Dealing With a Significant Other Who Snores
Climbing into bed with your significant other should be one of the best parts of your night. It's warm, comfortable, and sleeping in close proximity to your partner actually has a multitude of benefits. From better daily mood to stronger feelings of intimacy, sleeping soundly with your significant other can be a fundamental element of a happy relationship.
Conversely, nothing can put a wedge between a couple like one partner's snoring. While snoring may seem humorous to some (hence the dozen or so amusing synonyms for the noise sleep condition which include sawing logs and calling hogs) snoring can not only be damaging to relationships, but it can also be a sign of a sleep disorder.
The Scoop on Snoring
According to the Sleep Foundation, about 90 million American adults deal with snoring (37 million of them suffer from snoring on a regular basis). Generally as people age, the likelihood of them "sawing logs" increases. Moreover, people who are overweight, who smoke, drink, or take certain medications, as well as those who commonly sleep on their backs are more likely to snore.
Research by Sleep Education, a resource provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, found that there is a noticeable gender difference when it comes to the likelihood of snoring. They found that a staggering 40% percent of adult men snore compared only 24% of adult women.
What causes this bothersome snorting sound while we sleep? Snoring occurs when airflow from breathing causes the tissue in the back of the throat to vibrate. Although it would appear the nose is the lone culprit, it's also common to snore through the mouth, or a combination of the two.
Snoring is often triggered by:
- Genetic Factors
- Obesity/Lack of Exercise
Couples that Sleep Together, Stay Together
Many couples experiencing sleep difficulties have taken to sleeping in separate bedrooms. While this solution can work for some partners, it can be detrimental to others.
A survey conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that couples who cuddled and slept less than an inch apart were more like to be happier in their relationships than those who slept on the opposite ends of the bed or in different rooms. Researchers also found that only 66% percent of couples who slept more than 30 inches apart were content with their bond.
Touch is a major contributor to relationship satisfaction. A staggering 94% of couples who spent the night in contact with each other were happy with their relationships, while only 68% of their non-contact counterparts were satisfied. All this cuddling can give you and your partner a healthy dose of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, all of which are known to boost immune system functioning and for fending off feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Unfortunately, the sound of snoring can stifle all of these benefits. In a Sleep Foundation study, researchers discovered that up to 65% percent of couples who had a partner at risk for sleep apnea (snoring without diagnosed sleep apnea) caused problems in their relationship. Moreover, 23% of couples reported that their intimate or sexual relationship had been affected by snoring.
SleepPhones are Saving Couples
If you or your loved one is a snorer, we have a solution. First, and foremost, urge you partner to speak with their healthcare provider to quit smoking (if he or she does), to reduce alcohol intake, and to start exercising regularly. Secondly, invest in a pair of SleepPhones.
If you're unfamiliar with SleepPhones from AcousticSheep, they are unbelievably comfortable headphones designed specifically for sleeping. SleepPhones are great for music therapy, or general listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, and you guessed it: for reducing the sound of snoring.
The company of another body in your bed can be comforting. You can cuddle, there is extra warmth and you may have that feeling of security as you fall asleep.
But are you getting a good night's sleep with someone else in your bed? You may be disturbed by snoring, a restless sleeper, someone with night terrors, sleep walking/talking, cover hogs or just the lack of adequate space in your bed.
According to a study from The National Sleep Foundation, 61% of Americans share their bed with a significant other, noting intimacy and comfort as top reasons. But if you find yourself unable to sleep due to your partner's snoring, restlessness or other bedtime habits, read these tips for how you can get a better night's sleep with your partner.
Use the bed for sleep and sex only. If one of you likes to watch TV before bed, and the other needs darkness and quiet, consider having a few minutes of in-bed snuggle time then separate so that person staying up can continue those activities in another room.
Resolve any conflicts. Give attention to your partner at night and go to bed happy and content (i.e. not after a fight). This can lead to a more peaceful and complete night's sleep. Your state of mind can go a long way when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Take the time to resolve any conflicts with your partner before you hit the sack and keep the communication open.
Find a snoring solution. According to The National Sleep Foundation, 41% of Americans agreed that a partner snoring was a major impact on achieving a good night's sleep.
If your partner snores, try:
- SleepPhones. This is a simple and effective solution for those who have trouble falling asleep because of a snoring partner. The soft headphones with speakers reducenoise and allow you to listen to soothing sounds and music that will put you right to sleep.
- Encouraging your partner to use a pillow to prop up his/her neck or back to reduce snoring. You can even build your own anti-snoring pillow by putting a tennis ball in the middle of a pillow, so your partner can't sleep comfortably on his or her back. Sleeping flat on the back tends to result in the loudest snoring.
- Spooning! Laying on your side in a fetal like position may decrease the sound and chances of snoring.
- Pay attention to your partner's sleep habits. MSN Health suggests that if your partner is waking up throughout the night or has trouble staying asleep and becomes restless, pay attention to what he/she is doing before bed. One of the reasons they may be moving around throughout the night and keeping you up could be because a) had caffeine or alcohol before bed, b) the physical environment in which they sleep (like the mattress) may not be comfortable, or c) their mind is still stimulated from TV or other distracting things in the bedroom. Try reminding him or her about avoiding and breaking those habits so that you can both sleep more peacefully.
- Commit to a pre-bedtime wind-down routine together. Use this time to talk or read together. Treat one another to a back rub or write in a journal. Be sure to keep a consistent bedtime to reinforce the body and mind to sleep.
Picture it: you're settling down in bed for the night. You've gotten your pillows adjusted perfectly, and you're all cozy in your nice warm blanket. You're just starting to drift off when... Bam!
Your partner decides it's too hot and throws off the blankets, letting in an icy blast of cold air and jolting you into a wide-awake state.
Temperature is one of the most important components of a good sleep environment, but there are no hard and fast rules about what is an ideal temperature for sleeping. "Too hot" or "too cold" varies widely from person to person, but being uncomfortably chilly or warm can disrupt sleep and make for some unpleasant nights.
It has been estimated that up to 80 percent of couples face differences in what they view as a comfortable sleeping temperature. So what do you do when one of you likes things on the cool side and the other prefers to be toasty?
Start with a lower bedroom temperature to make things comfortable for the partner who likes to be cool. The warmer partner can heat things up by choosing warmer sleepwear, such as long sleeves and long pants, and can keep an extra blanket on their side of the bed in case they get chilly. The partner who prefers things to be cooler can sleep in lighter pajamas and use just a sheet or thinner blanket.
If you're willing to spend some money to make things more comfortable, there are a few different sleeping aid options. A larger bed can give partners a bit more room to spread out away from another warm body or add on blankets to heat up. Products such as blankets that are wool on one half and cooler cotton on the other or dual-temperature heated and cooled mattress pads may also help you sleep better.
Finally, you can try keeping a standing fan on the hotter partner's side of the bed. This will allow cool air to blow on him or her while not interfering with the other partner's temperature.
So don't let a difference in sleep temperatures make or break your relationship. Follow these tips to ensure you both get a great night's sleep.Expand