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Is snoring ruining your romance?

Saturday - 6/15/2013, 7:39am  ET

When your mate snores, Winch suggests approaching him/her delicately. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON - With couples desperate for eight hours of sleep, snoring can be a major problem.

Dr. Guy Winch, author of "The Squeaky Wheel," says the disruption is not intentional.

"They're not doing anything willfully. They are not on purpose trying to annoy their partner or wake them up," he says.

Perhaps not, but snoring keeps many a mate up with the noise. But worse than the lack of sleep are the possible causes and implications of snoring.

Dr. Stanley Chia, associate chairman in the department of otolaryngology at Medstar Washington Hospital, says that while snoring can occur when one drinks too much alcohol or has a heavy meal before bed, snoring is one of the major signs of sleep apnea.

"If the snoring is related to sleep apnea, it could lead to stroke, heart attacks or congestive heart failure," Chia says.

When your mate snores, Winch suggests approaching him/her delicately. He suggests making it a partnership in exploring the causes and in discussing ways of fixing it.

"I think an opening statement would be something like, I know you are not aware of it and I know you're not doing it on purpose and I know you are always willing to turn on your side when I nudge you. But the snoring is just keeping me up every night,'" Winch says.

End the conversation by saying you would appreciate it so much if a doctor was consulted or a sleep test was set up.

But in the meantime, try a gentle nudge.

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