Secondhand Health Hazards


Your body needs a full night's rest to mend damaged cells, consolidate memories, and recharge the immune system, says James Wyatt, director of the Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. And it's hard to get that when your man is sawing more logs than a lumberjack. One-quarter of people who share a bed with a snorer lose 49 minutes of sleep per night, on average--and alarmingly, just one night's interrupted sleep can have a detrimental effect, says Wyatt.

The resulting irritability, headaches, and impaired coordination could put you at risk for accidents (including ones that go beyond clumsy toe stubs, such as falling asleep at the wheel).

Before you grab your pillow and head for the couch--or launch him off the side of the bed with a swift kick--try a few simple solutions. Snoring happens when air gets caught in the passage between the throat and mouth, causing that soft tissue to vibrate, loudly. Alcohol makes matters worse because it relaxes the throat muscles that keep that passage open.

Sleeping with a snorer? Your body needs a full night's rest to recharge your immune system.

So encourage him to minimize the pre-bedtime boozing. You can also ask your guy to sleep on his side, says Wyatt; this position prevents the tongue from sliding back and clogging the airway. Allergens may also amp up the after-hours noise in your bedroom, and dust and pet dander can inflame oral passages, leaving less room for smooth inhalations and exhalations.

If nothing seems to work--and you lose sleep even with the aid of earplugs or a white-noise machine--consider asking your doctor about the new prescription Provent Therapy, in which over-the-nostril adhesive strips work with the body's natural breathing rhythm to keep airways open.

Weight Gain

You've heard of love chub, but chum chub might be much worse for you. While having an obese husband ups your own risk for obesity by 37 percent, having a hefty friend increases your chances of tipping the scale by 57 percent, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Basically, people tend to eat how and what their friends eat, says study coauthor James Fowler, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Diego. "Our social networks help us develop our ideas about what body sizes and eating behaviors are appropriate," he explains.

Which doesn't mean you should give your heavier friends the heave-ho. Not only are there important benefits to maintaining strong friendships (studies show supportive relationships can add years to your life), but you can also help each other get back on track. Try starting a healthy-weight buddy system by swapping recipe ideas and pairing up for workouts. "A gym full of strangers may not help you stick to a fitness plan, because you don't have deep social ties to anyone there," says Fowler. "But if you and a friend make a change together, you'll both be more likely to succeed."

5 Ways To Prevent Relationship Weight Gain


More from Women's Health:

Tips To Keeping Your Vital Organs Healthy

The 13 Healthiest Foods You Can Eat

Best Way To Boost Up Your Immune System

Women and Alcohol

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