Snoring is more than just an annoying sound someone makes in their sleep. It occurs when air flows past the tissue in your throat, but because the tissue is relaxed when you’re sleeping, it vibrates as you breathe causing a snorting or grunting sound. In some cases, it’s merely a bothersome occurrence, and in others, it can mean something more serious like sleep apnea. And not only is it bad for the snorer, but it can also be tormenting for the snorer’s partner, who likely gets awakened by these sudden noises, or has trouble falling asleep with the sounds of snoring nearby.
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Snoring can lead to an irritated throat in the morning, waking up at night frequently, fatigue the next day, and headaches. In some cases, it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. If snoring is accompanied by breathing pauses during sleep, choking, restless sleep, or chest pain at night, a physician’s check may be required.
Sometimes a snorer can wake themselves up and not even realize it. And this can happen many times throughout the night, causing a high number of micro-awakenings. This can hinder your ability to get more REM sleep, the physically and mentally restorative stages of rest.
Your partner’s snoring is bad for you both
Lying next to a snorer can be a frustrating and difficult endeavor. It often means both of you aren’t getting enough solid sleep and wake up in a bad mood. Both partners might notice signs of exhaustion, moodiness, and lack of concentration during the day.
If you’re the snorer, keep in mind that your other half loses up to an hour of sleep every night. That’s the difference between a cheery morning and a downright miserable one.
However, we snore more as we age, which means everyone in the bedroom is losing even more sleep as the years go by. A BSSAA study found that in an average relationship, snorers cost their partners 2 years of sleep.
Five causes of snoring
- Mouth Anatomy – The jaw, tongue, throat, and neck can contribute to snoring. A doctor can determine if any of these could be contributing to your snoring problem.
- Alcohol – There’s a known link between alcohol and snoring. Booze consumption can either cause the problem or lead to snoring louder. The relaxing effect alcohol has on your jaw and throat can block the airway and result in snoring and disturbed sleep.
- Nasal Problems – People who suffer from regular nasal congestion can become habitual snorers.
- Sleep Position – Putting too much pressure on certain body parts at night might lead to chronic pain and possibly be a catalyst to snoring.
- Weight Gain – Extra weight or obesity can often lead to difficulty breathing because of the bulky throat tissue which can cause snoring
It’s hard on relationships too
Apart from the physical detriment snoring can play, there’s also the mental aspect too. Life is hard enough without adding the growing resentment of listening to your partner make involuntary noises at night. Some partners choose to make a ‘sleep-divorce’ (sleeping in separate rooms) so both members get better rest, but it’s not for everyone. Taking steps to solve snoring issues, such as using snoring mouth guards, can help ease sleep tensions between you and a partner.
Have more questions about snoring? Check out more of our articles!