You’ve lost that loving feeling!

Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, and Dionne Warwick sang about it, and snorers and their partners all over the world moan about it.

In studies about the effects of snoring on relationships, more than 50% of the couples interviewed agreed that snoring was causing serious arguments between them. 80% admitted to sleeping in another room (whether occasionally or often) to get a decent night’s sleep.

Will the relationship survive the snore?

10% of the couples surveyed said that the snoring was bad enough to make them consider leaving their partner.

“Snoring affects nearly 50 million U.S. households and can be a huge issue in relationship stability. It can bring about resentment if the snorer refuses to seek help” said Dennie Hughes, relationship expert and Relation Tips columnist for USA WEEKEND.

According to one survey [1], one in three people who share a bed with a snorer says snoring is among the top three things they would like to change about their mates. Half of the snorers’ bed partners say that snoring disrupts their ability to get a good night’s sleep, leading more than 40% of them to confess to having slept in separate beds. In fact, U.S. builders and architects predict that, by 2015, more than 60% of custom homes will have dual master bedrooms.[2]

Snoring occurs when, during sleep, the muscles of the tongue and throat relax, narrowing the airway, and the vibration of air through this constricted passage creates hoarse or harsh sounds.

It’s simple to define, yet its effect on relationships and how to find a cure for it is far more complicated. “Snoring is a ‘big relationship divider,’” said Dr. Laura Berman, a relationship and sex therapist in Chicago. She said snoring creates frustration and resentment on both sides: the snorers, who can’t help it, and those suffering next to them.

The result of snoring is low energy from not getting enough revitalizing sleep, which in turn makes both the snorer and the snorer’s partner grumpy, and less communicative, and both end up with less sexual energy.

So what causes snoring, and how do you stop it?

Nearly half of adults snore occasionally, and a quarter is habitual snorers, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, whose physician members specialise in ear, nose, and throat care. Snoring increases with age and weight, and happens most often when the snorer is asleep on his or her back. Other factors that can play a role are alcohol, having dairy products in the evening, a diverted septum, smoking, sedatives taken just before going to sleep, menopause, nasal polyps or allergies, and a receding lower jaw or hypothyroidism. Depending on the cause, the cure for snoring can range from lying on your side to losing weight, using mandibular anti-snoring devices such as the over-the-counter Snoremeds or Snoremate, or having surgery.

Certainly, not everybody is a candidate for surgery, says Dr. Lois Krahn, a psychiatrist and sleep specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. Surgery can fix snoring caused by a deviated septum, a crooked partition between the nostrils, and widen the throat passage by trimming away loose skin. Sometimes, removing the tonsils is enough to quieten a noisy sleeper.

How serious is snoring?

Diabetes and high blood pressure also contribute to snoring. Serious snorers should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist, an accredited sleep clinic, or both. Heavy snoring also can lead to sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition in which throat tissues obstruct the airway enough to prevent proper breathing. Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of silence that can last 10 seconds or more, a cycle of oxygen deprivation followed by an increase in carbon dioxide that will wake you up. Left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke.

Isn’t it easier just to sleep in separate rooms?

Easier, certainly but not preferable. Sleeping in separate rooms detracts from the intimacy that keeps couples together. Not only does it disconnect a couple, but it can also make the snorer feel guilty and unwanted and seriously affect the stability of the relationship. For many couples, time spent chatting in bed is the best chance to talk with each other all day and can be crucial to the relationship, according to University of Minnesota social science professor Paul Rosenblatt, author of “Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing” (State University of New York, 2006). “Keep in the same bedroom at all costs, and if not, take time to cuddle and interact before going to separate bedrooms,” advised Berman. “That should be seen as a temporary situation, and couples should have a clear plan for getting back together.” There is another factor. Whilst sleeping in separate rooms may mean that the snorer’s partner gets a good night’s sleep, the same can’t be said for the snorer. If you snore, then your body is deprived of all the oxygen it needs as you sleep. The longer you sleep, the greater the deprivation. For up to 85% of snorers, the solution is simple. Snoremeds is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that you wear while you sleep. It works by gently moving your lower jaw slightly forward, opening your throat, and keeping the airway unobstructed. This eliminates the vibrations we know as snoring. After just one night of wearing Snoremeds anti-snoring mouthpiece, you and your partner will wake up refreshed and ready for the day ahead.