Snoring is a common problem faced by many people – and their sleeping partners. However, although it is a common problem, it does not make it any less annoying for those who have to put up with the loud snoring throughout the night. Snoring and relationships are more closely linked than you think, which is an unfortunate connection. In fact, there are many individuals who parted ways with their partners or spouses due to snoring. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed if you do not want it to end up hurting your relationship.
Why Are Snoring and Relationships Linked?
The problem with snoring is it often does not only hurt the snorer’s quality of sleep and long term health. The non-snorer also has to put up with the irritating noise night in and night out. This could lead to frustration and resentment, which could really put a strain on the relationship. Often, this interferes with sexual and emotional intimacy, as it could push couples to sleep in separate rooms.
While there is a long list of reasons why you should address snoring problems, such as to get quality sleep, improve energy and daytime function, and minimize health problems ─ protecting your relationship with your partner should be on top of your list.
So how do you keep snoring from hurting your relationship in the first place?
Snoring and Relationships: Solutions
There are temporary and permanent solutions when you are dealing with snoring in a relationship. Learn more about these solutions below.
Immediate, but hopefully temporary solution
Sleep in separate rooms. This may sound counterintuitive, but there are actual and immediate benefits to this, especially if you have different sleep schedules or have different preferences for sleeping. This is especially helpful for the non-snorer.
This however, should be a temporary solution, as it doesn’t actually address the problem. It can also cause negative effects to the relationship when used long term, as it affects the emotional and physical bond.
A lot of people do not actually realize that snoring is a symptom of a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. Also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), this disorder is one of the most common conditions around the globe, yet most people choose to ignore it. The disruption in breathing during sleep leads to various health conditions that are potentially serious, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and more.
Thus, it is extremely important to seek professional treatment and tackle the problem head on before it gets worse.
Aside from that, you can also try the following ways to deal with snoring.
Change the sleeping position
While it is more comfortable to sleep on your back, for some people with collapsed airways, gravity can shift the tissues around the throat and pull the tongue back. This could block the airflow and lead to snoring. To prevent this from happening, you can sleep on your side.
If you really can’t help it, and you feel you need to sleep on your back, elevate your head with an extra pillow. This will put your head at an angle higher than your chest and open up your airway better to reduce vibrations on your throat as you sleep.
Have different sleeping schedules
It would be best for the non-snorer to go to bed and sleep earlier than the snorer. This way, the former will have plenty of time to relax and doze off in silence before the latter goes to bed.
Know the triggers
Some people snore when they are exhausted during the day, or when they consume alcohol or cigarettes at night. If you notice this, then changing these habits can go a long way.
Have some background noise
Perhaps some soft instrumental music playing gently from your smartphone can help mask the noise from snoring. You can also buy white-noise machines; they are pretty cheap and effective.
Use soft earplugs
If a white-noise machine is not enough to mask the noise, perhaps you can use soft and non-invasive earplugs to block out the sound. This is one of the most affordable and efficient ways to sleep with a snorer.
Shed off some weight
Being overweight comes with many health problems, one of which is, it increases the size of tissues around the neck and places extra pressure on the airway when breathing. During sleep, the airways can collapse, causing a blockage that restricts airflow. This leads to snoring.
Often, losing a few pounds can ease the tissues around the neck and reduce the frequency and severity of snoring.
Dry mouth can result in the mouth and throat to lose their flexibility, which could amplify the sound of snoring. Having a glass of water or a tumbler at your bedside will keep you hydrated and keep the airway well lubricated for easy breathing.
Seek professional help
As said earlier, the best solution is the permanent solution. In this case, seeking professional help will help you manage the snoring and hopefully save your relationship. Sleep doctors often recommend the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.
A CPAP machine is basically a breathing apparatus that provides continuous air pressure by pumping oxygen from the machine to a facial mask. The idea is to ensure continuous airflow through constant supply of oxygen to the airway. This will keep the airway open, allowing the wearer of the mask to breathe better and sleep better at night.
Though proven effective, CPAP does not actually treat snoring. Meaning, one has to constantly use it to discourage snoring. Subsequently, wearing a mask while sleeping is not for everybody; it is bulky and uncomfortable, plus the machine makes it loud and uncomfortable as well. It is also rather inconvenient, especially for people who often travel.
In many cases, doctors prescribe oral appliance therapy instead of the bulky CPAP machine. It is a custom-fit mouthpiece, similar to mouth guard or retainer. It minimizes snoring by positioning the jaw slightly forward, keeping the airways open and preventing it from closing which causes snoring. This is a cheap and really effective solution, and most people often opt for it.
In worse case scenarios, doctors may recommend surgeries, especially for people with structural problems in their mouth and jaw.
Whatever solution you choose to address snoring, make sure you are both on board and content. That’s the key to a happy relationship.