Snoring...A Productivity Problem!

UPPSALA, SWEDEN--Excessive daytime sleepiness can interfere with both social and occupational activities. Snoring and intermittent interruptions of sleep from impaired breathing (obstructive sleep apnea) have been suggested as causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

A study published in the journal CHEST (1996;110:659- 63) found that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea not only was associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, but also was associated with work performance problems.

Jan Ulfberg, M.D. and associates of Sweden's University Hospital at Uppsala studied men between the ages of 30 and 64 years old and noted that those who snored or had obstructive sleep apnea had increased difficulties in concentration, learning new tasks, and performing monotonous tasks when compared to nonsnorers.

It was also noted that the body mass (overall weight) of patients was related to sleep disordered breathing, as had been previously shown.

Viewers of MedicineNet should note that sleep disorders, such as snoring, are more than just an annoyance for the spouse. They also can represent a significant problem for the work force. It is reasonable to conclude that workers who snore or have restless sleeps and notice persistent unusual sleepiness in the daytime hours might benefit from medical attention. Obesity is also emphasized as a treatable risk factor for sleep disorders.

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