One of the most frustrating things for people who know they snore is the fact that their snoring affects the people closest to them. In the middle of the night their sleepless partners often vacate the shared bed in favor of a quieter room on the opposite side of the house.
This is not the kind of spousal arousal most of us hope for! Seriously though, the term spousal arousal refers to a syndrome and is used by scientists who study sleep disorders. The sleep researcher who coined the term Spousal Arousal Syndrome (SAS) must have had a sense of humour. But the bed partners of those who snore know it is no laughing matter.
Sleep deprivation affects quality of life
The loss of sleep caused by someone who snores can have a serious effect on both the snorer and their partner. As much as two hours of sleep is lost each night by those who share their bed with a sleeping chainsaw. The remaining shut-eye they do manage to catch is often of poor quality.
The resulting lack of quality sleep is linked to many health and social issues. Putting on excess pounds, irritability and mood swings are not uncommon in the sleep deprived. Daytime drowsiness can lead to poor performance on the job which, in turn, can result in loss of income. Accidents on or off the job are often associated with regular loss of sleep; this list could go on and on.
Record what is seen and heard
Often a spouse or lifetime partner will simply vacate the bed and this may eventually end up with the couple opting for separate bedrooms altogether. While many relationships that develop and strengthen over the years are never really threatened by this outcome, it is also true that there is an inevitable loss of intimacy that this solution entails.
Sometimes a person who snores is well aware of the problems their night-time noise is causing but other times a snorer may need a little convincing. If this is the case it’s time to grab a video camera, a smart phone or even just position a lap-top so it faces in the snoring sleepers direction and turn on the video web camera.
New technologies might not have been developed with snoring in mind but they will certainly come in handy now. Besides convincing your significant other that the snoring in your house is a problem, this “evidence” might actually come in handy when it’s time to visit the family doctor.
See the doctor together
If at all possible, the appointment with the doctor should be attended by both the snorer and their partner. Doctors often welcome the observations that only a sleep-mate can provide when initially assessing the severity of a snoring problem. Both will be asked to describe the night-time snoring activities.
All written or visually recorded information will be useful and maybe even crucial when it’s time to pinpoint the exact type of snoring that is occurring. A bed partner may be witnessing symptoms such as loud snoring, interrupted breathing patterns and calling out behaviors on a nightly basis. These behaviors are typical of a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. The feedback that comes from a bed mate may be the very information that spurs a family doctor on to ordering tests or enlisting the talents of a specialist.
And who knows, eventually the one who snores may find relief and the partner who currently suffers from SAS might just find themselves spending all night in the same bed and enjoying that other kind of spousal arousal; the kind that may have gone missing in the old days when snoring was a problem.