When your partner has sleep apnea, loud snoring becomes part of your nightly routine. You may think you have adjusted to the sleep disruption your partner’s snoring causes, but it may be possible that it affects you and your relationship more than you realize.
Perhaps you are even among the 23 percent of couples who sleep in separate rooms due to one partner’s snoring. This statistic, reported by Snoring Isn’t Sexy, is just slightly less than the one-third of couples who report problems in the relationship because of one partner snoring.
Health Consequences of Snoring
Snoring Isn’t Sexy also reports that the partners of snorers can lose up to an hour of sleep every night and wake up more than 20 times per hour due to the noise disturbance.
In the short-term, the loss of sleep can cause you to wake up irritable and groggy in the morning.
The health consequences can be serious when sleep deprivation goes on for months or years. You may suffer permanent hearing loss as well as issues related to high blood pressure from the constant exposure to noise. Some of these include depression, dementia, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Logically, you know that your partner can’t control his or her sleep apnea and the snoring it causes.
Even so, you’re a human being who is bound to feel stressed and resentful about how it affects your own sleep. These feelings can carry over into your daytime relationship and affect the ability to live harmoniously as a couple.
All of this can take a toll on your sex life as well. It’s difficult to be intimate when your relationship is under undue stress. Researchers have even tied snoring in men to an increased rate of erectile dysfunction.
What to Do If Your Partner Snores
The good news is that you don’t have to live with the it indefinitely, nor do you have to sleep in separate bedrooms to get a good night’s sleep.
Most people who snore do so when lying on their backs. When your partner’s snoring awakens you, give a gentle nudge to get him or her to change positions.
If that doesn’t seem to work, offer to sew a pocket onto your partner’s nightshirt and then place a small ball inside of it. This will encourage your partner to sleep on his or her side rather than on the back since it’s uncomfortable to lie on a ball.
Although you can get earplugs for yourself or turn on a white noise machine, the eventual goal is to get your partner to stop.
It’s essential for him or her to get a proper medical exam to determine the cause of the snoring. This may involve one or more overnight sleep studies. In many cases, sleep apnea is the underlying issue.
Your partner stands the greatest chance of stopping snoring by treating the sleep apnea itself rather than learning to cope with the symptoms it causes. When he or she finds a doctor to treat the problem, you should feel welcome as part of the treatment planning process.