Jun 13, 2018

Interview Transcript

Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: Love may be blind, but it's not deaf. This is Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Utah Health. Snoring, the health problem woman wish their bed partners would fix, today on The Scope.

Announcer: Covering all aspects of women's health, this is "The Seven Domains of Women's Health" with Dr. Kirtly Jones on The Scope.

Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: It's called snoring spousal arousal syndrome, and it's not the kind of arousal we want in the marital bed.

According to the National Sleep Foundation survey, twice as many men report that they snore nearly every night, 32 percent, compared to women, 16 percent. Of course the majority of men don't know that they snore, they have to be told by their bed partner, hunting buddies, or kids. All snoring of any magnitude disrupts the sleep of a bed partner, but not all snoring is a health issue. What snoring is a problem for the guy, or the girl, and what to do about it?

What Causes Snoring?

Bed partners of snorers get on average one hour less per night of sleep, and they are frustrated and ticked off. It isn't good for their health or their relationship. According to Dr. Chris Jones, former director of the University of Utah Sleep Wake Center, and my wonderfully non-snoring bed partner, it takes an average of a year or two of fighting or negotiating, by the wife, before the husband is willing to seek medical attention.

So, snoring that is accompanied by breath holding, gasping and choking episodes is called sleep apnea. And women who have to listen to this know that it just isn't right and it worries them. Men with sleep apnea have more obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and night time bathroom breaks, which also disrupts their sleep and the sleep of their bed partner. Woman complain that their husbands with untreated sleep apnea have excessive daytime sleepiness, falling asleep while waiting for dinner, watching TV, and very scary, while driving.

Woman who come with their bed partners that have sleep apnea will state that their husbands are irritable with the kids and with them, the way anyone that's sleep deprived can be irritable, and men with sleep apnea have decreased libido and lower testosterone. Enough said about that!

How to Stop Snoring

So men don't know that they snore or that they are sleep deprived. Often their bed partners have to convince them. I suggest you use the record button on your cell phone and prove it to them.

Woman can have sleep apnea too, but their hormones and where they store body fat, not in their belly or neck, works for them. After menopause more women snore and have sleep apnea. But snoring is not very feminine and it's a touchy topic and your bed partner may not tell you, or he's so unconscious and snoring too, he doesn't even hear you. So get your honey to talk to their primary care provider or see a sleep specialist before he isn't your honey anymore. And you need to go with him. Maybe simple things like weight loss, not drinking alcohol at night, and other approaches will help. But if it's serious, you need to get serious. Check out your local sleep center. This is Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones. Night, night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.

Announcer: Have a question about a medical procedure? Want to learn more about a health condition? With over 2,000 interviews with our physicians and specialists, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find what you want to know. Check it out at TheScopeRadio.com.

updated: June 13, 2018
originally published: November 26, 2013

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