When your partner’s snoring gets so bad that you have to sleep in separate beds, it may feel like conceding that your marriage’s best days are behind you.
But a professor has suggested that couples should see the move into different rooms as the exciting ‘beginning of a new relationship’.
In fact, Russell Foster says, ditching the ear plugs in favour of separate bedrooms will improve sleep quality and therefore make couples happier.
The professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford University told the Hay Festival: ‘Ear plugs don’t work. So, if it’s just snoring, what do you do?
‘Well, you sleep in another place. So many people say, “I slept with my partner for 50 years, it’s the end of our relationship”.
When your partner’s snoring gets so bad that you have to sleep in separate beds, it may feel like conceding that your marriage’s best days are behind you (file image)
‘No, it isn’t. It’s the beginning of a new relationship where both of you ideally would be happier, more responsive to each other, less impulsive, less irritable, so I don’t think you should be afraid to sleep in an alternative sleeping space if you have one.’
Professor Foster warned that it was important to make sure snorers don’t have obstructive sleep apnoea – which is one of the most common causes of snoring and can pose a danger if it goes untreated.
He said: ‘The musculature of the throat collapses and you experience a sensation of breathing [before] the brain realises it’s been deprived of oxygen so you sort of stop breathing then you have these great intakes.
‘That huge surge of blood pressure can be very damaging to the small blood vessels of the eye and brain so make sure it’s not that,’ Professor Foster urged.
While promoting his book on sleep and health, he also criticised ‘nonsense’ sleep apps which he said can make people anxious about sleep.