Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ZzZz..Conch chooo... ZzZz.. Conch chooo

I sometimes wonder what I will do if I fall in love with a snorer. I'm not quite sure I could handle it haha. I am a particularly light sleeper and awaken from the sound of a whispering breath, let alone a loud pesky snore. I'd definitely be sending my husband to get some treatment, especially after reading this article. Take a look at this article posted on New York Times.

June 11, 2009, 11:34 am

Sleeping With a Snorer

After writing this week about the link between marriage and better sleep, I heard from several skeptical readers who were the long-suffering bed partners of snorers.

“I’m happily married, but never get a good night’s sleep because of the noise!” wrote Lisa.

“Are you kidding me?” Caroline wrote. “My husband snores louder than a lawnmower, and I kick him harder than Beckham with a soccer ball. We both slept much better when single.”

It’s true that sleeping with a snorer can take a toll on your health. People who sleep next to snorers report high levels of fatigue and sleepiness and may even be at higher risk for hearing loss.

Often, snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep, which leads to regular nighttime awakenings linked with a number of health problems.

But studies show that the person with sleep apnea isn’t the only one waking up. When the apnea is accompanied by loud snorts and snoring, the bed partner may wake up as often during the night as the person with the actual sleep disorder. One study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that spouses of snorers woke up, at least partially, an average of 21 times an hour, nearly as often as the 27 times the snorers were awakened by their sleep apnea episodes.

In a 2005 study from Finland of 37 male snorers and their bed partners, half of the bed partners reported being disturbed by snoring every night or almost every night. One third of the bed partners reported relationship problems as a result of the snoring.

In a 2003 study published in the journal Chest, doctors from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., tracked the spouses of 54 patients with sleep apnea. Once the sleep apnea and snoring were treated, the spouses’ quality-of-life scores surged more than those who received the actual treatment. And treating the apnea also improved sleepiness scores among the spouses by 20 percent.

Second-hand snoring also may take a toll on hearing. In a pilot study of just four snorers in Kingston, Ontario, all the patients had slept next to a snorer for at least 15 years. The study showed that the bed partners had significant noise-induced hearing loss in the one ear that was most exposed to the snoring.

Solutions are difficult. One study found that earplugs can be a simple and effective treatment for bed partners of snorers, but for some people, especially parents of young children, earplugs aren’t a practical option. Often, treating sleep apnea can help reduce snoring, and snorers should be evaluated by a sleep specialist. Weight loss can also improve sleep apnea, although many snorers aren’t overweight. Some snorers get relief using dental appliances that open up the airway, or surgical treatments that reduce the size of the soft palate.

To find out if second-hand snoring is taking a meaningful toll on your health, doctors suggest taking a “sleep vacation” from your partner by moving into another room to determine if your sleep, mood and daytime alertness improves. The test may help convince your partner that his or her snoring is more than just an amusing annoyance and a real medical issue that is affecting the health of both you and your relationship.

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