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As far back as I can remember, my father has snored, and snored pretty loud at that. And when I say loud, I mean that if my parents left their bedroom door cracked, you could hear him snoring no matter where you were in the house, even way down in the basement folding clothes in the laundry room. Since we grew up listening to the sounds of my dad snoring (he has sleep apnea by the way), I’m pretty sure my siblings and I just got used to it. But for my mom, it was something she just dealt with. Sometimes you would come downstairs for a drink of water or milk during a rough night’s sleep and find her sleeping on the couch, or wide awake watching TV. Once we all graduated and moved out, so did my mom–or at least, out of the room she shared with my dad. She went off into my old room and set up shop so that she could watch Nollywood movies ’til the cows come home, and of course, be out of earshot of my dad’s snoring.

And while my dad snored and still snores ferociously, it wasn’t something that necessarily hurt my parent’s relationship. But for other people, incessant snoring can put a wedge in something that is, otherwise, wonderful.

A friend of mine dated a guy for a while that she really liked, but his snoring was driving her, and her roommates, crazy. He was a young guy with sleep apnea, and she tried to deal with his snores. But every morning after trying to sleep in the same bed with him, she would eventually wake up so not ready for work and upset with her boyfriend. And so were her roommates, as one cornered her to ask:

“Can you tell me when he’s going to sleep over next so that I can get some earplugs?”

Eventually, that issue, on top of others, caused their relationship to implode, and she’s gone on to meet someone new. But he snores too, and she’s not happy about it…

Can a loud snoring habit, one that, may I remind you, one often has no control over, be a threat to your relationship?

Obviously it can be, because there are studies that say so. We need sleep to get through work and life in general, so when you don’t get it because of the person next to you, you end up irritable, and pissed.

Speaking of pissed…I have sinus issues, bad ones, and they’re most wonky when it’s cold outside and hot in my apartment. A month ago, while my boyfriend was sleeping over, I must have been really tired and congested because I guess I was snoring and doing so very loud (I get it from my daddy). At one point in the middle of the night, I saw him walk out of the bedroom, and I assumed that he was going to use the bathroom.

He never came back in the room.

The next morning, when I asked him how he was after I realized he slept on the couch, he told me “I’m not feeling good. Really tired.” When I asked why, he said, “Because you were snoring.”

According to him, I was very loud, and he spent a majority of the morning pissed off about it. At one point he even encouraged me to try to “do something about that snoring.” I went from feeling bad to feeling pissed off too, because it’s not something that I control and that, well, as far as I know, happens a lot. We eventually moved past that, but I encouraged him to let me know when I’m snoring so that in the future, I can try to change sleeping positions or use my humidifier in an attempt to stop (or at least hide the sound of me snoring).

Aside from that, there are different options, but not a whole lot that people can do. There are earplugs, you can avoid alcohol, and weight loss is even encouraged. There also are “Breathe Right” strips, noise machines, and in more serious cases, there are sleep clinics where you can figure out what is causing you or your partner’s sleep problems. But until a solution can be found to quell your partner’s loud snores, can you deal with it? Would you leave someone whose snoring consistently hinders your own sleep?

Or, is this, a ‘petty problem’ that can easily be handled?

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