Feeds

Is there any evolutionary advantage in snoring?

Who nose?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Also in this week's column:

Is there any evolutionary advantage in snoring?

Asked by John Edwards of Hitchin, United Kingdom

We have addressed snoring many times in many ways.

Points we have not made so far about snoring include:

  1. The reason that we snore more in old age is that the throat muscles involved in preventing snoring become somewhat weaker and more flaccid with age.
  2. Fatter people tend to snore more because fat deposits accumulate in the tissues of the airways. This makes the tissues heavier and causes the tissues to block more of the normal line of airflow.
  3. An estimated 45 per cent of people snore from time to time and 25 per cent are habitual snorers.
  4. You snore more when sleeping on your back because in that sleep position gravity causes the tongue to fall backwards somewhat. This can narrow the airways and partially block airflow.

What we have not answered is the puzzling question of what could be the evolutionary advantage in making a sound while snoring? Making noises (often very loud ones) while sleeping would seem only to advertise the fact that one is sleeping - and thus being more vulnerable to harm from other humans and predation for other animals.

Making a sound while snoring would seem to provide no advantage and at least one definite disadvantage for survival. So how has this noisy behaviour survived natural selection?

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?