my boyfriend snores!

Hi Rachel—

I’m glad you asked this question, because a lot of couples want to know the answer. What do you do when your bed-partner snores louder than a diesel locomotive? When it sounds like a world buzz saw competition is headquartered in your bedroom? When you want to punch him to make him stop snoring, but he never wakes up anyway? And you wind up leaving the room?

We often make fun of people who snore, but for bed-partners who are frustrated by lack of sleep, it’s not a laughing matter. It’s also not a laughing matter for your boyfriend. Not only is he upsetting you, he is dangerously at risk for sleep apnea—a life threatening disorder whose immediate medical consequences include high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. In other words, your sweetie could fall asleep one night, and not wake up the following morning. It’s that serious!

Your boyfriend’s snoring is a sign that he is experiencing difficulty breathing during sleep. Snoring is the sound that is made when a person has to suck air into his or her lungs through a collapsed airway—nothing more, nothing less. The reason why people snore when they fall asleep (and not when they are awake) is because our muscle tone relaxes during sleep, allowing our airways to become narrow, and in some cases, entirely collapse. The reason why some people snore and some people don’t—depends upon the size and shape of their airway. Your boyfriend has a smaller, or more crowded airway (tonsils, adenoids, etc.), than most.

If your boyfriend snores loudly, starts and stops breathing, gasps for air, or is generally restless throughout the night, it’s up to you to get help. (He’s too tired, and he can’t hear himself snore!) Visit the web site of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and locate a sleep doctor in your area. Then pick up the phone and make an appointment. Once your
boyfriend’s snoring and possible sleep apnea are treated, he will thank you for giving him his strength and energy back, and you will finally get some peace and quiet.

Don’t delay! Make that appointment today!

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