Stop the Snore, Save the Romance

Roses, candy and a candlelit dinner are nice, romantic gestures that many of us fall back on for Valentine’s Day. In addition to these gifts, consider a lifestyle change that will benefit both you and your partner: gain control of your snoring.

“While snoring is disruptive to bed partners and can cause frustration in a relationship, it can also be an indicator of a serious health problem,” said Dr. Kelly A. Carden, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic disease that involves the repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep. When sleep apnea is untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and other health problems.”

The AASM recommends the following tips for occasional snorers:

  • Weight loss: Weight gain can make snoring worse and may even lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Shedding pounds can help reduce or eliminate snoring for some people, and weight loss should be a top priority if you are overweight or obese.
  • Positional therapy: For some, snoring mostly occurs while sleeping on the back. To reduce snoring, try changing positions by sleeping on your side.
  • Avoid alcohol, muscle relaxants and certain medications: These substances can relax your throat or tongue muscles, causing you to snore.
  • Medical diagnosis: If snoring is loud and frequent, talk to a medical provider about your risk for obstructive sleep apnea or seek help from the sleep team at an AASM-accredited sleep center.

To learn more about sleep apnea, visit SleepEducation.org.

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