When it comes to snoring there’s more to lose than sleep. Don’t ignore the snore.
According to Philips’ 2019 Global Sleep Survey, nearly 30% of adults experience snoring during sleep. Equally disturbing, it reveals that around one third of women say they sleep apart from their partner – at least occasionally – because of their snoring. Those figures not only highlight how widespread snoring is, but also how potentially damaging it is to relationships. Even short-term sleep disruption can result in reduced quality of life, emotional distress, mood disorders and impaired performance . Long-term, poor sleep can contribute to a wide range of medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer .
There are many factors that could lead to snoring, some of which are relatively benign, such as consuming alcohol before going to bed, a cold in your nose or throat, or simply sleeping on your back (supine). Others, however, are more serious – one of the most common being a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which a person repeatedly stops breathing during their sleep, potentially depriving their brain and other internal organs of oxygen. Whether it’s simple snoring or something more serious, sleeping in a supine position is known to aggravate the situation.
Many couples are all too familiar with one method of stopping their partner’s supine snoring. They wake up and give their partner a nudge so that he or she turns onto their side. However, it also has a downside – two disrupted sleep patterns. Philips now offers a potential solution to the problem of positional back snoring in the form of an unobtrusive body-worn sensor that detects when the wearer turns onto their back and subtly nudges them to turn back onto their side without waking the wearer. It’s called the Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band, and in home-use tests, 85% of users’ partners were satisfied with the reduction in snoring achieved after four weeks of use. One reason is that the SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band isn’t a one-trick pony. Intelligent algorithms built into the device learn how to nudge the wearer back onto their side most effectively, automatically adjusting the band’s gentle vibrations to suit each user’s condition and sleeping position.
“Most people are aware of the fact that not getting a good night’s sleep is detrimental to their health and wellbeing, yet few people actively try to improve things, as they are commonly unaware of what the problem is or how to fix it,” said Dr. David White, Chief Medical Officer at Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care. “Philips is guided by the understanding that restful nights lead to energetic days, so we’re designing a future where technology leveraged across the entire sleep ecosystem – before you sleep, while you sleep and when you wake up – can help to make better sleep quality a reality for the millions of people who would benefit from it.”
Solutions for sleep troubles of all kinds are quickly beginning to emerge and gain popularity. Philips has a goal of eventually addressing more than 80% of all sleep issues with its SmartSleep solutions. But it’s important to keep in mind that even the seemingly simple sleep problems, such as snoring, could be a symptom of a more dire condition so it’s always important to consult a physician or see a sleep specialist if troubles persist.