gms | German Medical Science

77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

24.05. - 28.05.2006, Mannheim

Influence of different snoring sounds on the quality of sleep in non-snoring volunteers

Einfluss von unterschiedlichen Schnarchgeräuschen auf die Schlafqualität

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Christine Koehler - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Greifswald, Deutschland
  • Holger Kaftan - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Greifswald, Deutschland
  • Judith Schillinger - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Würzburg, Deutschland
  • Thomas Bremert - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Greifswald, Deutschland
  • Werner Hosemann - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Greifswald, Deutschland
  • Michael Herzog - HNO-Universitätsklinik, Greifswald, Deutschland

German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Mannheim, 24.-28.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06hno108

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 7, 2006

© 2006 Koehler et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Snoring is frequently reported by non-snoring individuals as offending and bothering. Poor information about the quality of sleep in those persons is available. Aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different snoring sounds on the subjective quality of sleep in non-snoring volunteers.

Methods: 30 healthy volunteers (age 22-30 years) underwent night-time polysomnography. Meanwhile three different snoring sounds were provided via loudspeaker at different sleep stages with increasing loudness (45-80dB(SPL), 5dB increments) for one minute until the individual woke up. The snoring sounds differed concerning frequency and periodicity. Sound 1 was of low peak frequency (110Hz) and rhythmical (primary snoring). Sound 2 was of high peak frequency (3500Hz) and rhythmical (snoring at Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)). Sound 3 was of high peak frequency (3500Hz) and arrhythmical (snoring at Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)). Data were collected by a questionnaire prior to and after the study.

Results: All individuals reported a lower quality of sleep and more impairment falling asleep during the study night compared to the self estimation reported in the questionnaire. Persons who reported to be easily disturbed while falling asleep or proceeding the sleep were more affected by the snoring sound than individuals without such complaints. In general, the individuals were disturbed by the basic conditions of night-time polysomnography (new environment, measuring apparatus, being on observation) at the same extent than they were by the snoring sounds itself. Three of the individuals could name a certain snoring type in the morning protocol which was particularly offending (2 OSAS, 1 primary snoring), whereas 27 persons could not distinguish between the three different snoring sounds retrospectively.

Conclusion: Even if most of the volunteers were not exceptionally disturbed by a certain snoring sound, snoring was perceived as a notable disturbance of sleep especially in individuals who complain about difficulties in falling and staying asleep. It should be taken into account to deal not only with the snoring patients but also with the person sleeping next to the snoring one.