If you lie awake at night as your partner saws the log, you're far from alone. Although snoring can affect anyone, it's most common in males and those who are overweight. According to the National Sleep Foundation, this nighttime disturbance affects 37 million Americans on a regular basis.

Sure, loud snorers can be humorous, but the act have an ill effect on other's sleep habits. According to a study conducted by Richard Day Research, half of all snorers' bed partners reported that snoring made it impossible for them to get a good night's sleep, and 40 percent confessed to sleeping in separate beds. Furthermore, a Mayo Clinic study found that snorers' spouses woke up an average of 21 times an hour.

Health Business Week noted the following statistics:

  • Snoring affects nearly 50 million U.S. households;
  • One in three people who sleep with a snorer say that  snoring is among the top three things they'd like to change in their mates;
  • Three out of five snorers say they've woken up themselves because of the sound of their own snoring;
  • More than three quarters of snorer's bed partners have tried to nudge or poke their partners to make the snoring stop.

Can Snoring Affect Your Relationship?

While some may view snoring as a negligible nuisance, others find it as an issue that has real repercussions. A lack of sleep can affect daytime energy and mood. Often when someone is tired throughout the day, they can become snappy--often leaving a mark on that person's daily interactions.

The daytime sleepiness affects all aspects of life, says Dr. Paul O'Keefe, a psychiatrist at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City because it leaves sufferers cranky and irritable. "It can definitely affect your personal relationships," he says. "But there are many medical interventions for it."

What To Do If You Snore

If you the snoring culprit, try the following tips provided by the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Avoid tranquilizers, sleeping pills and antihistamines before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before retiring.
  • Establish regular sleeping patterns.
  • Sleep on your side rather than your back.

Your doctor may recommend:

  • A visit with a sleep specialist, who might conduct a sleep test to see if you have sleep apnea
  • Sleep position training
  • Treatment of any allergies
  • Oral appliances made by a dentist
  • A CPAP, the treatment of choice for sleep apnea, is a continuous positive airway pressure appliance that blows room air into the back of the throat to prevent it from collapsing.
  • As a last resort, surgery on the back of the throat and the roof of the mouth

What to Do If You Are the Partner of a Snorer

Convince your mate that the snoring is interfering with your life and could even have a detrimental effect on your relationship. Encourage the snorer to seek help.

If the snorer doesn't' believe you, try sleeping in another bedroom for a few nights and see if you feel more well rested the next day. If your mood and your daytime alertness improve, you'll have convincing evidence for the snorer that your life is being affected by second hand snoring.

Invest in a pair of ear plugs. This often helps, but obviously if you have young children in the house, it's not a great option.

Once the snorer seeks treatment, you'll both enjoy a better night's sleep and when you feel alert and clearheaded during the day, your relationship with your partner may look brighter than ever.