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8 Easy Ways To Tackle The Noise From Your Snoring Partner

8 Easy Ways To Tackle The Noise From Your Snoring Partner

Approximately 37 million American adults snore on a regular basis—and that means many of their partners are walking around like sleep-deprived zombies. As anyone who has ever slept in the same room with a snorer can attest, the sound of a chainsaw going off as you’re trying to get some shut-eye is more than a minor annoyance. In fact, partners of snorers report serious fatigue because the snoring makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.

That sleep deprivation, in turn, can cause all kinds of physical and mental health issues, including irritability, anxiety, daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and decreased work productivity. Sleep deprivation brought on by snoring can also lead to resentment between partners and contribute to a loss of physical and emotional intimacy.

Snoring isn’t all fun and games for the snorer, either. The issue happens when a sleeping person can’t freely move air through their nose and throat; this causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate and make that all-too-familiar nasally roar. Snoring on a regular basis may contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, hearing loss, and even Alzheimer’s.

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So what’s the partner of a snorer to do? Here are eight ways to make sure that you get the sleep you need while prioritizing the health of both you and your partner.

1. Determine whether the snoring is position-dependent

Many people only snore when they sleep on their backs, so encouraging your partner to develop a habit of sleeping on their side may be an easy way to silence the snores. To assist their learning process, try propping up pillows to prevent your partner from flipping onto their back in their sleep. If that’s not cutting it, try sewing a ping pong ball into a small pocket on the back of your partner’s pajama tops—lying on the ball won’t feel comfortable, so your partner will naturally stay off their back while sleeping.

2. Invest in a bigger bed

Snoring will feel less invasive if you have more space between your head and your partner’s offending face. If you have the room, it may be extra helpful to place a wall of pillows between your heads. A comfortable mattress can also make it easier to fall and stay asleep.

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3. Drown it out

Some people find relief by wearing headphones to bed and drifting off to soothing sounds or music (Just be sure not to crank the volume as this can lead to hearing loss). A white noise machine, earplugs, or other noise-canceling gadgets may also do the trick.

4. Develop healthy sleep habits

While you may not be able to control whether your partner snores, you can control the steps you take to get ready for bed. A calming bedtime routine will set you up for the best chances of getting a good night’s sleep—snores or no snores. Try to practice these pre-sleep rituals every night (and encourage your partner to join you). Avoid alcohol and caffeine, and don’t smoke, exercise, or eat a big meal close to bedtime. Learn how to cope with insomnia and create a restful sleep environment by keeping the bedroom cool and dark, avoiding exposure to electronics before bed, and designating the bed for sleeping (and sex) only.

5. Have your partner try breathing strips

While they tend to be most effective in treating acute (as opposed to long-term) cases of snoring, nasal strips can be an effective, non-invasive, and side-effect-free treatment for snorers. Strips may be particularly effective for people whose snoring is caused by allergies.

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6. Ask your partner to start playing the digeridoo

Yes, it sounds bizarre. But research has suggested that playing the Australian Aboriginal wind instrument—which requires a technique called “circular breathing”—may strengthen muscles in the back of the throat so that they are less likely to collapse at night. Since that collapse is common among snorers, the idea is that training those muscles helps decrease the likelihood of snoring.

7. Try a shift in perspective

The sleep deprivation that’s common in the partners of snorers can lead to irritability and resentment, which only makes it harder to stay in the relaxed state of mind required for sleep. Try to reframe your attitude toward the snoring by thinking of it as the sound of someone you love breathing, rather than the sound of an 18-wheeler on rumble strips. Try to embrace the snoring as a sign that you’re lucky enough to have a live-in partner you care about. If that’s proving difficult, there’s some evidence that hypnotherapy may help you feel a little more charitable toward the snorer in your life.

8. Head to a doctor

If none of these techniques are offering the respite you need, or if your partner snores every night and/or experiences pauses in their breathing while asleep, then it’s time to head to a doctor. While your partner may resist going, remind them that the issue is affecting your relationship and making it harder for you to feel rested and keep your brain sharp. If they still need convincing, try recording them in their sleep and then playing it for them the next morning—odds are good they’ll be more likely to admit to an issue if they’re confronted with irrefutable evidence.

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A doctor will help determine if there’s a serious underlying cause, like obstructive sleep apnea, that’s contributing to your partner’s snoring. Treatments for sleep apnea include CPAP machines (which consist of a mask worn over the face), surgery, or an oral appliance that’s worn in the mouth.

If all else fails? You may want to join the 25 percent of American couples who choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. Ultimately, it’s up to the two of you to determine the best way to preserve both parties’ physical and mental health as well as the long-term health of your relationship.

Featured photo credit: girl, sleeping/Seniju via flickr.com

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Kenny Kline

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just pick one thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a start date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for it

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

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