Snoring: is it in the ear of the beholder?

Sleep. 1994 Sep;17(6):522-6. doi: 10.1093/sleep/17.6.522.


Complaint of snoring, which is usually voiced by a patient's bedpartner, frequently leads to investigations in the sleep laboratory that are designed to assess snoring objectively and determine whether it is a symptom of sleep apnea. How well this subjective complaint of the listener is confirmed by the objective measurement of snoring is not known. Consequently, we designed a study i) to test the validity of self-perception of snoring and ii) to compare subjective perception of snoring by the sleep technologist with objective measurement of its frequency and loudness. We studied 613 unselected patients referred to our sleep clinic because of snoring and suspicion of sleep apnea. They all had nocturnal polysomnography that included measurements of snoring, expressed as the number of snores per hour of sleep [snoring index (SI)] and mean (dBmean) and maximum (dBmax) nocturnal sound intensity. Following the sleep study, the technologist (and patient) independently rated a patient's snoring as none, mild, moderate or severe. Kruskall-Wallis test, Spearman rank correlations and Cohen's kappa statistics were used to compare the groups, examine the correlations between subjective and objective measurements, and check the agreement between them.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Snoring / physiopathology*
  • Sound*