Friday, October 16, 2009

Loudest Snore

Jenny Chapman of Deeping St. James, Lincolnshire, last weekend had her snore measured at 111.6 decibels, the loudest British snorer on record. Let's put some perspective on this number, because the headlines about her being able to drown out an airplane are inaccurate and clearly irresponsible journalism (this coming from the guy who told you werewolf nuns were scaring tourists away from Australia; you can clearly trust me).

First off, let's throw out a few important decibel numbers.
  • 0 decibels: the threshold of human hearing; if it's below zero decibels you can't hear it.
  • 10 decibels: an increase of 10 decibels is perceived as something being "twice as loud".
  • 60-70 decibels: normal human conversation
  • 80 decibels: dialtone
  • 90 decibels: truck traffic
  • 100 decibels: motorcycle
  • 110 decibels: chainsaw, 3 feet away
  • 111.6 decibels: Jenny Chapman's snore
  • 115 decibels: sandblasting
  • 140 decibels: jet engine, 100 feet away
  • 184 decibels: loudest sound possible
So you see 100 feet away, a jet engine is roughly 8 times louder than her snoring. On the other hand, she IS louder than being three feet away from a chainsaw.

Here is another way to look at it: the OSHA's permissible workplace noise levels are 90 decibels for no more than 8 hours per day, 100 decibels for no more than 2 hours per day, and 110 decibels (about the level of her snoring) for no more than 30 minutes per day. If she fell asleep at her desk her company could get fined for hazardous conditions.

When her snoring starts (usually around 2 or 3 in the morning), her husband, Colin, heads off to the spare bedroom for the rest of the night, closing the door behind him and burying his head under a pillow.

Her snoring was measured at a two day snoring boot-camp sponsored by Helps Stop Snoring. Participants were only allowed alcohol with their first meal on the first night. The next day she and the other camp participants were taught about a healthy diet and participated in pilates classes. The second night her snoring dropped to the level of a motorcycle (99.2 decibels), an improvement to be sure, but still 8 times louder than even a loud conversation.

Says her husband, "It could be worse, she could be a sleepwalker."

Daily Mail (photo)
News:Lite (photo)
The Sun
GC Audio


  1. Haha! Looking at the second photo reminds me of my parents. My mom snores, big time! I often hear my dad complain. But then, my aunt told him that snoring can be life threatening, my dad immediately scheduled her to see this dentist, Memphis based practitioner. It's very fortunate that we are living near Memphis. Sleep apnea and snoring are the dentist's specialties. He said that it's great that my mom was able to see a specialist so that they can rule out any life threatening illness that may be associated with snoring. Well, thanks for this great post. I enjoy reading it. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Dropped to the level of a motorcycle will still increase her husband's blood pressure, so she'd better stop it soon before her husband