×

Could Snoozing KILL YOU? Why ignore the Warning Signs?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Snoozing…

This morning when I woke up, I lay there thinking about snoozing. Not thinking I wanted to snooze, but about snoozing per se. My wife was practicing the art of snoozing (repeatedly – but that’s another story).

I was thinking it’s not a great idea. How to communicate this to her and help her? By pure coincidence I found an article about why snoozing isn’t good for you etc1. For the sake of marital harmony I opted NOT to forward the link to her…

My own inaction made me think about how people may recognise others’ need for help but for one reason or another do not act.

Michael flagging

Is it a fear of confrontation?

A desire for harmony, or plain old cowardice, or is it that it’s just too much trouble and it doesn’t really matter anyway?

Perhaps my inaction is more relevant to sleep apnoea and snoring than it is to snoozing. Specifically, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) which you may recognise as recurrent ‘drowsiness’ or excessive daytime sleepiness, in circumstances when ordinarily the stimulus of the individual’s environment should keep them alert i.e. driving, flying, operating machinery etc.

Call it what you will, perhaps “Snoozing when Driving“(!) but I’m thinking that most of us know someone, perhaps even live with someone, who snores or who has become more drowsy and grumpy over time.

  • Perhaps they fall asleep on the couch straight after dinner?
  • Perhaps they can’t drive for more than an hour without a stop for a sleep or strong coffee/energy drink?
  • They snore like hell and over time have become more, sleepy, irritable and grumpy?

Yet we don’t reach out to help them – and I’m wondering why?

Some possible excuses you may have used?

  • Overcoming the ‘Status Quo’ – change is unsettling?
  • Elephant in the room – as in, been there before and met with an argument?
  • Recognising the problem for what it is – they don’t see it as their problem?
  • Pride, ego and a fear of showing weakness?
  • Shame?
  • Irrational fear of fate?

What’s in it for ME?

Perhaps you think that there’s nothing but an argument to be gained from confronting the drowsy / sleepy person – once bitten, twice shy, perhaps?

Here are some solid reasons for action:

  • Staying alive! What if they were driving the family car with YOU on board (or the kids) and they fall asleep …. no more you and how many other people get killed at the same time?
  • Money you don’t pay in tax. Chronic disease care consumes a huge amount of NHS funds and it is set to rise enormously. 

Michael big question mark

Still need a reason?

If you know the snorer/drowsy person, perhaps they think of you as a friend or partner?

Does any of the above excuse your inaction?

A challenging question perhaps or one you’ve never really asked yourself.

Prevention, individual responsibility and self-awareness are perhaps components of a longer-term solution; a change in culture to one where we take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, instead of taking them for granted and looking for ‘cures’ after things have gone wrong.

What can you do RIGHT NOW about “Johnny Snorer” on the couch?

That snorer across the room on the couch or snoring in the spare room, needs your help and by helping them (the health benefits for them are significant) you help yourself.

Assuming you give a damn about living and not dying in a sleep-related accident… it changes the question from:

What do I need to do?

to:

What challenges await me?

Get ‘Johnny Snorer’ to consult a sleep-trained pharmacist and find out who can help.

You need a Plan

Plans take a little effort and some ‘homework’.

We have a dedicated page for Partner’s who are kept awake that will help you start.

Including how to discuss snoring with your partner constructively… and how to record the noise / videoing the sleepy episodes.

STOP – Don’t just kick of an argument now! 

Conclusion

Lately, I’ve been giving some thought to how to encourage people to think about their health. So far, I’ve only come up with possible reasons mentioned in the above list, with no real answers as to what to do about it.

Ideas anyone?

Care to comment? I read everyone.

Created by Adrian Zacher. Last updated 12th Jan 2021. Snorer.me Signposting™ is a CE marked Clinical Decision Support System. Snorer.com Ltd is the manufacturer registered with the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority.

Reference

1. Huffington Post Why Hitting The Snooze Button Will Screw Up Your Entire Day ↗

Sleep well. If you or a loved one has problems with sleeping (or not sleeping), please DO consult a Doctor with experience of sleep medicine. I strongly support providing current, accurate medical information so that individuals are better able to make informed decisions about their health care. If you think you have a sleep disorder please seek appropriate medical advice.

9 Comments

  1. Adrian Zacher

    Kath, Arie, Ed, Kasha, anyone – do you have anything to add about how those around sleepy/drowsy people – how they can help them – without a screaming argument?

    Reply
  2. Adrian Zacher

    Dear Kasha. I am humbled! What lovely things you say. My heart goes out to you and I wish you every success.

    Reply
  3. Kasha Oelke

    Adrian,

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I have apnoea, yes. Kath and Edward covered those praises quite well. 🙂 I adore your article because it touches on the topic of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and calls for people to be caring, supportive and try to help. You’re right- EDS IS a serious problem that needs to be addressed. I also have Hypersomnia and this article also helps Hypersomniacs. People with EDS are often met more with annoyance rather than anyone looking at the full picture. Thank you for bringing that picture to light in a positive way. It was really refreshing to read.

    Reply
  4. Edward Grandi

    Adrian,

    Thank you for this reflection and call to action. The evidence of the consequences of not addressing poor sleep, whether due to apnoea or some other reason, is too solid to look other way. Not addressing it in children should be viewed as neglect and failing improving their sleep will be a disaster for society.

    Providing educational resources and support are key to an empowered patient. Equally important is a shift in society’s attitude to sleep – accepting that sleep is important to good health.

    Your efforts are advancing both fronts – thank you and God speed.

    efg

    Reply
    • Adrian Zacher

      Ed, thanks for your really kind words and encouragement. At Snorer.com everyone shares a passion to help – we will keep ‘banging the drum’ and hope that we can change society’s view of the value of sleep and how vital it is for continued good health and day-2-day functioning. We recognise that this is a long term struggle and in the meantime have decided to offer another way for fearful people to access expert help – through the provision of anonymity.

      Reply
  5. Arie Klerk

    About five years ago I almost had a car accident because of falling asleep for another time. I slowly got off my track and only lost a mirror. A few weeks (!) later I accompanied my wife to the doctor and in the waiting room I found a flyer about Apnea: “What is happening to me?” from the Dutch Apneuvereniging. 14 out of 15 questions had to be answered with “yes”. During my wife’s consult I showed the outcome to our doctor. He sent me to a sleep center right away: severe OSAS! The doctor had followed a course on sleep apnoea a few weeks before… Now I’m a staff member of the Apneuvereniging…
    How many time bombs are driving on the roads now?

    Reply
    • Adrian Zacher

      Dear Arie,

      Thanks for sharing your worrying story! I hope that it inspires others to seek help promptly. You are so right when you question how many ‘time bombs’ are driving on the roads. We would go further and add how many in multiple roles where vigilance is critical for safety (pilots, master mariners, air traffic control, train drivers…. the list goes on and on) are either in denial or too worried about losing their job to seek help.

      Reply
  6. Kath Hope - Hope2Sleep

    My own personal experience was that my Sleep Apnoea was picked up at an ENT consultation where I’d gone about my ears, so it was a surprise that he wanted me testing for Sleep Apnoea. It was an even bigger surprise when I got diagnosed with Severe Sleep Apnoea!! Not once did I or my GP connect the exhaustion to my snoring and sleep and I blamed by heavy workload. Anti-depressants regularly feature on my prescription forms too over the years 🙁

    Bearing in mind most yawning is done when we’re tired, I would urge anyone with daytime tiredness/sleepiness to investigate whether it could be Sleep Apnoea or another sleep disorder, and especially if you’re a snorer. What does upset me is when people get investigated AFTER the stroke or heart attack, and especially as my own mother died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 49 and was untreated for her Sleep Apnoea – hindsight eh?

    Reply
    • Adrian Zacher

      Dear Kath,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences for the benefit of others. How sad your story is – but I imagine not unique.

      You’re so right about health investigations only occurring (it seems) after something has gone wrong. It is disappointing – and that’s one of the reasons why we are trying to change things with ASAP℠

      Thanks again.

      Reply

Submit a Comment