Association between snoring and heart rate variability in adolescents: effects of gender and insufficient sleep

Sleep Breath. 2020 Jun;24(2):561-570. doi: 10.1007/s11325-019-01883-7. Epub 2019 Jul 22.


Purpose: We explored the association between subjective snoring frequency and heart rate variability (HRV) in a healthy adolescent population.

Methods: A total of 102 healthy adolescents were recruited from high schools in South Korea, and reported their sleep habits and snoring frequency. HRV was assessed to indirectly measure autonomic function. We assessed correlations between snoring frequency and HRV indices. We also investigated the effects of sex and behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome (BISS) on the associations between HRV parameters and snoring frequency.

Results: Overall, significant correlations were apparent between snoring frequency and HRV indices including the standard deviation of the normal-to-normal intervals (SDNN) and the low-frequency/high-frequency (LF/HF) ratio. Associations were more evident in males and those with BISS compared to females and those without BISS.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that snoring changes autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in adolescents; the changes are more dramatic in males and those with insufficient sleep.

Keywords: Adolescent; Behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome; Heart rate variability; Snoring.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Snoring / physiopathology*