My husband is a smart, honest, and hard-working man... who I used to resent as soon as he fell asleep. Why? His snoring was more than I could handle. I struggled to fall asleep each night, his roar would wake me up several times, and I wasn't in the mood or mindset to give him gentle love taps. Truth be told, we both felt miserable the next morning — drowsy and edgy.
I didn't need an expert to tell me that snoring can wreak havoc on relationships, but the statistics certainly back it up:
- Up to 59% of people report their partner snores in bed.
- 23% of couples sleep in separate beds.
- Over 30% of couples report disharmony within the relationship due to snoring.
- One hour of sleep per night is typically lost from the snorer’s partner; he/she may wake up as many as 21 times per hour.
We weren't ready to sleep in different beds. So in an attempt to save our sleep— and our relationship— we took two important steps.
First, we changed his sleeping position. We were aware he didn't snore on his side, but he'd always unconsciously drift to his back. I didn't like having the responsibility to get him to roll over, so we committed to find a way to keep him comfortably on his side. He wasn't jazzed about sleeping with a hard tennis ball in his back, so we purchased a positional sleep belt.
Next, we looked at some bigger lifestyle changes. The hard ones we want to pretend won't make a difference — weight and alcohol. Extra tissue in the neck area (courtesy of a few spare pounds) or relaxation of muscles in the mouth and throat (thanks to booze) can obstruct the airway. We took this one on as a family and started eating healthier, carved out time to play outside, and nixed that extra drink.
The change was immediate and dramatic! His snoring stopped. You read that right - it stopped. Mornings are entirely different for us now. They're pleasant, we feel rested, and I actually have the desire to give him a smooch.
I realize snoring is complicated and there's no single answer, but positional therapy and a few improvements to our lifestyle saved our marriage. I hope they can help you too.
Snoring is more than just a nuisance—it disrupts the sleep habits and lives of 90 million American adults and their partners. That's why we set out in 2003 to restore sleep and help as many people as possible live happier, healthier lives.