Snoring sounds hilarious. But when it comes to sleeping next to your partner, things can get pretty serious.
With 40% of women in Australia admitting that their snoring partners forced them to sleep in a separate room and 21% blaming snoring for reduced intimacy, snoring makes an insidious breaker of marital relationships.
So, if you feel you’re getting into the same situation, it’s high time to stop ignoring the snoring issue with your partner.
In this episode, learn what less heart-breaking options there are to cure snoring from our resident sleep expert Dr. Mark Levi.
0:52 – Snoring sounds hilarious, but it’s a relationship problem
1:13 – Real cases of couples having problems with snoring
1:46 – How snoring also affects people who are not in a relationship
3:31 – Apartments built to 50 dB noise block out and still hear the snore from the other side
4:52 – What can be done about snoring
6:41 – A caller seeks help about her husband’s snoring
8:21 – Is it normal for people to snore on their side?
8:41 – Snoring treatment options
Ed: Well snoring doesn’t just interfere with the snore sleep when it comes to couples. Of course, it often means trouble for two, right? To give us some advice today, we have our resident sleep expert in the studio Dr. Mark Levi. Welcome to you this afternoon, doc.
Dr. Levi: Ed, great to have, to be on Talking Lifestyle today. Thank you very much.
Ed: Well done to you. You remember the station’s name this week and this is like a triumph for the two of us, right?
Dr. Levi: Talking Lifestyle, the great place to have your radio set to. It should be glued to Talking Lifestyle and not move.
Ed: You’re on a roll.
Dr. Levi: My mother has one radio never moved from Talking Lifestyle. There you go.
Ed: I like her. I like her a lot. She may well be calling. Anybody with sleep or snoring problems, if their partner gives him the old elbow in the ribs during the night, yes, then you are a snorer and we’re here to help. 13-12-82 we’d love to hear from you. OK. Now, what is snoring it sounds hilarious in movies and in cartoons.
Dr. Levi: Hilarious. But it’s real, you know sometimes you can crack jokes and laugh about, but snoring is a real problem for a lot of relationships.
Dr. Levi: And it’s not just relationship – it’s sex, it’s love, it’s marriage. Marriage breakdown. Let me tell you… about two, they both had happy endings, but two sad cases. So, Ralph is what threw him downstairs. So, she said, look you know we’re just not going to share a bed anymore. This is just not. I am physically not sleeping at all.
Dr. Levi: And so, until he was, he was downstairs on the couch and the other one who wasn’t married, now this is interesting, who wasn’t married and you must have a huge audience listening base, Ed, that I think you’re wonderful of course. There are people that aren’t married, not in relationships, but they you know they go on the football, they go to the Art Gallery, they go to New Zealand to look at rocks or something. And so, they’re sharing a bedroom with someone. And they’re so embarrassed… and so, so embarrassed that they just can’t share a bedroom with someone. And they don’t sleep out because they’re anxious about snoring.
Dr. Levi: …and being embarrassed. And so… my comment today is if anybody’s listening, it’s a real problem and you shouldn’t fob it off.
Dr. Levi: Because it gets worse and worse. And yet with that great success stories and saw someone that got non-success stories, but the ones that come in when they walk in the door, they’re head between their legs, they’re so miserable, so unhappy, but they’re not sick, Ed. …We’re not talking about diseases, we’re not talking about unhealthiness. We’re talking about people not getting sleep because someone next to them is making a rocket or getting embarrassed. Does that make sense?
Ed: Oh, absolutely. But eminently treatable, too. I mean, I used to have a big Swiss Mountain Dog, big 50-kilo dog. And he loved to sleep near the end of the bed, and he would snore. And I found it vaguely comforting, but it’s a kind of dog snoring? It wasn’t so bad, but a human can keep me awake from another room down the end of the hall.
Dr. Levi: Is there any… there must be a builder. We need a builder to ring you up, Ed, today because apparently when they build like a block of an apartment, they tell me that they build to 50-decibel noise block out.
Dr. Levi: And so, we see patients, you know we often give them a sleep test which is not today’s discussion. And so, this test comes back from the computer and it says 30, 40, and 50 decibels of snoring noise. And that’s the language we use. And so, if they got 30 decibels and the snoring 80% of the night, that’s not very good. Then you go down the list, you go 40 percent. You cracked 40 percent of the night, and then you go, “Oh my gosh!” You did crack 1 percent of the night at 50 decibels, if you’re in an apartment, you get hit next door because they’re only 45 to 50 decibels. And so, when people get there around, they go, “Oh my gosh.” And if you got a partner next to you or at your friends’, you go on weekends, imagine that noise. Now if I stop talking and you stop talking there’ll be dead silence on the radio.
Dr. Levi: You know, it’s really eerie, it’s quiet. And imagine being in a room, pitch black quiet, and 50 decibels of noise, get someone to google a train coming at 50 decibels, and that’ll keep your listeners awake in the afternoon.
Ed: Absolutely. I mean the noise grows exponentially the closer to your partner’s ear it is. So, tell us, listen we’ve got a couple minutes to cap that sleep. What can be done about snoring? We need to offer some hope for everyone.
Dr. Levi: Ah, there’s always hope. Look, there are… two issues. Issue number… Issue number two is these 12 options. And I run through the tool box and go as fast or as slow as you like, and it’s sort of twelve options. But when you talk to someone, whether it be with the nose and throat specialist or a lung specialist or GP or a psychiatrist who’s got a sleep specialty. So, there are lots of these doctors who taught people from different specialties that really understand sleep. And sleep is a small community in Australia… Let’s start with a GP and hopefully, the GP’s the right person, but here are some options. Ready, Ed? Number one. Do you want to go from cheapest, fastest to most expensive, to the most awful? What do you want to do, Ed?
Ed: Just give us a couple because you’ve got a couple of minutes left.
Dr. Levi: Ok. Here’s what people tend to do. Here’s a good one. Go to a chemist, get one of those online, get one of those $50 mouth guard thing
Ed: Oh yes.
Dr. Levi: That will last out three nights. That gives you a good indication whether it’s going to work for you. Another option is to go and see the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist and ponder whether they think they can do something simple, major with your nose or your mouth. You know sometimes it’s scary but that’s an option. There’s another option that says lose weight which is really really hard. There’s another option that says… There’s a sixty thing that’s really… you can try this. …[On the nose] They sort of open up the air way and if that’s where the problem is coming from, they can help. How am I doing? Will I keep going, Ed?
Ed: Listen. We might grab one caller. We got Amanda standing by patiently. Let’s see if you can help her.
Dr. Levi: Hi Amanda.
Amanda: Hi there. Very tired Amanda.
Ed: Oh no. Tell the doctor problems.
Amanda: My husband is a bad snorer and we do sleep in separate rooms. But he still keeps me awake. But he snores on his side. He’s not on his back, he’s on his side. We have tried… He’s not overweight. We’ve tried that thing with a chemist. He had a sleep test and he has mild sleep apnoea.
Dr. Levi: Good girl, Amanda…
Amanda: They suggest that we go to a dentist and see if the dentist can make some sort of a mouth guard.
Dr. Levi: Yup…
Ed: You must hear this all the time, Dr. Mark? All the time.
Dr. Levi: You’re doing well. You’re halfway there. You’ve done all the right things. We just know the man’s snoring. I’m gonna tell you a secret… Look, I snore. And I don’t breathe at night. I’m a skinny sort of guy. You don’t have to be fat to be snoring. You don’t have to be tall, short, doesn’t matter. We’re all different people. Some people snore. Ok, the answer to your question is if you’re bored go and find yourself online one of those $50 cheap things for the mouth… pay about $50 and just try out for three days. If they don’t fit well, there are pieces that are pretty lousy, they’re atrocious actually. But then they’re a good test. They’re just a good trial. Does that make sense?
Amanda: Absolutely. But is it normal that they snore on their side? I thought you’d normally snore on your back.
Dr. Levi: Incorrect, Amanda. Number one. You can snore upside down, on the back, on this front, on the side. And when we do a sleep test, you rang up the doctor with the sleep test, he will tell you what percentage he’s snoring on his front, on his back, his left, and his right. The sleep test tells us exactly that. That’s fascinating. But the simple one, if you haven’t got a sleep apnoea we tend to go for the second choice which is the mouth guard thing. You know there’s a handful of it around who knows how to make them properly. And the third choice is a nose and throat messing with you. You know, no scalpel, just a new laser out that’s really really cool. I’ve done one of those, that’s cool but that doesn’t always work as well.
Ed: Look, Amanda before we have you put in prison for slaying your poor husband. Why don’t you try that and check back with us next Wednesday. We always do sleep on Wednesday with Dr. Mark Levi. And of course, you can find out more via his website delevissleepclinic.com.au. We put the link up on our Web site as well. … But we’d love to follow the journey. Don’t resort to violence, there’s plenty of options.
Amanda: I’ll try that first before I put the pillow over your head, ok.
Ed: Such a better option. That really is.
Dr. Levi: Great to talk to you, Ed. Great to talk to you, and great to be talking to Talking Lifestyle, Ed.
Thank you for joining us in this episode.