Sleep apnoea ''more prevalent in winter''
Research carried out in the US has revealed a correlation
between the development of sleep apnoea and the seasons, with
winter the most common time of year for people to develop the
Sleep apnoea is a condition whereby the body suffers from a lack
of oxygen during sleep and it is most common in individuals who are
overweight or obese.
This hypoxia results in the body waking and as a result, people
who suffer from sleep apnoea tend to get less of the important
deep, restful sleep that is essential for their ongoing wellbeing
and health, as it is during deep REM sleep that the brain resets
itself after the day and the body carries out tissue
Undertaken at the University of Wisconsin, Reuters reports this
new research has shown an intriguing link between the severity of
the condition and the prevailing climate, with people likely to
have stronger and more sustained problems when the weather is
According to the findings - which were based on the experiences of
7,500 individuals over a ten-year period - an average of 18 attacks
per night were recorded by patients at sleep clinics during the
winter, while this figure dropped to 15 in the summer months.
The team of researchers noted in their report that more severe
sleep apnoea in the winter "can be due to several circumstances,
including winter-related upper-airway problems that intensify the
severity of [sleep apnoea] symptoms".
Elsewhere, a study completed in Taiwan has highlighted a link
between heavy snorers - a symptom of sleep apnoea - and individuals
developing serious rheumatoid arthritis.
The research showed that those who suffer from sleep apnoea are
twice as likely as non-sufferers to also develop rheumatoid
arthritis at some point in their life. It is believed the
joint-damaging disease is triggered when a person's immune system
experiences problems - something which can be set in motion by poor
Posted by Michael Ewing