The effect of snoring on a relationship can be significant. Snoring doesn’t simply interfere with the snorer’s sleep, it can spell trouble for the non-snorer as well. It can put great strain on the partnership. A snoring problem oftentimes leads not only tiredness but also frustration and resentment between couples. Eventually, they will sleep in separate bedrooms.
How To Keep Snoring From Harming Your Relationships
Snoring is a form of sleep-disordered breathing. It is the sound a person makes when their breathing is blocked while sleeping. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of the airway that strike each other and vibrate. For couples, snoring can interfere with sexual and emotional intimacy in the relationship, at least until treatment of the problem occurs. Protecting the health and intimacy of couples is another reason to treat a snoring problem. Here are trigger points to watch for if trouble ensues:
- Poor sleep diminishes a person’s ability to manage conflict well.
- Increased negative feelings and reduced ability to empathize.
- Couples feel less appreciative of each other with a lack of sleep.
- Experience of greater feelings of selfishness.
- Frustration and shame within the dynamic of the couple.
These are all recipes for relationship difficulties, therefore it’s no surprise that snoring often sends couples to separate bedrooms in search of undisturbed rest. Some bed partners even find that sleeping apart suits them well and doesn’t diminish their feelings of closeness. However, many couples want to sleep together, and can’t, due to the snoring issue. There is hope though. Lifestyle changes and these natural solutions can offer ways to keep snoring from harming your relationships:
- Change your sleep position – If you are accustomed to sleeping on your back, try alternating from side to side on occasion. It will help the airways remain unblocked and keep the mouth from falling open and drying out.
- Lose weight – While dropping unnecessary pounds is beneficial for overall health, it’s especially good for snorers. Excess weight leads to a thicker neck, and this can trigger a squeezing on the internal diameter of the throat, collapsing during sleep and creating a snoring problem.
- Avoid alcohol – Any sedative reduces the resting tone of the throat muscles, making it more likely you’ll snore. Drinking alcohol close to bedtime can make sleeping worse, leading to a habitual snoring pattern if alcohol isn’t reduced or eliminated.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – This can have a similar effect to drinking alcohol. Working long hours without enough sleep drains the muscles, which makes them overtired and floppier, which leads to snoring. Poor sleeping habits are referred to as ‘hygiene.’
- Open nasal passages – Keeping nasal passages open during sleep allows air to move through slower. If your nose is clogged or narrowed due to a cold or some other blockage, any fast moving air is more likely to produce snoring. A hot shower or neti pot before bedtime can help.
- Change your pillows – Allergens tend to linger in the bedroom and on your pillow. Overhead ceiling fans carry dust that may land on your pillow as well. Put your pillow in the air fluff cycle once every couple of weeks and replace them every six months to keep the dust mites and allergens to a minimum.
- Stay well hydrated – Drinking more fluids can alleviate dehydration and the stickiness that accumulates. Secretions in the nose and soft palate contribute to snoring, and several cups of total water (from both drink and food) can help alleviate symptoms of snoring.
Dr. Lauck Offers Relief
The most alarming part of bed partners who deal with snoring is oftentimes it is accepted as an “it is what it is” type of scenario, instead of being recognized as a problem that couples can work on with the help of a sleep specialist. Dr. Lauck at North Texas Sleep Solutions has the relief you need. Don’t allow snoring to fray, damage, or destroy the intimacy in your relationship. She offers a comprehensive sleep analysis that can identify the issues, followed by numerous solutions to restore your sleep back to a healthy place. Contact our office and see how we can help.