November 08, 2021 4 min read
You’re drifting off to sleep, but your partner’s snoring wakes you up. With a mild nudge, the snoring ceases... at least for a while. A couple of minutes later, they’re at it again and the battle continues through the night. Both of you wake up groggy and resentful the next day.
It’s a vicious cycle, but one you need to break for the sake of your health and relationship.
Second-hand snoring can be just as detrimental to your sleep as well as that of the snorer. It can even affect your overall health down the line. To prevent these worst-case scenarios, here are 5 tips to help you get better sleep when sleeping with a snorer.
Talking about a problem is the first step towards a solution. Buthow you talk about snoring with your partner also matters.
Before you begin your conversation, try to get yourself into a non-judgmental mindset. This can be difficult after a sleepless night, but just try to keep in mind that your partner isn’t snoring on purpose and that it’s affecting them as well.
Once you’re in the right frame of mind, keep the focus on practical solutions. For instance, you could ask your partner to practice sleeping on their side, prop up the pillow before going to sleep, reach a healthier weight, or to undergo a sleep study.
It’s also a good idea to explain how serious this issue is for both of you. Being chronically sleep-deprived puts you at risk of memory problems, mood disorders, accidents, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. Snoring, while it may not wake the offender from sleep, can also be the first symptom of sleep apnea and is associated with atherosclerosis.
Earplugs are a quick, easy, and affordable solution to your bed partner’s loud snoring. There are many different types of earplugs to choose from for different needs: foam, wax, silicone, custom-made, and many more.
Properly inserted earplugs reduce noise by a maximum of 30db. Research classifies mild snoring as that producing sound of around 40-50db, so earplugs may provide some level of muffling and sound blocking to help you sleep better.
However, earplugs are only a temporary solution, and they don’t address the actual problem. While you may get better sleep by using earplugs, your partner should still try to work on resolving their snoring problem.
Another way to block the sound of your SO’s rumbles is with noise-canceling or white noise technology.
Noise-canceling, also known as active noise cancelation (ANC), is a type of technology that blocks outside noises with neutralizing soundwaves. With ANC, a microphone records outside noise, and a chipset creates opposite soundwaves. Earbuds with this type of technology can be easily worn at night. Some brands come with an alarm feature, in case you need to wake up early.
Alternatively, a white noise machine or app can block noise from outside. White noise refers to a mixture of sound waves that extend over a wide frequency range. This characteristic makes it great for masking different background sounds. Examples of white noise are a whirring fan or the sound of rain.
While there’s definitely a stigma around sleeping separately, a sleep divorce when one partner is snoring can be a healthy thing. An old study published in Sleep Medicine even found this to be true. A well-rested spouse is more likely to be a happy and healthy one, after all.
If you feel uncomfortable broaching the subject, choose a time when you can discuss why this is important to you in detail. Remind your spouse that your wanting to sleep separately isn’t because you are rejecting them but because you simply need your sleep as much as they do.
Knowing that many happy couples choose this arrangement may also make you feel better. A 2012 survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that 1 in 10 couples sleeps separately. So sleep divorces are probably more common than we think.
Snoring is mostly a result of throat and mouth structures obstructing the upper airway, and snoring devices work by keeping these structures in place and keeping the upper airway open during sleep.
Also known as oral appliances and sleep apnea mouthpieces, these devices are often available over the counter and in stores. However, some need to be customized for proper fitting. One example of a convenient snoring device you may want to suggest to your bed partner is a tongue-stabilizing device.
Tongue-stabilizing devices hold the tongue slightly forward to prevent it from collapsing at the back of the throat. Try out our Good Morning Snore Solution mouthpieces to finally offer yourself and your SO well-deserved sleep.
Medic G, Wille M, Hemels ME. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption.Nat Sci Sleep. 2017;9:151-161. Published 2017 May 19.doi:10.2147/NSS.S134864
Meira E Cruz M, Soca R, Kryger M. How much is too much after all? Primary snoring as a remaining unsolved issue.J Clin Sleep Med. 2020;16(6):991.doi:10.5664/jcsm.8442
Toivonen M, Pääkkönen R, Savolainen S, Lehtomäki K. Noise attenuation and proper insertion of earplugs into ear canals.Ann Occup Hyg. 2002;46(6):527-530.doi:10.1093/annhyg/mef065
Maimon N, Hanly PJ. Does snoring intensity correlate with the severity of obstructive sleep apnea?.J Clin Sleep Med. 2010;6(5):475-478.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952752/
Billmann SJ, Ware JC. Marital satisfaction of wives of untreated sleep apneic men.Sleep Med. 2002;3(1):55-59.doi:10.1016/s1389-9457(01)00118-6
National Sleep Foundation. Arlington, VA: National Sleep Foundation; 2012. 2012 Bedroom Poll: Summary of Findings.
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