From losing one's hearing ability to heart diseases and kidney problems, sleeping next to a snorer has wide-ranging effects on one's health.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 29, 2019. It has since been updated.
As comforting it is to curl up next to your partner and go to bed at night, there are many who lose sleep every night because of their partner's snoring problem. Now researchers have ascertained through different studies that sleeping next to a partner who snores is bad for both physical and mental health.
The British Snoring & Sleep Apnea Association found that at least 20 million Brits don't get enough sleep because of their partner's snoring, while the American Sleep Association has said that almost half of Americans have reported that they snore. In another study by Sleep Cycle, it was said that 52% of American women report waking up due to their partner’s snoring. As many as 41% women said they would rather sleep alone than with their partner to have better sleep.
This bodes badly for those who stay away and have disrupted sleep as not having enough sleep can affect your "outlook on life, energy level, motivation, and emotions," according to Sleep Foundation. It affects your mental health, relationships, and family life. A chequered sleep pattern can also lead to emotional changes, clinical depression or anxiety.
Without seven to nine hours of sleep, people can feel less enthusiastic and more irritable during their day as well. There is a complex relationship between sleep and mood. For example, people with insomnia have higher chances of having depression and anxiety than those who sleep normally. They are 10 times as likely to have clinical depression and 17 times as likely to have clinical anxiety, said the Sleep Foundation.
Snoring has a wide-ranging impact on people's health, including affecting their hearing, said a study, Noise-induced hearing loss in snorers and their bed partners, by Queen's University, Ontario. "The findings suggest that there may be a relationship between snoring and noise-induced hearing loss in the bed partners of chronic snorers," the study said.
The study, conducted on four bed partners of snorers, showed that people demonstrated a pattern of hearing loss consistent with those who face noise-induced hearing loss. Also, in every case, the affected was the "one that was claimed to be chronically exposed to snoring noise."
Another study by the Imperial College of Science in London found a link between snoring and increased blood pressure. They found that people who had high blood pressure (hypertension) faced a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and dementia because of noise. While the partner who snored did not face a chance of increased blood pressure, the one who slept next to them showed signs of higher blood pressure. During the study it was found that the 140 sleeping volunteers' blood pressure increased visibly after they went through a "noise event - a noise louder than 35 decibels - such as aircraft traveling overhead, traffic passing outside, or a partner snoring."
If you want a peaceful night of sleep, you could use different methods like earplugs, headphones or sleeping in different rooms. If these solutions are not for you, you could try a big buzzer that is stuck to your partner's head called Somnibel. It gently vibrates until the snoring stops, according to Mirror UK.