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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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