SleepCloud study

Snoring: an apology for the pathology

Everyone will snore a little now and then. But how much can be considered normal? We ran an analysis over 2.5 million nights of snorers and found 3 basic types of snoring behaviour.

We’ve also statistically confirmed the common knowledge that alcohol worsens your snoring – and that physical activity will help.


  • 3 types of snorers (occasional, inbetween, serious) exist in the population. Each type’s snoring duration follows a different pattern over time.
  • Most people do not snore at all. The heaviest snorers spend 40% of their nights snoring.
  • Snoring has almost no effect on duration of deep sleep.

The data show a thing more or less expected – most of us do not snore at all, some people snore just a little and there are some serious snorers among us.

When compared to the actual sleep length, we can see that the heaviest snorers rumble through 40% of their nights. On the other side of the snoring spectrum, there are occasional snorers. And of course, there are people who fall somewhere inbetween. It seems that 3 types of snorers exist.


Occasional snorers

Most of the nights of an occasional snorer are silent. He will hoot a little here and there, but usually won’t exceed 15-20 minutes of snoring.


Inbetween snorers

Inbetween snorers also have majority of their nights quiet. They will indulge in a lot more airways relaxation though. The chart of the inbetween snorer below shows that he sometimes snores for more than 2 hours in the night.


Heavy snorers

Finally, heavy snorers blow the horn almost every night. They usually have some standard snoring duration and adhere to it less or more. If you find that you belong to this group (Sleep as Android can help with that), a visit to the physician might be a good idea.


Snoring and deep sleep

Does snoring disturb sound sleeping? Well, maybe in your partner – but as a snorer, you can sleep without worries. We have found that only very serious snoring will have a small detrimental effect on the length of your deep sleep. Still, heavy snoring is something to be worried about. Heavy snorers are very prone to have sleep apnea, one of the most underdiagnosed conditions. Sleep as Android can help you pre-diagnose your apnea.

And to comfort the statistician in all of us, here are the numbers – we have found a negative correlation of -0.046 between snoring ratio and relative deep sleep ratio with heavy snorers.

Snoring and tags

Users of Sleep as Android can describe their sleep records with tags. As vague, self-reported and self-maintained, they tell us a little less than the other data. Nevertheless, we have tried to filter out any possible bias and concluded that some tags show large enough effect on snoring.

Average effect of tagged behaviour on snoring length:



Note that this is an averaged effect, so don’t think that it will automatically apply to you! Some people actually show reduced snoring when they drink alcohol – see Want to stop snoring? Have a beer!

Other articles in SleepCloud study series<< How do the data look?A case for the smart alarm >>

3 thoughts on “Snoring: an apology for the pathology

    1. Hi Ryan! I see that you run a website dedicated to snoring prevention – that’s great!
      However we do not have any information on what might be causing these -3%. It showed up in our data with large confidence, but we do not have any physiological theory as we are not well versed in that area.

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