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May 1, 1981

Help a Snorer

JAMA. 1981;245(17):1729-1730. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310420019010

To the Editor.—  Snoring caused by upper airway obstruction is commonly considered not more than a domestic nuisance. However, as Guilleminault et al1 have pointed out, it may be associated with the sleep apnea syndrome—a matter of serious clinical concern. Guilleminault et al reported that no less than 96% of people who suffer from apneic periods lasting 20 sec or more had snored before the age of 21 years.Concomitant features such as excessive daytime somnolence, hypnagogic hallucinations, automatic behavior, morning headaches, abnormal motor activity during sleep, nocturnal enuresis, and cyclic hypertension should alert the physician to intervention. Robins2 recommends simple positioning in bed. Yet, many people change their position while asleep and end up lying on their back. In a recent letter in The Journal, Broomes (1980;244:1783) advised, more specifically, a novel use of the cervical collar. It is to counteract the forward sagging of the head.