Women are more likely to under-report their snoring problem as compared to men, says a new study published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
In the study, the researchers observed that women snored as loudly as men. However, ‘social stigma’ prevented them from reporting about the problem, which contributed to the under-diagnosis or misdiagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea, a serious sleep disorder.
“We found that although no difference in snoring intensity was found between genders, women tend to under-report the fact that they snore and to underestimate the loudness of their snoring,” said Nimrod Maimon, Professor at Soroka University Medical Center in Israel.
“Women reported snoring less often and described it as milder,” Maimon added.
For the study, the researchers included 1,913 participants for sleep evaluation.
The study’s findings revealed that objectively measured snoring was found in 88% of the women (591 of 675), but only 72% reported that they snore (496 of 675). Whereas in men, objective snoring (92.6%) and self-reported snoring (93.1%) were similar.
The study also found that women snored as loudly as men, with a snoring intensity of 50 decibels and 51.7 decibels among men. About 49% of the women had severe or very severe snoring (329 of 675), but only 40% of the women rated their snoring as severe (269 of 675).
“The fact that women reported snoring less often and described it as milder may be one of the barriers preventing women from reaching sleep clinics for a sleep study,” Maimon said.
Women suffering from sleep apnoea are more likely to report symptoms including daytime fatigue, the researchers said.