Updated: Apr 19
Study confirms snoring and sleep apnea are hereditary 😴
For the first time, a new study by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has identified more than 170 genes behind disrupted breathing during sleep.
Led by Dr Miguel Renteria, the research builds on a common assumption that snoring and sleep apnea are hereditary conditions.
Up until now, this has largely been ignored in favour of other lifestyle risk factors such as age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
"This is the first study which investigates on a large scale the genetic basis for the predisposition to snoring," said Dr Miguel Renteria.
Notably, many of the genes identified have previously been linked with respiratory, cardio-metabolic, neurological and psychiatric traits.
The findings were drawn from the DNA profiles of roughly 150,000 snorers and more than 250,000 individuals who do not suffer with any respiratory difficulties during sleep. The full study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
It is entirely possible that from generations of sleeping on a flat bed, we are now witnessing the effects of gravity on our biological evolution.
At Superior Lifestyle, we are deeply passionate about our electric beds which are designed to alleviate symptoms associated with common health issues such as sleep apnea. But before we discuss how, it's worth understanding this issue in more detail.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is the repeated obstruction of the upper airway during sleep and ranges from mild to severe cases. It occurs where a person's tongue or airway muscles relax causing a partial or complete blockage of airflow.
A patient with sleep apnea can stop breathing for up to 90 seconds before their brain registers a drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call.
This will prompt the person to gasp, snort, toss and turn or wake up from their slumber. In most cases, it is a subconcious reaction and the person is completely oblivious to their condition.
This is terrifying when you consider the fact that victims of sleep apnea are exposed to a heightened risk of mortality, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
It also increases the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle or workplace accident due to poor concentration, fatigue and mood swings.
The condition is perhaps more common than we think, affecting over 775,000 Australians and many more that are unaccounted for.
According to Deloitte Access Economics, this costs our economy approximately $5.1 billion each year comprising of healthcare costs and productivity losses.
So what treatment is available?
Over the years, there have been a variety of inventions from mouth guards to invasive CPAP machines and other wearables that purport to improve a person's quality of sleep.
Besides being extremely uncomfortable and in the case of surgery quite expensive, these devices do not guarantee any success and are often abandoned by their user.
The truth is no single treatment will work for everyone and as always, it is worth consulting with your doctor before making a decision.
However, there is one solution that is often left out of the conversation despite its efficacy.
For many people who live each day with the foggy-headed side effects of sleep apnea, our electric beds have helped them get a well rested night and improve their quality of life.
How can we help?
Don't just hear it from us, hear it from one of our long-standing clients, Rozanne Oliff (above). Shortly after purchasing her bed, Rozanne was able to banish her sleep apnea machine and increase her sleep performance dramatically.
If you interested in finding out more, give us a call on 1300 825 931 to speak with one of friendly Sleep Specialists.