February 06, 2022 4 min read
Sleeping next to the love of your life is undoubtedly a beautiful thing — unless one of you snores, that is. In that case, things can turn real ugly real quick.
As you probably know, loud and frequent snoring affects not only the snorer but everyone in their close proximity as well. And nobody knows that better than their significant other. Having a partner who snores can end in many sleepless nights, poor functioning during the day, and brooding resentment down the line. Snoring can put so much strain on a marriage, in fact, that it increases your chances of divorce, according to some studies.
If you’re seriously rethinking your relationship because of snoring, it’s time to address the elephant in the bedroom and take these 5 steps.
Snoring usually happens in the supine position. So, if the snorer in your bedroom is a back sleeper, see if changing to the side position makes any difference. Training to side sleep takes time and can be hard, however. Using a medium-loft pillow and one on the back may help prevent the snorer from reverting back to the supine position.
A study in theJournal of Sleep Research found that changing to the later position reduced mild snoring by as much as 80% — giving you a reason to be optimistic. Side sleeping works by keeping the airways open and because it improves spinal alignment — both important in the prevention of snoring.
High noise reduction rating (NRR) earplugs are a marriage saver for many. Studies show that most earplugs have an NRR of around 25 dB, while the highest noise reduction of earplugs is 33dB. In most cases, snoring is about 50 and 65 decibels, so earplugs should cut the racket significantly.
But for earplugs to be effective, they need to be inserted properly and fit the ear canal snuggly. Disposable foam earplugs are beginner-friendly and easy to fit. Custom-molded earplugs provide the best noise reduction and comfort, however, and a 2006 study published in The Journal of Laryngology & Otologyfound they work as a short-term solution for couples affected by snoring.
CPAP machines can be claustrophobic, loud, and uncomfortable. And they’re not suitable for people with non-apnoeic snoring. Oral appliances, on the other hand, are a convenient and comfortable alternative for anyone who can’t or won’t use CPAP machines.
Oral appliances can be roughly divided into mandibular-advancement devices and tongue-retaining devices. Also known as snoring solutions, these oral appliances are easy to use and have been found to be effective in clinical trials even for sleep apnea. The Good Morning Snore Solution tongue-retaining device has been clinically tested for safety and efficiency. The simple-to-use mouthpiece helps prevent snoring by keeping the tongue in place.
Sleeping separately does not mean your relationship is doomed. In fact, it could do the exact opposite. Besides, research shows sleep loss from snoring can be a big marriage killer. A study by the University of California at Berkeley, for example, found that poor sleep makes couples less emphatic towards each other, leading to more frequent arguments and less success at conflict resolution.
If your partner is unable to or refuses to address their snoring problem, getting a sleep divorce will give you a good night’s sleep. Once you’re refreshed and back to normal, you’ll have more success at resolving this and other problems in your relationship.
While many see snoring as just a nuisance, it can signal a serious health problem, especially if accompanied by daytime sleepiness. Snoring is one of the biggest signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious condition in which breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. Untreated, OSA can increase a person’s risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, and accidents. And it can affect your relationship.
To see if you or your partner has OSA, which is treatable, a doctor may recommend undergoing a sleep study. If OSA turns out to be the culprit, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, surgery or even continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP machines deliver a strong stream of oxygenated air into your airways through a mask and a tube.
Rush University Medical Center. Can Snoring Ruin A Marriage?. ScienceDaily. February 2006.www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060202075139.htm
Lee JB, Park YH, Hong JH, et al. Determining optimal sleep position in patients with positional sleep-disordered breathing using response surface analysis.J Sleep Res. 2009;18(1):26-35.doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00703.x
Samelli AG, Gomes RF, Chammas TV, Silva BG, Moreira RR, Fiorini AC. The study of attenuation levels and the comfort of earplugs.Noise Health. 2018;20(94):112-119.doi:10.4103/nah.NAH_50_17
Robertson S, Loughran S, MacKenzie K. Ear protection as a treatment for disruptive snoring: do ear plugs really work?.J Laryngol Otol. 2006;120(5):381-384.doi:10.1017/S0022215106000363
Gordon AM, Chen S. The Role of Sleep in Interpersonal Conflict: Do Sleepless Nights Mean Worse Fights?Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2014;5(2):168-175.doi:10.1177/1948550613488952
Ferguson KA, Cartwright R, Rogers R, Schmidt-Nowara W. Oral appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: a review.Sleep. 2006;29(2):244-262.doi:10.1093/sleep/29.2.244
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