I suffer from it – just ask my wife. And apparently 40% of the the population suffers from mild to acute sleep apnea.  For me, those sticky nose strips have been a godsend, but still millions of people snore, or suffer from the more acute form called sleep apnea.

Within the Conditions and Disease Sector lies the the not so sleepy topic of snoring. While I don’t think you can actually die from snoring (unless your partner smothers you with a pillow in the middle of the night for ruining a good nights’ sleep), it has suddenly begun making broad media headlines this month for two completely different reasons.

But first, a brief look at the media metrics around snoring.

Snoring is up +9 points or +12 percent at a 73 rating, hitting a top mover classification for outperforming 27 topics in the the Conditions or Disease Sector.  The long term cumulative growth rate is low, only up +5% over the prior 4-year period.  A quick look at April/May media coverage quickly shows two media drivers.

The first involved an incident on a Southwest Airlines flight where a passenger was removed from a flight for “poking” a seatmate with a pen to stop the person from smoking.  The incident was typical online viral material and mainstream media ran with the absurd storyline since any incident involving the removal of a passenger these days tends to grab headlines.  Overall, these types of events due not produce sustainable media momentum.

But the second media driver does possess the potential for sustained media momentum.  When it comes to snoring, any disruption of breathing during sleep can affect the brain, say researchers of a new study published in the journal Neurology. They found that people with sleep apnea tended to develop memory problems and other signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) earlier than people without such sleep disorders.

Snoring and the underlying condition of sleep apnea gained considerable media attention after the study’s authors linked these conditions to broader trends on aging, memory impairment, dementia and alzheimer’s, all of which have been grabbing headlines amongst an aging reader demographic.

          

The dementia topic received some collateral media attention as a result of the study on snoring, but links to alzheimer’s was not as conclusive, and the media affects were similarly weak.  The original researchers indicated a slight link, but there was inherent difficulties in getting alzheimer’s patients to accurately report their sleeping patterns.  The dementia media topic is currently at 92 points, extremely high sustained media momentum over the prior 12-month period.  Alzheimer’s on the other hand is still trying to rebound from strong initial coverage in 2011 and very little reported treatment progress since 2012.  The Alzheimer’s media topic is up +1 point or +2 percent at a moderate rating of 70.