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Snoring is Ruining My Marriage!

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One mom wonders if she'll ever get a good night's sleep.

Woman lying on bed next to snoring man, covering ears with pillow

Guest blogger Samantha writes: There's no denying it: Snoring is one of the worst sounds there is. As the victim of snoring, (meaning, it's not ME who snores, it's me who has to HEAR the snoring), I often wonder what it is I can do to get it to stop. Aside from smothering my husband with a pillow, is there something I can do to fix this nighttime terror, or is this something I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my life?! (Oh God, no!) Sometimes, the sound is so intense and jarring, I kick my husband (hard!) to get him to stop. Most nights, I have no choice but to seek refuge in the spare bedroom or on the couch. In the morning, both of us are pissed: I have slept poorly on the couch (and feel awful for kicking my husband), and my husband is angry. Not only did I kick him, I'm not sleeping with him! I want to share a bed with my husband, but I can't stand the snoring. Help me! Snoring is ruining my marriage!!!

According to Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Board Certified in Clinical Sleep Disorders, there is actually something both parties can do to minimize snoring. Dr. Breus, who diagnosed Rosie O'Donnell with sleep apnea on "The View," told momlogic that there is a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil that comes from sleeping next to a snoring bed partner.

"There is significant data that now suggests that if you sleep next to someone that snores, you lose between one and three hours of sleep yourself." Dr. Breus suggests that you educate the person who is snoring. "A lot of times the person who is snoring thinks it's their partner's problem -- they need to deal with it. But in fact, it's the snorer's problem to fix." IN addition, Dr. Breus says snoring can actually lead to ill health affects. New studies have even shown that high blood pressure is a result of snoring.

Dr. Breus told us there are many things that can cause snoring:

1) WEIGHT: When men gain weight, they actually deposit fat in their throats. And when people lose weight, even a small amount, the decibel level (in the throat) decreases. If you (or your partner) can lose between 5 and 8 lbs., you can expect to see a significant reduction in snoring. 

2) SMOKING: It inflames the nasal tissue -- just like congestion. 

3) ALLERGIES: Someone with an allergy to smoke, mold, pets, allergens in a pillow (such as down) or certain laundry detergents, can be prone to snoring.

4) STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: People with structural damage have what's known as a deviated septum -- it narrows the airway, making air go faster. The faster the air moves, the more it will vibrate tissue in the back of your throat -- that vibration causes a cadence, which causes a snore. There are particular surgeries that can help decrease the narrowing of the nasal cavities; one is called a septoplasty. There are also other surgeries now that can take whatever tissue is vibrating and firm it up. 

5) ALCOHOL: Alcohol can make snoring worse -- because it is a muscle relaxant, and as the muscles relax, the passage gets narrower. However, there's really no data that says heavy or spicy foods makes snoring worse.

Other than surgery, what can a snorer do to minimize snoring?
Many people use a nasal decongestant spray before going to sleep, which can help. Also a product like Netty Pot, which is a saline flush, can reduce congestion and snoring. There is also the CPAP machine (available by prescription only) which is used for someone with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition and usually the snorer can't determine if they have it on their own. Not only do you snore, but you close your throat and stop breathing. If you think you or your partner has this, you should seek medical help.

Do those Breathe Right strips work?
Breathe Right strips only work for select group of people. They are really designed for people with narrow nasal passages. There are pros and cons with the strips as well .... everything from falling off in middle of the night or allergies to the adhesive. They also really need to be put in the right spot to work (towards the tip of the nose and not at the top at the bridge).

Is there something I can do to cope with the snoring?
You can push someone over to their side. It opens up their airway and gravity is no longer a force. If you get noise plugs, you can get noise level rated NLR 32 or below, which would allow you to still hear a smoke alarm or a baby crying. You could also use noise cancellation headphones. Or you can use a sound machine.

Does your spouse snore? What do you do to cope? Tell us in the Momlogic Community!

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58 comments so far | Post a comment now
nancy matos February 4, 2009, 3:20 PM

LOL sorry guys you are going through this. the other night i literally pinched the bridge of his nose, i mean i grabbed his damn nose and pinched it. yes, i meant to hurt him. I was hoping he’d bandage up his nose and i didn’t have to hear him. he asked if i still loved him and i said “NO” i am beginning to despise you as the Lord is my witness. LOLOL i really do love him when he’s awake and actually looks quite good looking but once the nightfall comes, i cringe. praying my lil guy makes me put him to bed tonight. i ususally fall asleep and stay there. LOLOL. He’s like “babe” are you coming to bed. next thing you know. bammmmmmm, he’s out..snoooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg. How much time do you think i’ll get if I muzzel him then hit him with a sledgehammer.

Nancy M.
Clifton, NJ

janedoe February 23, 2009, 4:56 PM

i am so tired and so sad. i think that the love we have for them is not the same as they have for us. we would do whatever it takes to make our man comfortable and yet, the snoring is our problem to deal with. my husband has made attempts at stopping however, he just doesn’t seem serious about it. i am at a loss. i don’t feel the love. when he asks how i slept it sucks. what am i supposed to say? everyday it would be the same answer, it sucked, i hate sleeping in another room and i hate the little bed i sleep in, i hate moving in the middle of the night, i hate getting comfortable in bed and then having to leave. i hate it all. so i just say i slept ok. he knows the truth and ignores it. is that love i ask?

Ju March 2, 2009, 12:57 AM

Hee Hee! I have woken my DH up more times than I can count to get him to roll over, wake up, or snort. There was a brief period where I had to move to my daughter’s room and sleep in her bed with her(2yr old w/a queen sized bed). My husband felt so bad when he woke up and found me else-where, he volunteered to sleep on the couch from then on. Now, I just make sure I try to get to sleep before he does. Of course, I’ve gotten him back as well. If I’m REALLY tired or drank a LITTLE too much (really, I’m practically a feather-weight, I get drunk off a beer) which happens WAY less than the tired part, I apparently give him a run for his money. So, it really isn’t too bad, unless I wake up in the middle of the night!

Darcee March 12, 2009, 9:27 AM

I’m with all of you women that have loving husbands, but dread going to bed at night for yet another round of snoring. I am a really light sleeper anyway so loud snoring wakes me. I myself snore on occasion and yes, I’ve woken up my husband who will nudge me so I’ll stop, so some men do not like it much either. My sister and her husband (who is a very loud snorer) have mutually decided years ago to just sleep in separate beds. They both sleep much better and have a loving relationship too. They are very affectionate despite the separate bedrooms. At first she and I thought there must be something wrong with us because some women do not seem to mind snoring, but after reading this blog I see we are not alone. I recently read an article about “sleeping rooms” that are connected to the master bedroom, but they are sound-proof. Some new home builders are putting them in by request. Good idea, you start out in the same bed and one of you will migrate to the “sleeping-room” to continue your good nights sleep without the noise of snoring from either of you. I like that idea very much, but a spare room will do too. You know, sleeping in separate rooms is not a crime, nor indicates that there is something wrong in the marriage, you just can’t sleep. I don’t know about you girls, but when I get enough zzzz’s I’m a happy camper all the way around. Thanks for sharing!

nancy matos March 25, 2009, 11:41 AM

last 2 nights have been dreadful. i had to leave the room again and he got upset that i did. next morning asked Why’d you leave me in the middle of the night? I have dark circles under my eyes man!! Duh..think i have insomnia or something is keeping me awake????????? your snoring is going to send us to splitsssssville!@! i can’t stand it..i really don’t like this person when i’m hearing him snore and when i watch him bad thoughts go through my head…….back to my son’s room……..close the door (or you’ll hear him!) arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

S. N. April 4, 2009, 3:32 PM

FINALLY-PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND! I live with my parents, and both of them snore like chainsaws. Last night I got up at least once an hour, and that is with a radio headset playing in my ears. When my dad asked why I was in a bad mood this morning, he assumed it was from TOO MUCH SLEEP! When I told him it was from LACK of sleep because of his and my mom snoring, his reply was to wear earplugs. I told him I had a radio headset on and he said I was exaggerating. I try to sleep in the basement, but the house is very open and I can still hear them. Insanity is closing in. Around 4:15 this morning I had the thought of going in and beating them both. Strangling the pillow felt really good! I have nowhere else I can go. Maybe they’ll take a vacation soon. Sleeping in the car is starting to sound like a good idea.

Kay April 14, 2009, 6:36 AM

My DH snores loudly most nights and in any position. I’m too polite. I shake him gently even though I know if he changes position it won’t be any better. I wear ear plugs…. and often put the pillow over my ears as well. Then I can’t hear our toddler when he is crying but I can still hear my DH to the point of frustration. I’m a light sleeper but he is not the ONLY guy I have ever slept with. This is my second marriage and I have had other long term relationships. This is the only time that snoring has stolen my sleep. He doesn’t just snore. He has undiagnosed sleep apnea and stops breathing… and struggles to breath back out, etc. He is over weight, drinks alcohol most nights, and is a smoker(in the process of trying to quit). I feel I am doomed to this nightmare for the rest of my life unless I do something. I’m losing my mind. I need rest. Exhaustion is impacting our sex life and more. I can’t think straight any more. We have an extra room and I have decided it needs to be my room now. I just need to be able to get real sleep. 4+ years of sleep deprivation is too much. DH gets angry when I sleep in another room. But if he really loved me wouldn’t he try to do something about his snoring so I would be able to sleep WITH him??

Bev Myers June 2, 2009, 7:59 PM

I’m reading these comments and am just amazed at how one sided they are. I’m the snorer in my home. Don’t you think that we would stop if we could. Its not attractive and we don’t want to hurt our loved ones. So instead of thinking that your loved one doesn’t care about your nights sleep maybe you could consider how helpless and even embarrassed they feel. Maybe all your nudging, kicks and comments are not accomplishing anything but to hurt the one who doesn’t mean to hurt you.

Ciabgagw June 25, 2009, 3:22 AM

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danni m August 15, 2009, 2:54 PM

i cant cope any longer with my husbands snoring, iv tried ging to bed before him and he still wakes me up, i try to nudge him to turn over or just ask him nicely to turn over but nothing works, i really want to put some socks in his mouth and something up his nose to stop him its really getting on my nerves, we have even started sleeping in different beds its that bad, just so glad im not alone and have people to talk to about it.

letty August 26, 2009, 2:08 AM

oh man, i am struggling with this RIGHT now. I have pushed him, kicked him, pinched the back of his leg. I have starting sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed near the damn dog to be further away from his snoring and nothing works. I did not want to sleep on the couch. I am just so frustrated tonight I just broke down and started weeping.

He sleeps on his side, and he can’t sleep on his stomach because his back is sore. I just want him to lose weight, quit smoking, and probably not have any beer or wine before bed. Otherwise I am going to resent him for the rest of our lives together.

It makes me feel slightly better that I am not the only person struggling with this. I can hear him right now as I type this. UGH!

Rio is here September 18, 2009, 10:28 PM

I have a new born and a partner who snores like a wild bore- I have pushed, kicked, shoved and smacked him out of sheer desperation and frustration— he sleeps through it all.
I am at the end of my rope- I dread bed time. My thoughts run rampant with all the different ways I want to make it stop! Seriously- I am so sleep deprived I am having dizzy spells and a racing heart. Told him I will not accept “sorry” as the solution. Told him to get his $&! to a doctor. Let’s see if he does. Errrr!!

Fran November 24, 2009, 6:56 AM

What is it about that sound?! It penetrates earplugs, pillows, noise canceling head phones. Even when I am asleep, his snoring makes me have tension-filled dreams. I clench my teeth, which led to TMJ. Once, on a road trip, we shared a room with my teenagers. Both said they would never go on a vacation again if we had to stay in the same room! And yet, I’m the one who ends up feeling guilty because of the resentment that is building up. I don’t think he has sleep apnea because, near as I can tell, he sleeps like a baby. Sure he feels bad. But I’m the one in the bad mood all the time from lack of sleep. The thing is, this runs in his family, which only reinforces the whole “it’s not my fault” attitude. Bulls**t! Mark my word, someone is going to whack their husband and use the snoring defense. And women will come from all over the world to testify on her behalf!

Mags December 31, 2009, 8:06 PM

I used a produt call ysnore a it works for me. Ysnore is a natural nasal spary that I spray into my nostrial efore sleep and it stops me snoring. Hopes it help you and others.

Their website

Rita Madler January 12, 2010, 2:51 PM

This internet site is actually quite good, but for some reason it does not display properly when trying to view on my Nintendo Wii. If it helps, the console uses the Opera browser and am impelled to using the console for accessing the Net whilst my PC is away being repaired.

CP February 2, 2010, 9:41 PM

I really HATE going to sleep. I dread it. I need the quiet to go to sleep. My husband goes to sleep before me around 9:30 or 10:00 and by the time I’m ready around 11:00 or so, the freight train is rolling. I end up sleeping in the guest bed or couch. It’s not fair because I deserve our comfy bed as much as he does. I am always the one who has to leave. I tried listening to my iPod at night, but even that can keep me up. Although the music is 100% better that that ROARING noise. I am really starting to hold a grudge against him. It makes me so angry and hateful. He had the surgery and it did not work. He snores in EVERY position. He’s loud and it’s exhausting. And, as I said, I deserve my bed too. He gets mad because I leave in the night and sleep elsewhere. What the heck does he expect? Grrrrr!!!!!!!!!

jen February 24, 2010, 8:42 AM

I have only been married to new hubby for two weeks, but I think I am losing my mind. I have never heard such loud snores in my entire life. It is taking my sleep and my sanity. Last night I tried to roll him over, wake him up and various other things to no avail. I finally started weeping and slept in the recliner. Ironically enough my 8 year old had moved from his room to the couch and was still awake. He said, “I had to move further away from your bedroom—he is loud” What do I do???

suzC March 18, 2010, 10:32 PM

Sitting here listening to my husband and am surfing the web since sleep is futile. Found this site and it is so nice to know I’m not alone. But seriously….I can’t take the snoring anymore!!! Sometimes he even wakes himself up with his loud snoring and all I can say is “See how loud you are?” I can hear him no matter where I go in the house - so there is no escape room. Augh!

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KB1222 November 17, 2010, 12:29 AM

HA! He gets mad at you for leaving? so many comments say he gets upset to find you sleeping elsewhere. I wish that were the only problem. We have a roommate that stays up through the night some nights (dont ask…).The nights one of us can sneek to the couch are the good nights! He gets so pist when i simply wake him up. IM UP ALL NIGHT! excuse me for waking you up for 10 mins in hopes that i may be able to miraculosly fall asleep in that time. starting to resent him is an understatment…when he gets mad at me for waking him up because he has an important day tomorrow (every day is an “important day”)it makes me feel like not only does my sleep not matter to him but that my life is filled with less important days than his. He has seen a doctor (is normal weight and does not have sleep apnea), uses snore strips, uses a nasal decongestat and throat numbing spray before bed and i wear ear plugs. No help. I cant take it. It is more than ruining our relationship, its ruining my life. I know he would stop if he could…but maybe a little compassion for me would help for now.

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