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How did the letter Z become to be associated with sleeping/snoring?

In old cartoons and even now in other such media, often the letters 'zzz' are used to indicate that a person is sleeping. What is the origin of this? It seems that the sound that someone makes when they are snoring isn't zzz at all, but rather, as a friend put it, a series of rolling rrrrrs.

  • It seems that the general consensus is that it was chosen to represent the sound of snoring. The answer to this question should also answer yours. – Daniel Jun 30 '11 at 21:20

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