Effect of sleeping alone on sleep quality in female bed partners of snorers

Eur Respir J. 2009 Nov;34(5):1127-31. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00012209. Epub 2009 Jul 2.


The aim of the present study was to objectively measure the effect of sleeping alone for one night on sleep quality in female bed partners of male snorers. Females complaining of poor sleep due to snoring by their bed partner and having no known hearing loss or snoring were included in a prospective multicentre cross-sectional study. 23 females underwent one polysomnography recording while sleeping with their bed partner and another while sleeping alone. Their sleep parameters were compared between the two nights. We excluded seven couples because the female partner snored for >10% of the sleep time (n = 6) or had obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (n = 1). In the remaining 16 females, sleep time, sleep efficiency, arousal index and percentages of deep sleep (stages 3-4) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep were not significantly different between the two nights. Percentages of light sleep (non-REM stage 2) and awakening index were lower when sleeping alone (p = 0.023 and p = 0.046, respectively). Sleep quality was decreased and sleep fragmentation increased in females sleeping with male snorers. Some females had unrecognised snoring. However, our data do not suggest that objective sleep quality improves substantially in the female nonsnoring partner when she sleeps alone for one night.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep*
  • Snoring / physiopathology*
  • Spouses