Does your bedtime buddy snore the night away? Do they make so many different sounds throughout the night that you’ve lost count? Does it sound as though they’re eerily possessed by some type of sleep-sucking monster? Does your partner or family affectionately refer to you as ‘the tractor’ or ‘the steam engine’?If you’re in a relationship and one of you sounds like a chainsaw at night, odds are that no-one is getting a good night’s sleep.
But consider that snoring may also be a sign of a more serious health problem. If your partner is following the tips in this guide but still sounds like the TranzAlpine chugging along at night, it’s time to take action for the sake of your sleep – and your relationship.
When should I say the ‘S’ word?
Snoring... It’s a word which might be hard for someone to confess.
But striking up a conversation about someone’s night-time symphony is an essential step to seeking a solution. Not only can snoring have an impact on a relationship, but it should be taken seriously.
Snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, the most common type of sleeping disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing – for up to hundreds of times each night1! Each stoppage causes your body to jolt you awake so that you’ll start breathing again, which causes you to become sleep deprived – even though the snorer probably won’t even remember ever waking up.
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed because people who have the sleep condition are unaware of it, however it can be dangerous if left untreated. That’s why it’s essential that you strike up the courage to have an intentional conversation with your partner sooner rather than later.
Even if your partner doesn’t have sleep apnea but is snoring through the night, that’s still a very timely sign that you need to take action - fast.
In fact, new research has found that snoring itself without sleep apnea can be dangerous and can even lead to strokes, thanks to the trauma and inflammation that snoring causes to your carotid arteries2.
Don’t think snoring only needs to be sorted if it develops into sleep apnea. It’s vital that you’re proactive - there’s never been a better time to strike up that conversation than right now.
Approach the conversation with caution.
Being told that you’re snoring is disruptive can be as devastating as coming to terms with an All Blacks loss – if that ever was to happen!
Take your time before the big chat and make sure you’re conscious of your tone.
Start by explaining that the snoring is affecting both of your lives negatively, and make sure your partner understands that you’re bringing it up out of love and kindness because you want what’s best for them – and your relationship!
In addition to being considerate, it’s important that you inform your partner on the real risks of sleep apnea if it’s left untreated and the severe health risks which can come from it, such as stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, depression and high blood pressure3.