both the patients and their spouses underwent simultaneous polysomnography, a sleep study that monitors heart, lung and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements and blood oxygen levels. Researchers used the test to measure the number of disordered breathing episodes in the patients, the number of arousals in each partner and the percentage of time that each person spent sleeping.

Midway through the one-night study, the snoring patients put on an oxygen mask-like device to stop the snoring and obstructive breathing events. Researchers then compared quality of sleep in the spouses before and after the device was used.

"As we suspected, the spouses experienced significant improvements in sleep quality when their husbands were treated with the device," Dr. Shepard says. "The average percentage of time that spouses spent sleeping increased from 74 percent to 87 percent, which adds more than an extra hour of sleep per night."

Researchers found that patients' snoring was eliminated and that the disrupted breathing episodes declined from an average of 26 to 7 with treatment. They also found that 43 percent of the spo

Contact: Shelly Plutowski
Mayo Clinic

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