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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 April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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