“I am having a hard time seeing an educated, attractive man looking for an over-weight single mother (2 year old girl) who also has the joy of wearing a full face mask to bed,” one 27-year-old woman wrote.

“It’s a very big thing,” acknowledges Edward Grandi, executive director of the sleep apnea association that counts 10,000 registered members in its ranks.

"When people are sleepy, they can keep up their work role, but their husband role, their parenting role, their love role, they can’t keep it up." That’s often true in a sexual sense as well.

“I couldn’t have cared less,” said Ruggiero, 49, a married mother of two from Las Vegas who started using a CPAP nearly three years ago.

“It’s not just the snoring; people do die from sleep apnea.” But while CPAP users are grateful for the treatment, dozens of posts on the popular apea Web sites reveal some also are worried about the social consequences of the cure.

That’s at least 18 million Americans who shuffle through life in a sleep-deprived haze.

Only about 10 percent of sufferers are diagnosed, but the most common prescription is a CPAP.

“My husband and I were snugglers all night long,” said Ann Hurd, 66.

“But he doesn’t like the cold air blowing on him.” And there’s no question it’s hard to feel seductive while wearing the thing.

She calls the CPAP "the most unromantic device ever," but says using the machine or an oral applicance can rescue a troubled marriage.

“You don't want somebody to go untreated," she said.

The CPAP’s steady stream of exhaled air also can bother partners who suddenly feel like they’re sleeping in a wind tunnel.