We are well aware of the health risks facing the nearly 60% of Australians who snore, but how many of them have a partner who suffers from second hand snoring?
Over time, a lack of sleep can impair your ability to think clearly, regulate your emotions and concentrate, so much so that inadequate sleep costs Australia an estimated $45 billion per year.
Lack of sleep can also contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure and stress.
An often-overlooked side effect of secondhand snoring is hearing loss. Snoring can be as loud as 50-100 decibels. The average vacuum cleaner is about 80 decibels. Imagine sleeping with a vacuum cleaner running steadily next to your ear every night. Even if your partner is accustomed enough to your snoring to sleep through it, the noise levels can certainly affect their hearing over time.
Many couples end up sleeping in separate rooms to solve the issues involved with secondhand snoring, but this can have a long term effect on your relationship and intimacy.
The focus of concern is so often on the snorer, especially in cases of sleep apnoea when a bed partner may lie awake concerned about the snorer’s breathing. Snoring and sleep apnoea disrupt the snorer’s sleep and reduces the amount of oxygen getting to the snorer’s vital organs, so it is a concern for many couples. It’s important to remember, however, that taking steps to treat your snoring is important for your bed partner’s wellbeing, too.