Snoring Interrupting Perfection
Q: Help! I can't sleep. I moved in with my long-term girlfriend a month ago. I always knew she snored when we slept, but it never bothered me. Maybe it's because I only ever stayed over one night at a time, but now it's gotten out of control. It actually is messing with how I sleep. I have to take pieces of napkin and twist them into little earplugs. My girlfriend is a very vain person so I don't even think she knows she does it. How on earth do you break it to your girlfriend that she's a snorer? -Michael, 26
Dr. Anna: It sounds like you're worried she might be offended if you tell her about the problems you've been having. If that's the case, there are ways to break it to her kindly. Go out for a walk, talk about all the good things that you're loving about living together, and then mention there is one thing that's been bothering you. Tell her it's been hard for you to sleep and that she has been snoring. Make sure to follow this up with more kind (and true) words about how you value her and your relationship.
On another, important note, snoring can be a sign of a serious sleep problem like sleep apnea. Work through it together. Tell her—gently!—you're concerned about her health and offer to go with her to do the doctor if she wants to go. She can consult with her medical professional about ways to address snoring. Meanwhile, you can get real earplugs for sleeping, try falling asleep before her, or give yourself a break and sleep in a different room for a few nights until you can both get this under control.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.