This Nighttime Habit Could Be Ruining Your Relationship, New Data Shows
You might not even realize you're doing it, but it could come between you and your spouse.
Many of us spend a substantial amount of our time—if not the vast majority—with our significant others. We share many things with partners, including our meals and our bed, and we rely on each other during good times and bad. That doesn't mean their behaviors aren't sometimes grating, of course, and a recent survey discovered that there is one habit that could actually be damaging your relationship. As it turns out, you might not even be aware you're doing it. Read on to find out what nighttime habit you'll want to address sooner rather than later.
Different choices could be negatively affecting your relationship.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, and after spending so much time together, you likely know what will upset your partner and what will make them smile. A study published in April in the journal Sex Roles found that sharing chores with your partner is one way to help keep your relationship happy. According to study findings, the number of equally shared tasks played a significant role in positive relationships, and couples that didn't share any chores—taking on specific tasks individually instead—weren't as satisfied as those who shared at least three chores.
Your eating habits could also negatively affect your love life, especially if they're unhealthy. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, one-third of respondents said that if their partner ate too much junk food, it would be a dealbreaker for them.
While we can consciously make the decision to share chores or avoid junk food, there are other habits that may require a bit more work to address.
A survey found that this unconscious act is detrimental.
We've all been there—one moment you're sleeping peacefully, and in the next, you're awakened by the sound of snoring. Especially if you're a light sleeper, snoring can keep you awake and cause you to lose hours of rest. Making matters worse, if you're the snorer, you could inadvertently be putting your relationship in jeopardy.
A recent survey of 2,000 adults found that sleep compatibility was important to 78 percent of respondents. Conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Natrol, a sleep aid brand, the survey also found that 2 in 5 Americans have ended relationships due to poor sleeping habits such as snoring.
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We all need sleep, and not getting enough can affect our mood.
Snoring was a concern for a large portion of respondents: The average person said they would tolerate a partner's snoring for an hour and a half before asking them to move or moving themselves. Dealing with that can be frustrating, especially in the middle of the night, and a lack of sleep can throw off your mood the following day.
"Snoring can put a strain on a relationship because both partners are affected," Stephen Light, certified sleep science coach and CEO of Nolah Mattress, tells Best Life. "The non-snorer can lose about two hours of sleep every night, and sleep deprivation can make them more resentful and irritable. Sleep loss can ruin their mood the whole day."
And the snoring partner will likely have their own frustrations, as snoring is generally out of their control. "They may also feel irritated with their partner for lashing out at them over something they don't intentionally do," Light says.
Some couples try sleeping separately, but that might not be the best option.
Snoring can foster real resentment if there is no solution, Lauren Cook-McKay, director of marketing and content at Divorce Answers, explains.
"For the most part, most couples find 'sleep divorce' as the solution: where both of them sleep in separate bedrooms as a way to remedy the situation," Cook-McKay says, adding that this is not always a foolproof remedy.
"It could also lead to relationship strains as there is a lot of quality time and intimacy lost in the bedroom, which is regarded as a place of sanctuary for both individuals," she notes.
Both partners play a role in solving the snoring problem.
Cook-McKay recommends looking for different products to address snoring, but finding a method that both partners are comfortable with is key.
"Find a goal of whether to lessen the impact of the snoring or to treat the snorer," she says. That can be through earplugs, a white noise machine, or a breathing aid for the snorer.
In addition, you can also be proactive in terms of lifestyle changes to combat snoring, including physical activity or decreased alcohol intake. And if all else fails, seek out a medical professional who is equipped to address and assess the snoring problem, experts advise.