A study of the effect of noise on sleep has found that a snoring partner can raise a sleeper’s blood pressure by as much as a low-flying aircraft or a lorry reversing in the street.
Scientists who monitored 140 volunteers in their homes near Heathrow and three other European airports found the noises penetrating the bedroom had the same effect as those emanating from the neighbouring pillow.
Blood Pressure Directly Linked To Noise
Blood pressure went up in direct relation to noise loudness, by 0.66 mm Hg for every five-decibel increase, the researchers say in the European Heart Journal. The type of sound or its origin did not appear to be important. It was only the volume that mattered.
Lars Jarup, an author of the study from Imperial College London, said noise which disrupts sleep is not just an irritation. It’s also a health risk. Blood pressure is affected immediately and there is an increased risk of hypertension.
High blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and dementia.
‘Simple snoring’ is a relatively easy condition to treat, typically done by ‘oral appliance therapy’ (OAT) which involves the custom making of specialised dental devices that sit comfortably in the mouth and hold the lower jaw and connected tissues clear of the airway while asleep.
For more serious conditions, constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgery can alleviate the condition.