If you are a snorer, you might be tempted to not take it too seriously. But if you don’t, you need to be prepared for potentially serious consequences. And here we’re not just talking about the risks related to sleep apnea. Although these are serious, they are not the only risks related to your snoring. The sound itself can be so disruptive of your sleep and the sleep of those around you, that it can lead to serious consequences. In fact, a new survey shows that perhaps as much as one in six people surveyed considered leaving their spouse over snoring, and many others have engaged in violence as a result of snoring.
These days, with couples spending more time together than ever due to COVID-19 isolation, it’s more important than ever to eliminate sources of friction like snoring.
Fights on the Way to Divorce
While many say that snoring is the third leading cause of divorce, there is little evidence to support the claim. That one in six considered leaving a partner over snoring comes from a market survey conducted in the UK. It’s not an authoritative study, nor is it necessarily local to us here in Denver, but the survey’s findings are likely not far off the experience of snorers and their spouses here.
The survey included a nationwide sample of 1500 people in relationships. It found that 78% of couples included at least one snorer. The nonsnoring partner reported serious consequences. In the survey, 14% said that their partner’s snoring completely deprives them of sleep. Others try to find remedies like moving to a spare room (19%) or a child’s room (about 5%) to get better sleep.
Getting snoring resolved faces a number of hurdles, though. Perhaps the biggest hurdle comes from the fact that about 60% of snorers claim that their partner is exaggerating–they don’t have a problem. As a result, about one in 18 say that they argue all the time about snoring, with more than half of snorers denying that they have a problem. To try to resolve the dispute, more than a quarter (28%) of partners have recorded snoring. The disputes are taking a toll on individuals’ sanity, with nearly 7% saying they are becoming depressed.
The survey notes that a third of people say they are at their wits’ end because of snoring. It doesn’t talk about violence in these situations, but we know that this occurs frequently.
Snoring Leads to Marital Problems
In addition, several studies show that sleep problems are linked to marital problems. It is not hard to see how these can lead to divorce. A 2013 study showed that when couples got poor sleep, they appreciated each other less when working together. They were also more likely to argue. And arguments and conflict is the actual third leading cause of divorce (see also here). A more recent study showed that sleep problems and marital problems tend to occur simultaneously.
While snoring might not be the actual third leading cause of divorce, evidence suggests it strongly contributes in many cases.
Finding a Solution
In the survey, partners blame many things for disruptive snoring. Over half of those polled said that weight gain was probably to blame for snoring. Many others noted that snoring got worse after a night of drinking alcohol.
However, getting a spouse to agree to lose weight or cut down on alcohol can be another source of tension. Although these can be good places to start, they aren’t usually complete cures for snoring on their own, especially not in time to avoid serious disputes. Others might consider a sleep divorce, where couples sleep in different rooms. While this can sometimes remove the immediate problem, the snorer is still likely sleeping poorly and is facing serious health risks.
Instead, people whose spouse complains about snoring are encouraged to seek a snoring treatment that has proven to be effective.
Treatment Can Improve the Situation
Snoring and sleep apnea treatment has proven effective in these situations. In one study, researchers looked at the impact of sleep apnea treatment on marital satisfaction. They found that after a husband’s sleep apnea was treated, a wife’s quality of life jumped dramatically, and her marital satisfaction doubled. In addition, her sleep efficiency increased from 73% to 82%.
At the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver, we offer proven snoring treatments that can stop disputes in the house so everyone can enjoy peaceful days and nights at home. To learn whether you can benefit from these treatments, please call (303) 691-0267 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist.