Has your snoring caused you to be banished to the spare room? Or, worse, the sofa? Well, you’re not alone. It is estimated that there are approximately 15 million snorers in Britain, and that two-thirds of Britons are woken up by another’s snoring.
In fact, with so many of us snoring, according to research by the National Bed Federation, one in six British couples who live together now sleep apart, with almost nine out of 10 of them doing so in separate rooms. And keeping us apart isn’t the only issue – snoring can affect your day in a myriad of ways.
How can snoring impact relationships?
Dr Kat Lederle, sleep therapist at Somnia and author of Sleep Sense, says: “Snoring can have a big impact on some relationships irrespective of whether the ‘non-snorer’ suffers from insomnia. Snoring, particularly in the case of sleep apnoea, can be loud and thus disrupt the sleep of both the snorer – who is less aware of this disruption, though – and the partner.
“Often, one person will leave the room and try to sleep somewhere else – for example, the sofa or spare room. However, this disruption can put a strain on the relationship. The snorer might worry about disrupting their partner’s sleep, and the partner might get frustrated or annoyed when woken up or even before going to bed.”
A 2013 study from the University of California, Berkeley found that one partner’s restless night caused by disturbances from the other partner can lead to conflicts in the relationship the next day. And another study showed that sleep issues and relationship problems tend to crop up simultaneously.
With the quality of your sleep and the quality of your relationship deeply connected, it’s no wonder, then, that the phrase “sleep divorce” is soaring – and all these niggles add up, on top of the hours of sleep deprivation, to one very unhappy couple.
According to research from the Better Sleep Council, more than 25% of couples are opting to sleep in separate spaces for the sake of getting deeper, more healthy sleep.
A good night’s sleep is critical to any relationship. When we’re sleep-deprived, we’re bad partners. And when we’re bad partners, we’re sleep-deprived. It’s a toxic downward spiral.
Research also shows that when you are well-rested, you’re a better communicator, happier and more empathetic – all of which are important in sustaining healthy, long-lasting relationships.
How can snoring impact your health?
“Not all snoring is dangerous,” says Dr Lederle. “If it is related to sleep apnoea it can disrupt your sleep by causing mini-arousals. These are not necessarily full awakenings but they fragment your sleep and reduce its efficiency, increasing daytime drowsiness. This, in turn, increases the risk for car accidents and lowers physical activity, which itself is a risk factor for other health issues such as weight gain.”
Sleep loss and sleep deprivation are directly linked with an increased risk of mental health issues including depression, physical health issues such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and stroke, diabetes and obesity.
How can I stop snoring?
If you are a Fitbit Premium user and have a Fitbit Sense or Versa 3, you can make the most of the snore and noise detect feature which can help you identify snoring and ambient noise while you sleep.
The Snore & Noise Detect feature uses the built-in-microphone on your Fitbit smartwatch. During sleep, your Fitbit will analyse the noises in your room, which may include snoring from others, or a barking dog or a cat’s meow. Each morning, you can check your Snore & Noise Report in the sleep section of your Fitbit app to see if your tracker detected any snores or ambient noise.
Simple lifestyle changes
If your snoring is really bad, you can try out various treatments from simple lifestyle changes – such as limiting alcohol or adjusting your sleeping position – to wearing anti-snoring mouthpieces or surgery.
If you’re concerned about your snoring or you start noticing symptoms such as snoring with gasping, choking, or snorting sounds, daytime drowsiness, morning headaches and night-time teeth grinding, then it’s important to address the issue with your doctor who can decide whether additional testing or treatment is necessary.
Achieve your holistic health goals
With many of us feeling more stressed as we juggle hybrid ways of working, family dynamics and trying to maintain self-care, this year has been a rollercoaster. But we have learned some valuable lessons about how resilient we really are, and about how we can look after our own health – and that’s where tracking our personal health data has come into its own.
Fitbit Charge 5 can help you connect the dots between activity, sleep, nutrition and stress management, with tips on how to understand your body better and ultimately help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
For more information, visit Fitbit.com