The lights are out, the sheets are still warm from the dryer, and you’re ready to hit the hay and dream about winning an Academy Award. Or are you? If you have a snoring partner, what should be a relaxing and early night’s rest can soon become the white-knuckle ride of insomnia.
There are plenty of solutions and in-home remedies out there to be explored. However, you only care about what actually works and how to make it work quickly because a few more weeks of listening to your partner snore, and you’re going to lose it. From the best way to sleep for snoring relief to DIY tips that are expert-approved, here are some tips for how to sleep with a snorer.
Rule Out or Treat Medical Issues
As frustrating as sleeping with a snorer can be, it’s worth your time to have some compassion for your loud sleeping partner. There may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed – specifically, sleep apnea. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from this breathing condition, and the majority of moderate to severe cases go undiagnosed for a long time.
All snoring is the result of throat tissue obstructing (at least partially) the airway and causing a loud vibration. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a sleeper’s throat becomes so blocked that they stop breathing for at least 10 seconds. This chronic issue can be treated with remedies like breathing machines. However, in order to properly treat and diagnose this condition, a doctor should be involved.
Other causes for snoring include enlarged tonsils and weight gain. It’s always worth talking to a physician about the cause of snoring. Not only can your partner get some relief, but you’ll be able to get your REM sleep in.
Try Some Easy At-Home Remedies
Figuring out how to sleep with a snorer will probably take a lot of trial and error. But don’t be weary, sleep-deprived warrior, you may find a solution sooner than you think. Certain lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on how much someone snores. They could also change how easily you fall asleep despite having a snoring partner.
Here are some commonly used solutions to combat a snorer:
Change Sleep Positions
Some people who snore can stop by simply sleeping on their side or stomach. Sleeping on one’s back is the most likely cause of a nasal passage or throat obstruction. This is especially true if the person carries significant weight in or near their neck. If your partner starts snoring loudly, try rolling them on to their side. Some people even sew a tennis ball into the back of a shirt to make sure they’ll never roll onto their back.
Stop Drinking Before Bed
As WebMD points out, drinking alcohol right before you go to bed causes your throat muscles to be extra relaxed. This can lead even non-snorers to start making noise when they sleep. Encourage your snoring partner to avoid alcohol for at least several hours before sleep. The same goes for you. While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it often leads to less restorative sleep. You’re already facing the challenge of a noise disturbance, so using a glass of wine to drift off isn’t the best idea.
Focus on Hydration
The National Sleep Foundation recommends staying hydrated to fight off any snoring fits. They explain that a dry nasal passage or throat makes snoring more likely. Keeping a glass of water next to the bed could help your partner snore less. But it’s not only snorers who benefit from going to bed hydrated. You’ll lose a certain amount of hydration just from breathing and sweating at night. As the partner of a snorer, drinking a glass of water in the evening can also help you achieve deeper REM levels and feel more energized in the morning.
Finally, if your partner starts to snore loudly, put a nasal strip across the bridge of their nose. This can open up the nasal passage, which in turn helps reduce snoring. As the nose and sinuses become constricted, they push air down the throat more quickly. More open breathing passages allow for deeper, slower breathing which may reduce snoring.
Mute the Noise
Now, you can only do so much to encourage your partner to go to the doctor or drink more water before bed. But you can still take control of your sanity and sleep quality. Sometimes learning how to sleep with a snorer simply means learning how to block them out. Aside from earplugs, consider turning to technology for solutions. For example, you can pair a Bluetooth headband (they have small, flat speakers sewn inside) with your phone’s music app so you can fall asleep to some meditation music instead of your partner’s snoring.
You may also be able to mask the sound of snoring with a white noise machine on your side of the bed. Whatever you choose to mute the noise, stick to it. The spouses of snorers can wake up as many as 21 times per hour! We don’t have to tell you that having that many sleep disturbances are no recipe for a good morning. Practice self-care and mute your snoring husband, wife or partner.
Upgrade Your Sleep Situation
Getting a better bed could help you and your snoring partner. We’re sort of biased here, but we swear by a memory foam mattress for the ultimate in sleeping comfort. The same goes for pillows. Here’s why:
- Memory foam mattresses contour to your body. They often result in less tossing and turning. If your partner falls asleep on their side, snore-free, there’s a good chance they’ll stay there until morning. You’ll also fall into a deeper sleep yourself and may be less sensitive to the occasional sawing of a log.
- Memory foam pillows better support the neck. When someone with a snoring issue has their neck in alignment with their back, there is a smaller chance their throat will end up constricted. You guessed it, that probably means less snoring. It may be wise to invest in bedding like the Layla copper pillow which can be adjusted by removing filling to your specific liking. Now you can create the perfect height based on your partner’s frame.
- Weighted blankets are changing the sleep game. Indiana University says people with mild snoring may benefit from a weighted blanket. These comforting covers relax your body and help correct your breathing. If your partner just can’t kick their snoring, maybe this should be their next birthday present.
Learning how to sleep with a snorer may be the greatest daily challenge you face. All jokes aside, your partner’s loud breathing can cause dozens of sleep disturbances for you throughout the night. And without adequate REM sleep, you’re bound to be tired and cranky the next day. Upgrading your bed with some new and improved amenities and instituting some lifestyle changes could change all of that. You’ll be back to dreaming about Hawaii instead of elbowing your partner all night long in no time.