Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Lethal Snoring


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Tens of millions of Americans snore loudly, most dismissing the disorder as an annoyance. But many snorers unknowingly suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disorder that often goes undiagnosed. Sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing--for periods of at least ten seconds--hundreds of times a night. Most sufferers don't remember the incidents the next morning. Untreated, the syndrome is thought to cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, depression, memory loss, and heart attacks, not to mention impotence. Studies have also found that fatigue from sleep apnea plays a major role in car accidents. Loud snoring, therefore, may be a signal to see a doctor. Otolaryngologist Kent Wilson, of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, suspended a microphone 24 inches above the heads of 1,139 slumbering men and women. He found that snoring that exceeds 49 decibels indicated a high risk of sleep apnea. Overweight people and men snored loudest, and 12 percent of the subjects topped 55 decibels, roughly the loudness of rush-hour traffic. "People who snore extremely loudly need to be taken seriously and treated medically," Wilson says.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In