Snoring: It’s Not Me It’s Definitely You, And Your Problem!
Problem snoring is easily solved when both halves of a couple act as one and this is the best way forward. However, the nightly snoring of one half of a bed-sharing couple can all too easily become ‘someone else’s problem’ an SEP. For the snorer, who might well sleep through the whole night undisturbed, it is not a problem for them. While for the non-sleeping, non-snorer, their partner’s snoring may disturb them but is not their problem to solve either.
A double SEP, and they are both wrong. That’s because, like every problem in a relationship, snoring is a shared problem that won’t get sorted until both partners see it that way.
If you have been there, then your sympathy might be with the sleep deprived non-snorer. But you have to feel something for the partner who snores unaware. Snorers are not encouraged to admit they snore; and who can blame them? Snorers get such bad press. The media portrays snorers as the worst combination of old, lazy and ignorant. Yet the truth is that more than half of us do snore.
What most snorers do not realise is the damage snoring could be doing to their own health, even while they sleep on regardless. Snoring is a symptom of sleep disordered breathing. This could be caused by anything from a seasonal or persistent allergy – such as hay fever or a reaction to feather pillows, to sleep apnoea – when normal breathing temporarily ceases entirely. Interruptions in sleep time breathing cause oxygen starvation. Researchers are increasingly convinced that repeat events of oxygen starvation increase your risk of serious diseases including high blood pressure, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and dementia.
The health of one partner in a relationship is quite definitely not an SEP. What’s more, the sleep deprivation inflicted on the non-snoring partner can have similar long-term health implications for the non-snorer.
So what can be done?
Well, maybe the first step is for each partner to set aside their own interests and make the wellbeing of the other their primary concern. The non-snorer might help the snorer counter the health risks of persistent oxygen deprivation by creating a more comfortable, allergy free sleeping environment. They might discuss their concerns over possible sleep apnoea or research products for the relief of sleep disordered breathing. The snorer might try to understand the impact of sleep deprivation on their non-snoring partner. Listen to them – stories of tiredness and irritability at work, fears over their career and even sleepiness when driving. Do not risk their health through an avoidable lack of sleep. Take the lead in trialling products to help you both find the healthy, restorative night-time sleep you both need to be at your daytime best.
Snoring is a particularly difficult one for couples because it happens when neither partner is best placed to help the other. The problem that occurs at night, is best sought out in the day. Just remember, there is no SEP in a strong relationship, unless it stands for ‘sharing every problem’.