IS SNORING AFFECTING YOUR
PARTNER’S SLEEP?

Medically Reviewed by
Dr Ronald Krueger MD F.A.A.C.S.

SHARING A BED WITH THE PERSON YOU LOVE IS ONE OF LIFE’S GREATEST PLEASURES. IT’S THE ULTIMATE ACT OF TRUST AND INTIMACY. BUT MORE AND MORE COUPLES ARE GETTING A “SLEEP DIVORCE”– AN ARRANGEMENT WHERE COUPLES SLEEP IN SEPARATE ROOMS TO GET AWAY FROM THEIR PARTNER’S SNORING.

Poor sleep can have a major effect on the life of a snorer’s partner including feeling tired, irritable, moody and burnout. It can also affect their ability to concentrate and be productive during their working day.

Snoring can also result in relationship strain and even deep resentment. Partners tend to blame the snorer for preventing them from getting good shuteye, while snorers resent their partner for making an issue out of their snoring and for the elbow in the ribs during the night to stop the snoring.

A recent global sleep survey by Phillips found that 35% of those who live with snorers say that they sleep separately on occasion because of their partner’s snoring. 

Unfortunately, some of those who are unable to find solutions end up leaving their partners, making snoring, along with infidelity and financial problems, one of the leading causes of divorce in the world.

But there are many ways you can prevent a sleep divorce. Good communication and a better understanding of what is causing the snoring will go a long way to finding the right solution.  Improved sleep hygiene, simple sleep aids, speaking with a health practitioner, and having a healthy lifestyle are just a few easy ways to make a start.

How snoring affects your partner

Even if it doesn’t keep you awake, snoring is probably stopping your partner from getting a good night’s sleep. Ongoing sleep deprivation has been shown to have the following consequences for both the snorer and their bed partner:

  • Studies have shown that 80% to 90% of people who sleep beside a snorer have difficulty entering rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, or the deep sleep you need for a good night’s rest.
  • Sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to be irritable, feel sleepy, and have poor concentration during the day which makes them less productive and more prone to making mistakes.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation puts individuals at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, depression, and a weakened immune system.
  • Nearly 20% of car accidents and related injuries are associated with drowsiness.
Importantly, snoring can also have a negative effect on your relationship – a 2017 study found that couples that don’t get enough sleep are more likely to argue.

Here’s what you can do about it

  • Avoid alcohol and sedatives before bed – These substances cause the muscles in your airways to slacken, which can make snoring worse. Try herbal tea instead. Chamomile and lavender tea, for instance, are known to calm the nerves and induce sleepiness.
  • Use a sleep aid – A nasal dilator that gently opens the airways to help you breathe better at night is a good line of defense against snoring, particularly if your snoring is being caused by or exacerbated by nasal obstruction.
  • Sleep on your side – This sleeping position prevents the tongue from collapsing to the back of the throat and obstructing the airways. You can also prop up your bed or keep your head elevated with a thick pillow to keep this from happening.
  • Treat allergies, colds, and other illnesses – If you suffer from nasal congestion as a result of chronic allergies or the common cold, get proper treatment and ease your symptoms to reduce snoring.
  • Establish a routine – Try going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day to regulate your body clock and make sure that you and your partner are getting enough sleep.
  • Treat allergies, colds, and other illnesses – If you suffer from nasal congestion as a result of chronic allergies or the common cold, get proper treatment and ease your symptoms to reduce snoring.
  • Prioritize comfort – Make sure your bedroom is conducive to restful sleep by keeping it dark, clean, and distraction-free. Maintain a comfortable temperature by keeping your thermostat in check. Replace your beddings with fresh ones on a regular basis.
  • Laugh about it – Snoring is completely involuntary. It doesn’t have to be a cause of resentment between you and your partner. Laugh about it together and work as a team to reduce your snoring.

Don’t let snoring come between you and your partner. Sleeping in separate beds should always be the last resort. Try to work out what is causing your snoring and then explore all your options. You might be pleasantly surprised to find an endless array of natural, safe, and affordable solutions available to you.

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/snoring-considered-leading-cause-relationship-2796485

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/snoring-considered-leading-cause-relationship-2796485

https://sleepguardian.com.au/blogs/news/snoring-is-a-leading-cause-of-divorce

https://verilymag.com/2018/01/sleep-apnea-symptoms-couple-sleeping-in-separate-beds-bedrooms-married-snoring-husband-wife

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-worlds-sleeping-habits/

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/which-countries-get-the-most-sleep-and-how-much-do-we-really-need/

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https://www.philips.com/a-w/about/news/archive/standard/news/press/2019/20190307-in-recognition-of-world-sleep-day-philips-presents-its-annual-global-sleep-survey-results.html

https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/3/20/21187296/coronavirus-quarantine-husband-wife-roommate-family-couples-therapy-cope

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-quarantine-socializing/608020/

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/23/to-have-and-to-hold-in-quarantine-and-in-health

 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306453016305169

PLEASE REMEMBER: AVOID LONG DAYTIME NAPS WHICH ONLY LEAVE YOU FEELING GROGGY AND UPSET YOUR NIGHT TIME ROUTINE. IF YOU REALLY NEED SOME SHUT EYE KEEP IT TO ABOUT 20 MINS WHICH WILL LEAVE YOU FEELING REFRESHED AND REVIVED.

THE SLEEP BETTER NATURALLY SERIES is sponsored by Rhinomed, a medical technology company dedicated to improving sleep through better breathing. Rhinomed is the maker of Mute, to aid snoring, and Pronto Sleep, to help you fall asleep and stay asleep, naturally.

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