Help!: My Spouse Snores

Snoring is the unwelcome visitor that shakes us awake in the middle of the night. The rumblings coming from one partner's side of the bed cause the other partner to toss and turn as resentment builds. Not only does snoring have a negative effect on our sleep and health, it contributes to relationship problems.

According to the Sleep Disorder Center at Rush, the average person has a sleep efficiency rating of 90 percent, meaning they sleep 90 percent of the time they are in bed. A partner of a snorer might sleep only 73 percent of the time, meaning in an 8-hour night, she's getting less than six hours of interrupted sleep.
In an interview with CBS "This Morning," Dr. Carol Ash with Meridian Health talks about the frustration couples experience when one partner has a snoring problem.

"You can't have sexual relationships, or at least it gets complicated, if you are in separate bedrooms," she says.

Rush University suggests that couples who struggle with snoring have higher divorce rates. Although men tend to bear the brunt of the blame for snoring in the bedroom, both experts say men and women have snoring problems.

That Ugly CPAP
One device that has been popping up on bedside tables of men and women in the U.S. is the un-sexy CPAP machine (CPAP stands for continuous positive air pressure). The base of the device is about the size of an alarm clock. Connected to it is an air tube, similar to a vacuum cleaner tube, with flexible materials and o-ring seals that attach to a mask that is held in place by Velcro straps. (O-ring sizes vary by manufacturer, and can easily be replaced if they become worn.) Masks can be worn to cover only the nose, or both mouth and nose for people who tend to sleep with their mouths open.

Couples who participated in Rush University's study reported positive results when the snoring partner used a CPAP. Marital satisfaction increased and the partner's sleep efficiency increased nearly 10 percentage points.

Ups and Downs of CPAP
The downsides to the CPAP, aside from its unattractive appearance at the bedside, are the noise of the machine (which could be compared to the hum of a humidifier) and the comfort of the mask. Some patients might feel anxious when their noses and mouths are covered, or they might feel self-conscious about the way they look for their partners.
The upsides, however, outweigh the downsides. For couples who experience stress because of one partner's night noises, the CPAP has been a welcome relief. The couple is able to sleep together, and both get better night's sleep. They wake feeling rested and are able to be more productive and happier during the day.

Lack of Sleep is an Epidemic
The CDC released an article in May 2011 titled "Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Epidemic." It reports that 50 to 70 million adults have sleepiness, which contributes to problems concentrating, remembering, and taking care of routines of daily life. For people who suffer from snoring or other sleep disorders, common sense approaches are a first step. Eliminate caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening. Avoid eating large meals right before bedtime. Check positioning and try a sleep apnea pillow or stacking pillows in a wedge to elevate the head.

Meridian Health's Carol Ash says that not only does snoring cause frustration between bed partners, but it also has serious effects on our health, and it has been found to contribute to heart disease. If snoring and lack of sleep persists, it's time to make an appointment with the family doctor. He or she will likely recommend a sleep study.

Byline: Brad is a writer and a part-time nursing student who lives in Florida.

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  1. One of the snoring remedies is an anti snore ring. It's a ring that has two pressure balls which is typically worn on your left hand (this hand is the nearest to the heart) and placed between the first joint and knuckle. Anti snore rings are generally manufactured from sterling silver, based on the manufacturer.

  2. Robin3:32 PM

    One of the natural methods of curing snoring problems is with the help of nasal strips or nasal dilators. The aim here as in other snoring remedies is to broaden the air passage from the nasal valve to the throat and the lungs. This task can be effectively done by using a nasal strip.

  3. Charu3:36 PM

    Try changing his sleeping position when he starts snoring.


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