Snoring occurs when the air passage in the throat is narrowed or blocked and the soft tissues like soft palate, airway walls and uvula vibrate.

Snoring is known to cause sleep deprivation to snorers and the people around them. The condition affects snorers as well as their room partners. Snoring basically has a disturbing impact on the snorers' mental and sexual health. It may also affect their personal relationship.

In young children, snoring may trigger behavioral and cognitive problems.

Also, snoring has long been documented as a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Link found between snoring and calorie burn

But a new study, published in the 'Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery,' one of the JAMA / Archives journals, underscores the healthy side of snoring, saying the habit which often interferes other people can actually burn calories.

The study suggests that people who frequently snore in their sleep can burn more calories than those who rarely snore, according to Times of India.

“Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of sleep-disordered breathing, and changes in body weight are associated with changes in sleep-disordered breathing severity,” TOI quoted the researchers as saying.

“It is unclear whether weight gain is simply a cause of sleep-disordered breathing or whether sleep-disordered breathing may be associated with alterations in energy metabolism that, in turn, lead to weight gain and complicate the treatment of these two disorders that often coexist , “they added.

Study details

To find out a link between snoring and calorie burn, Eric J. Kezirian, MD, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco, and collections assessed the resting energy expenditure in 212 adults with signs or symptoms of sleep-related breathing disorders, which include snoring, sleep apnea, and other conditions in which airways are partially or completely obstructed during sleep.

The research team then examined study participants' medical history, and assigned them to undertake a physical examination and sleep monitoring through polysomnography. They determined the study subjects' resting energy expenditure using a device known as an indirect calorimeter.

Study results

After assessing the data, the researchers found that the more patients patients snored, the more calories they burned while resting. Among the total study participants, the average resting energy expenditure was 1,763 calories per day. The researchers found that those who snored regularly burnt 1,999 calories per day, while those who snored from time to time burned 1626 calories.

“This study advances our knowledge concerning sleep-disordered breathing and metabolic rates, but it does not define the connection between sleep-disordered breathing and body weight,” the authors wrote, according to TOI.

“Body weight is determined by the balance between energy intake and expenditure.” Despite the findings of this study suggest that sleep-disordered breathing increases energy expenditure, it ignores two important aspects of this balance, “they added.

“First, sleep-disordered breathing often results in fatigue and other decrements in daytime functioning that can limit physical activity. Second, this work does not specifically incorporate the emerging evidence that suggests that sleep-disordered breathing may alter energy intake, whether through hormonal or other mechanisms.

“Future research considering the effect of sleep-disordered breathing on body weight can include the effects on energy intake and expenditure,” they said.

What is snoring?

Snoring is a rough, vibratory sound made while breathing during sleep. It is known to cause sleep deprivation to both the snorers and those who hear them, as well as knock-on effects: daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus, reduced libido.

Snoring occurs when the soft palate, uvula, tongue, tonsils, and / or muscles in the back of the throat rub against each other and generate a vibrating sound during sleep.

Some simple measures to treat snoring

Heavy snorers can also try some self-help measures like losing weight, stopping smoking, and avoiding too much alcohol, to fight the condition, according to Medindia.com.

Avoiding too many pillows while sleeping, and different sleeping positions, such as lying on your side, may also prevent snorers from snoring.