How To Sleep Better When Your Sweetie…Is A Snorer

( — There are many different effects of snoring. Not only can it hurt the snorer…it can also hurt the person who has to endure those horrible sounds every night — as well as wreck havoc on the entire relationship.

Why People Snore

For the most part, people don’t have much control over their snoring, which is caused by a throat airway blockage. When sleeping, tissue in the throat begins to relax as the body relaxes — particularly while lying on the back. The deeper the sleep, the more relaxed a person becomes. This blockage is what causes the loud “snores.”

To no one’s surprise, the largest group of run-of-the-mill snorers is middle-aged and older men. As we age, we lose muscle tone everywhere, including in our palates, which become flabby and thus more susceptible to vibration. Allergies or being overweight can also contribute to snoring. Drinking alcohol before bedtime, which relaxes the muscles in the airway, is another potential cause. Or you may simply have been born to snore.

“Some people have larger tongues or palates than others, or thick necks or a weak glossopharygeal nerve (which helps control the tongue), says Ralph Pascualy, MD, medical director of the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute in Seattle. “It’s often many factors that interact in different ways.”

Statistics from the National Sleep Foundation about snoring and sleep apnea say 90 million Americans are affected by snoring. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that:

• 24% of couples sleep in separate rooms and many couples who sleep separately are reluctant to discuss it.