One in 10 frazzled Britons have considered leaving their partner over their SNORING, study finds

One in 10 frazzled Britons have considered leaving their partner over their SNORING, study finds

  • A survey was carried out with 2,000 Britons in long-term relationships
  • One in 10 said they’d considered leaving their partner because they snore 

Snoring may seem like a petty nocturnal nuisance, but it could be the death of a relationship.

Almost one in 10 people have considered leaving their partner because they snore, a survey of 2,000 people in long-term relationships found.

Just over a quarter of people said they regularly left the bed and slept in another room because they just couldn’t take it any more.

The toll of snoring can be extremely damaging to couples, according to relationship support charity Relate, in response to the findings from a survey by Specsavers.

These findings show eight per cent have thought about ending their relationship due to their partner’s snoring, and 28 per cent are woken up by it every night.

Snoring may seem like a petty nocturnal nuisance, but it could be the death of a relationship (stock image)

Peter Saddington, a couples and sex therapist with relationship support charity Relate, said snoring is a recurrent theme in sessions.

He said: ‘Snoring can cause real resentment between a couple, particularly if the snoring partner doesn’t see it as a problem and won’t seek help.

‘The snorer may downplay the problem, while the person being kept awake becomes more worked up the longer it goes on.

‘They are then more tired, which of course can increase the likelihood of arguments generally.’

Couples sleeping apart because of snoring issues is the biggest problem, according to the counsellor.

He said: ‘Being in bed together at the end of the day is often when couples have sex, cuddle or kiss, or share pillow talk.

‘If they don’t do this during the day, because they are busy or dealing with children, these bedtime habits are an important way of maintaining intimacy.

‘So if they are lost due to snoring, that is a problem.’

Just over a third of couples surveyed described their partner’s snoring as a low rumble, while 16 per cent said they sounded like a pig and 14 per cent likened the sound to a lawnmower.

Almost a third of people said their partner’s snoring was as loud as a television on full blast.

Some 28 per cent said they were woken ‘every night’ by their partner snoring, with this group saying this happened an average of twice a night, for an hour in total.

To try and stop the noise, almost half of people admitted to elbowing their partner or turning them on their side.

Some took more drastic measures, with 42 percent have kicked their other half, around a fifth having coughed loudly to wake them up, and 15 per cent having hit them with a pillow, while 11 per cent pulled the pillow out from under the snorer’s head.

Gordon Harrison, chief audiologist at Specsavers, which sells earplugs, said: ‘This research shows the significant impact that being exposed to snoring can have on your sleep and your general health and wellbeing.

A quarter of people said their snoring partner left them feeling exhausted and unable to concentrate the next day, while a further 23 per cent said the loss of sleep made it hard for them to wake up in the morning.

Among the snorers, the survey found 42 per cent felt guilty at keeping their partner awake, but almost a quarter were not bothered at all.


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) occurs when the walls of a person’s throat relax and narrow during sleep, blocking their airways.

This interrupts normal breathing, with symptoms including loud snoring, noisy and laboured breathing, and repeated episodes when breathing is interrupted by gasping and snorting. 

OSA affects between four and 10 per cent of people in the UK. In the US, around 22 million are affected.

During an episode, the lack of oxygen triggers a sufferer’s brain to pull them out of deep sleep so their airways reopen.

These repeated sleep interruptions can make the person very tired, with them often being unaware of what the problem is.

Risks for OSA include:

  • Being overweight – excess body fat increases the bulk of soft tissues in the neck
  • Being male 
  • Being 40 or over
  • Having a large neck
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Being in the menopause – hormonal changes cause the throat muscles to relax  

Treatment includes lifestyle changes, such as loosing weight, if necessary, and avoiding alcohol. 

In addition, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices prevent the airway closing by delivering a continuous supply of compressed air through a mask.

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) can also be used, which is like a gum-shield that holds the jaw and tongue forward to increase the space at the back of the throat.

Untreated, OSA increases a person’s risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. 

Source: NHS 

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