- Help! My Husband Snores Terribly and Refuses to Do Anything About It
- Consult with the Medical Team
- Tell Him How You Feel
- Marni Amsellem
How to sleep next to a snoring partner
- Go to bed before your snoring partner
- Sew a tennis ball into the back of the snorer’s pyjamas
- Try using a white noise machine
- Record your partner snoring
- Buy them an anti-snore pillow
- Wear ear plugs
- Sleeping Surface
- Other Factors
- How to Stop Snoring
- 15 Remedies That Will Stop Snoring
- 1. Lose weight if you are overweight.
- 2. Sleep on your side.
- 3. Raise up the head of your bed.
- 4. Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
- 5. Treat chronic allergies.
- 6. Correct structural problems in your nose.
- 7. Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.
- 8. Avoid taking sedatives before bed.
- 9. Stop smoking.
- 10. Get enough sleep.
- 11. Use an oral appliance.
- 12. Use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
- 13. Wear palatal implants.
- 14. Get UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).
- 15. Radiofrequency tissue ablation (somnoplasty).
- Poke? Prod? Separate bedrooms? How to Handle a Snoring Spouse
- How to Stop Your Partner Snoring
- Why Snoring Happens
- Can Snoring Be Cured?
- How To Sleep When Someone Is Snoring
- Tips for sleeping through your partners snoring
- How sleep apnea affects a good night’s rest
- How To Sleep With A Snorer
- Does your partner keep you awake all night with noisy breathing? These tips may help you get a better night’s rest.
- How to Keep Snoring from Hurting Your Relationship
- Say What? Yes, Your Hair Dryer Makes You Deaf
- The tips!
- Help! My Husband Snores and I Can’t Sleep!
- How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- Weight Loss & Snoring
- Sleeping Positions
- Nasal Congestion
- Nasal Strips
- Visit the Doctor
- Ear Plugs and Sleeping Arrangement
Help! My Husband Snores Terribly and Refuses to Do Anything About It
My husband and I have been married for 27 years. About 10 years ago, his snoring became intolerable, and they ran some tests and diagnosed him with sleep apnea. They told him he could stop breathing and die if he didn’t get a CPAP machine. He refuses to get one, though, because he doesn’t like the way they feel at night.
Because of his selfishness, I’ve started sleeping in the den because I can’t sleep through the night if we’re in the same room. It’s so disturbing. He literally stops breathing for a minute or two at a time and then suddenly explodes with noise as all the air comes rushing back into his body. Our neighbors have told us they can hear it in the summer months, when their windows are open. Still, he won’t budge. He said if he dies, he dies.
I miss sleeping with my husband, but even more than that, I miss feeling like he cares. I am so frustrated by his unwillingness to do what he needs to do. I don’t know what I can do if he’s going to be stubborn like this. What do you think? —Wide Awake
Dear Wide Awake,
No doubt when your husband continues to not do what you and/ or the doctor have asked him to do, this can be extremely frustrating. I couldn’t help but notice you use the words “unwilling,” “stubborn,” and “selfish” to describe your husband. I also hear how distressed you feel because it seems like he doesn’t care. I imagine there are probably multiple things going on. From your description, he won’t deal with this health issue because it is more uncomfortable for him to wear the CPAP mask than to do something that could potentially save his life and improve the quality of your sleep (and, presumably, your relationship satisfaction).
In order to address your concerns, I want to disentangle these pieces a little. There are multiple things going on, and consequently different ways to approach solving this issue. First is the untreated sleep apnea and possible health-related consequences. This, unfortunately, is not an uncommon issue. Many who are prescribed a CPAP mask find it unpleasant and soon become noncompliant with wearing one, even despite stern warnings from their treating physician.
Consult with the Medical Team
Does the treating physician know about your husband’s noncompliance? What has the physician’s response been? Perhaps the health care team can help increase his openness to giving this another try, as they likely see this issue regularly and may be able to directly intervene.
I imagine your husband, at this point, knows very well that his snoring disturbs you (and the neighbors), but perhaps he does not fully realize you really miss sleeping in the same bed as him and feeling like he cares. Perhaps hearing this expressed explicitly may open up a new path for your conversations to take.
Education can be a strong component—for example, explaining exactly what his test results revealed (e.g., oxygen levels, prognosis if his sleep apnea is left untreated), or simply communicating to your husband that for many people with sleep apnea, it is normal to take time to adjust to the CPAP before it feels comfortable enough to not feel burdensome.
That said, educational approaches may not be enough to change his mind. Additionally, if you feel the medical team is not empathetic to your struggles, you may want to speak with a different provider. Finally, have you explored other options for sleep apnea management? There may be other devices or procedures that may be able to help.
The second issue to address is how his refusal is affecting you. It clearly impacts the quality of your sleep, both in terms of not being able to sleep through the night because of his loud snoring and because of the frustration you feel. It is also clear that physically relocating to get a restful night of sleep is not your ideal. And when he nonchalantly states, “If I die, I die,” this seems to evoke a host of negative emotions in you, including hurt, sadness, and perhaps rejection and resentment.
Tell Him How You Feel
I imagine you have told your husband many times how you feel about his snoring. I imagine you have told him many times he should be using his CPAP. You’ve surely reminded him what his doctor has to say on this topic. How have you communicated to him about your own experience with this issue? Have you told him about the emotional impact his words and actions (or lack thereof) have on you? If so, how have you communicated this?
The way we talk to others about the impact they have on us plays a large role in the success of this communication effort. For example, consider how each of these statements might sound: Stating to your spouse, “Because of your selfishness, I can’t sleep in my own bed,” compared with something like, “I feel frustrated because I feel like you haven’t heard my concerns” or “I feel hurt because it feels like my concerns are dismissed.” While all of these statements may be accurate, not all of them are likely to be heard the same way. I imagine your husband, at this point, knows very well that his snoring disturbs you (and the neighbors), but perhaps he does not fully realize you really miss sleeping in the same bed as him and feeling like he cares. Perhaps hearing this expressed explicitly may open up a new path for your conversations to take. Sometimes, taking a closer look at how we communicate key messages may uncover new approaches that ultimately yield a desired effect.
Lastly, you may find that additional support via therapy—with or without your husband present—may be useful to you to help manage frustration and continue to identify solutions. Good luck!
Marni Amsellem, PhD
Marni Amsellem, PhD, is a licensed psychologist. She maintains a part-time private practice in New York and Connecticut specializing in clinical health psychology, coping with illness, and adjustment to life transitions. Additionally, she is an interventionist and research consultant with hospitals, organizations, and corporations, both locally and nationally, involved with research investigating the role of behavior, environment, and individual differences in multiple aspects of health and decision-making.
How to sleep next to a snoring partner
We’re all after a good night’s sleep – it’s not only good for our health and wellbeing, but our sanity too.
But if you share your bed with someone who snores, it can be difficult to get your eight hours. While they’re blissfully snoring away in dream land, you’re wide awake, quietly plotting how best to get your revenge.
Before you finalise your plot, though, try some of these tricks to make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Go to bed before your snoring partner
“Going to bed before the snorer does will mean you won’t suffer from the anxiety of waiting for them to fall asleep and begin snoring, which you know will keep you awake,” comments Slumberdown’s sleep expert.
“Even if the snoring usually wakes you up, at least this way you can get a head start with your sleep and, you never know, you might even sleep through the noise when your partner joins you.”
Sew a tennis ball into the back of the snorer’s pyjamas
“It might sound bonkers but it’s one of my best tips to prevent snoring,” explains Sammy.
“Sewing a tennis ball on to the back of the snorer’s pyjamas will make it uncomfortable for them to lie on their back, which is the position most likely to trigger snoring. Instead, the snoring partner will be forced to sleep on their side and will therefore be less likely to snore.”
Try using a white noise machine
These machines are said to work wonders for people with insomnia as they drown out sounds of car horns and dogs barking. They could work for drowning out the sound of a snorer too, creating a calm and peaceful environment.
Record your partner snoring
If they’re in denial about their snoring, there’s only one thing to do – ask the snorer if you can record them.
“It may seem slightly intrusive, but recording the snoring and playing the sound back to your partner will help them to both acknowledge that there is a problem, and to understand the scale of it.
“Many snorers will spend years not actually realising how loud their snoring is. Once your partner is aware, they’re more likely to be more cooperative in tackling the problem and you’ll be in it together.”
Buy them an anti-snore pillow
If the person in question is reluctant to sort out their snoring, switch their normal pillow for an anti-snore one.
These pillows are designed to create the correct positioning of their head, supporting the neck and head to open up the airwaves.
Wear ear plugs
Sometimes there’s nothing for it but to wear ear plugs. Go for a high-quality pair that cancels out the noise, rather than those which simply muffle it, or fall out in the middle of the night.
Want more information on the ideal sleep environment? Don’t miss our Sensible Bedroom website and Official NSF Sleep Products.
Does that drip, drip, drip of the faucet keep you up at night? Do you need to keep your fan running because “white noise” helps you sleep? Have you ever tossed and turned because you were too hot, or too cold? What about the barking dog or the cat that jumps onto your bed – have they ever disrupted your zzz’s? Most of us recognize that our sleep environment can greatly affect how (and if) we sleep, but are you doing everything you can to make your bedroom a sleep haven? Learn about the do’s and don’ts of the sleep environment and then get tips for making your bedroom more sleep-friendly.
Noises at levels as low as 40 decibels or as high as 70 decibels can keep us awake. That means that a dripping faucet can steal your sleep, as well as the next door neighbor’s blaring stereo. But the absence or presence of a familiar noise can have as great an impact on your sleep as out-of-the-ordinary noises. Studies show that sirens and traffic noise from a city street can actually become soothing to longtime city sleepers (they will cringe at the thought of sleeping in the serene desert or mountain climate) just as the absence of the tick, tick, tick of your favorite clock while you try to sleep at a hotel can become a sleep stealer.
What to do:
Try to block out unwanted sounds with earplugs or use “white noise” such as a fan, air cleaner or sound conditioner. Take your favorite clock with you when you travel in order to recreate familiar sounds that help you sleep.
In most cases, temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will disrupt sleep, but even sleep researchers fail to agree on the ideal temperature for sleep. The point at which sleep is interrupted due to temperature or climate conditions varies from person to person and can be affected by bed clothes and bedding materials selected by the sleeper. In general, most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep. That’s because it mimics what occurs inside the body when the body’s internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. (For good sleepers, this occurs about four hours after they begin sleeping.)
In general, sleep scientists recommend keeping your room slightly cool — Turning the thermostat down at night in cold weather sets the stage for sleep and saves on fuel bills. Blankets, comforters or electric blankets can lock in heat without feeling too heavy or confining. Or the heat-seeking partner might dress in warmer bedclothes while the warmer partner might opt not to wear sleep clothes or bed covering. A room that’s too hot can also be disruptive. In fact, research suggests that a hot sleeping environment leads to more wake time and lighter sleep at night, while awakenings multiply. An air conditioner or fan can help, and a humidifier can provide relief if you’re suffering from a sore throat or dryness in your nose.
Much of our sleep patterns – feeling sleepy at night and awake during the day – are regulated by light and darkness. Light – strong light, like bright outdoor light (which is brighter than indoor light even on cloudy days) – is the most powerful regulator of our circadian rhythms, or biological clock. The biological clock influences when we feel sleepy and when we feel alert. As a result, finding the balance of light and darkness exposure is important. Bright light helps to keep you awake during the day, but in the evening prior to sleep, bright lights can be disturbing.
Make sure to expose yourself to enough bright light during the day. Find time for sunlight, or purchase a lightbox or light visor to supplement your exposure to bright light. At bedtime, think dark: a dark bedroom contributes to better sleep. Try light blocking curtains, shades or blinds. If you find yourself waking earlier than you’d like, try increasing your exposure to bright light in the evening. It may delay sleep onset but as little as one to two hours of evening bright light exposure may help you sleep longer in the morning. Also, make sure to avoid light if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Minimize light by using a low illumination night light.
For the most part, we know people sleep better when horizontal and not cramped by space, and it is clear that the sleep surface plays a role in getting a good night’s sleep. For example, tossing and turning on a lumpy 20-year-old mattress that doesn’t provide support for your back or neck can impede you from getting the sleep you need and make you very sleepy (and stiff) the next day. Mattress experts say that too often consumers believe that ultra-firm mattresses are good for them, but research on patients with back pain found this was not true and a more supple, comforting mattress may lead to better sleep.
Give yourself enough space to sleep. If you share a bed with a partner, make sure it is large enough to give both of you room to move around. Replace an old mattress with a new one, and choose a pillow and mattress that fits you best (soft, firm, thick, thin?) and will be comfortable throughout the whole night. Consumer Reports recently found that consumers who spent 15 minutes or more testing each mattress at the store were more likely to be happy with their purchase. When choosing pillows, find the shape and construction that supports your head and neck and that you find most comfortable. And change your pillows regularly. If you have allergies or asthma, you may also wish to purchase hypo-allergenic covers designed to protect from possible allergic triggers such as dust mites.
Bed partners with sleep disorders can negatively impact your sleep. Have you ever been kept awake by your partner’s snoring? Or been jolted out of a sound sleep by your partner’s restless movements? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 67% of respondents reported that their partner snores, 27% said their intimate relationship was affected because they were too sleepy, and 38% said they have had problems in their relationship due to their partner’s sleep disorder.
Start off by talking to your partner about the problem. If he/she has not sought treatment for a potential sleep disorder, encourage them to see a doctor. Consider ear plugs if snoring prevents your sleep. Try to create a sleeping arrangement that is comfortable for both you and your partner. Keep the lines of communication open.
TVs, computers, and work in the bedroom are sleep stealing culprits. NSF’s 2005 Sleep in America poll found that 87% of respondents watched TV within an hour of going to bed at least a few nights a week. Doing work, watching TV and using the computer, both close to bedtime and especially in the bedroom, hinders quality sleep. Violent shows, news reports and stories before bedtime can be agitating. The sleep environment should be used only for sleep and sex.
How to Stop Snoring
Depending on what’s causing your snoring, different strategies will be more effective at stopping your snoring, or at least lowering the volume.
For many, a few lifestyle changes is all it takes to make snoring go away completely or at least alleviate it significantly.
- Switch to sleeping on your side. If you sleep on your back, stopping your snoring could be as simple as switching to your side. Ensure you get a pillow that keeps your neck and spine aligned, ideal for keeping the airways open. You may also want to get a body pillow or two to help bolster your body and keep yourself in the side sleeping position as you transition to this new mode of sleeping.
- Watch what you eat. Heavy meals before bed disrupt sleep and may worsen your snoring. For more restful sleep, eat dinner at least a few hours before bed, and enjoy a late snack of one of these sleep-healthy foods if you get peckish. If you’re overweight, commit to eating healthier foods and work with a nutritionist to develop a diet you can stick to. The more you can reduce the fatty tissue around your throat, the easier it will be for you to breathe at night.
- Engage in regular exercise. Exercise helps you lose weight, reducing snoring, but it also strengthens muscle tone throughout your body. The stronger your muscles, the better they’ll be able to stay open while you sleep.
- Practice anti-snoring exercises as part of your bedtime routine. Any exercise will increase your neck and throat muscles, but you can strengthen your throat muscles specifically with any one of the following exercises:
- With your mouth closed, purse your lips for 30 seconds.
- Say each of the vowels out loud. Repeat for 3 minutes.
- Open your mouth and shift your jaw to one side. Hold for 30 seconds, then shift it to the other side for 30 seconds.
- Position the tip of your tongue against your top front teeth, and then slide it backwards along the ridge of your mouth for 3 minutes.
- Throughout the day, sing to yourself or practice chewing on both sides of your mouth.
Watch this video for a demonstration of these exercises, or follow the instructional guide below:
- Stop smoking. Over time, chronic smoking dries out your nasal membranes, making snoring louder.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, especially before bed, relaxes your muscles and worsens snoring. Avoid alcohol late at night, and limit your intake generally. Although it may initially make you drowsy, alcohol does not lead to restful sleep.
- Drink more water instead. Avoid drying out your mouth (and making snoring louder) by staying hydrated throughout the day.
- Review your medications. Some of your medications may have sedative side effects or dry out your mouth. If you have a snoring problem, let your doctor know. They may be able to prescribe you an alternative medicine that does not have the same side effects.
- Do not take sleeping pills. The sedative effects of sleeping pills put your nasal and throat tissues to sleep, too, worsening snoring. When overused, they can become addictive and dangerous. Instead, consult your doctor about using melatonin as a sleep aid.
If lifestyle changes aren’t making a significant difference, investing in one or more of these products is the next step to take to reduce your snoring.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom. By keeping the air in your bedroom moist, you prevent air from drying out your nasal membranes and causing that characteristic rattling snoring sound.
- Get an air purifier with a HEPA filter. For those with allergic rhinitis, this will clear your bedroom air of any allergens that contribute to your nasal congestion.
- Get fitted for an anti-snoring mouthpiece. These are specially constructed by a dentist and designed to pull your tongue forward or keep your lower jaw in a forward position while you sleep. The end effect is a wider airway that allows for easier breathing.
- Try nasal vents. These look like earplugs, but they fit inside your nose and keep your nostrils open while you sleep, preventing snoring.
- Try anti-snoring nasal strips. These flatten your nose, thereby opening up your nostrils. Many women find these to be a helpful, non-medical solution for snoring during pregnancy.
- Look into anti-snoring wedge pillows. These are designed to keep the head in an ideal position for open airways.
- Stay on your side with anti-snoring pajamas. These help prevent snoring by keeping you in a side-sleeping position. These may have an inflatable belt around your midsection, or feature a pocket for a tennis ball to fit into. When you start to roll onto your back, the discomfort pushes you back onto your side.
- Use a nasal rinse with saline, like a neti pot. These effectively clear the airways if you’re dealing with nasal congestion from seasonal allergies or an illness.
- Get over-the-counter nasal decongestants if you’re sick. Not only will these relieve snoring during your cold, they’ll also free up your nasal congestion and help you feel a bit less miserable.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes and anti-snoring products aren’t enough. If snoring is still disrupting your sleep quality, it may be time for medical intervention. There are various options here.
CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea. If your snoring is caused by your sleep apnea, you will first need to get a sleep study done and be diagnosed with sleep apnea. From there, the sleep doctor will have you fitted for a CPAP machine. These devices are connected by a tube to a mask you wear on your face while you sleep. Through the tube, the machine delivers a consistent amount of air pressure, keeping your airways open and preventing snoring and sleep apnea.
Multiple anti-snoring surgical procedures have been developed to address specific areas of your airway that are blocked and causing snoring.
- Septoplasty realigns the septum (the piece of cartilage between your nostrils) to enable better airflow.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3 for short) opens your throat by removing the uvula and some of the soft palate.
- Uvuloplasty removes just the uvula, opening up the throat behind the soft palate.
- Somnoplasty uses heat to shrink the throat tissues and widen your airway.
- Tonsillectomy removes enlarged tonsils or adenoids, opening up your throat. This is one of the most common procedures for children with snoring or sleep apnea.
15 Remedies That Will Stop Snoring
In some cases of snoring, it’s important to seek a doctor’s care in order to get the medical treatment you need to address the underlying condition.
Cases of snoring caused by benign factors — like sleep position — can often be treated with simple home remedies.
Here are 15 remedies commonly used to treat snoring and its various causes:
1. Lose weight if you are overweight.
This will help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat that might be causing your snoring. You can lose weight by reducing your overall caloric intake by eating smaller portions and more healthy foods. Make sure you get regular exercise daily. You may also consider seeing your doctor or a nutritionist for help.
2. Sleep on your side.
Sleeping on your back sometimes causes the tongue to move to the back of the throat, which partly blocks airflow through your throat. Sleeping on your side may be all you need to do to allow air to flow easily and reduce or stop your snoring.
3. Raise up the head of your bed.
Elevating the head of your bed by four inches may help reduce your snoring by keeping your airways open.
4. Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
Stick-on nasal strips can be placed on the bridge of the nose to help increase the space in the nasal passage. This can make your breathing more effective and reduce or eliminate your snoring.
You could also try a nasal dilator, which is a stiffened adhesive strip that’s applied on top of the nose across the nostrils. This can decrease airflow resistance, making it easier to breath.
Try nasal strips to help reduce snoring.
5. Treat chronic allergies.
Allergies can reduce airflow through your nose, which forces you to breathe through your mouth. This increases the likelihood that you’ll snore. Talk to your doctor about what kind of over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications may improve your condition.
Buy over-the-counter allergy medication now.
6. Correct structural problems in your nose.
Some people are born with or experience an injury that gives them a deviated septum. This is the misalignment of the wall that separates both sides of the nose, which restricts airflow. It may cause mouth breathing during sleep, causing snoring. It may be necessary to get surgery to correct this condition. Talk to your doctor.
7. Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.
Try not to consume alcohol for at least two hours leading up to your bedtime. Alcohol can relax the throat muscles, causing snoring.
8. Avoid taking sedatives before bed.
If you snore and take sedatives, talk to your doctor to see what your options are. Stopping sedative use before bed may ease your snoring.
9. Stop smoking.
Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can worsen your snoring. Talk to your doctor about therapies — such as gum or patches — that can help you quit.
10. Get enough sleep.
Make sure you get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep you need each night.
11. Use an oral appliance.
Dental mouthpieces called “oral appliances” can help keep your air passages open, making it easier for you to breathe. This prevents snoring. You need to see your dentist to get one of these devices made.
12. Use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
If medically appropriate, wearing a pressurized air mask over your nose when you sleep can help keep your airway open. This treatment is often recommended to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
13. Wear palatal implants.
Also called the “pillar procedure,” this treatment involves injecting braided strands of polyester filament into your mouth’s soft palate. This stiffens it to reduce snoring.
14. Get UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).
This type of surgery tightens throat tissue in the hopes it will reduce snoring. Laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (LAUPPP), which is sometimes more effective than UPPP, is also available.
15. Radiofrequency tissue ablation (somnoplasty).
This new treatment uses low-intensity radio waves to shrink the tissue on your soft palate to reduce snoring.
Poke? Prod? Separate bedrooms? How to Handle a Snoring Spouse
Now onto the snoring etiquette! When I posted your question on my Facebook page, my readers came through with loads of practical advice that was clearly based on extensive experience:
- “Many a marriage has been saved with separate bedrooms (and a two-sink bathroom).”
- “The one who’s having anger issues should sleep in a different bed. Why do couples feel they must share a bed every night? My partner and I have separate bedrooms, we cuddle before we go to sleep in one bed or the other, then sleep separately most nights. It’s okay–really!”
- “Instead of pushing, shoving & elbowing I tickle the hair lightly by the neck, knee or other area so he thinks it’s an itch. This makes him change breathing patterns. And then he stops snoring long enough for me to fall to sleep.”
Here’s my own advice for snorers:
- Make sure your snoring has been properly diagnosed and you are following a treatment plan—which may include sleeping on more pillows, taking a decongestant, foregoing the nightcap and/or losing some weight.
- Provide earplugs for bedmates.
- Try “snore strips” such as Breath Right.
- Tell your sleeping companion that it’s okay to wake you up when your snoring gets too loud.
- If it takes more than two or three prods to stop your snoring, your sleep mate deserves the bed to him- or herself.
And here’s my advice for anyone sharing a bed with a snorer:
- Remember that snoring is a medical condition, not a personal failing. Don’t exacerbate your sleeplessness with an outburst of anger.
- If “occasional” snoring has become nightly, consider together whether there have been any changes in a partner’s health or behavior that could contribute to the increase. Regardless, be gentle with your spouse and discuss this in a non-confrontational manner—and not when you both are trying to get some zzzs.
- Wear earplugs.
- If the snoring continues to bother you, consider sleeping separately. As one Facebook poster put it: “I’ve been sleeping in our guest bed on and off for 22 years. Just before he wakes up I slip back into our bed to give him a kiss to start our day.”
I would only add this: Occasional prodding and poking are fine, but if you’re counting on a long and happy marriage, beware the resentment and shoving. Get to the heart of the matter as quickly as you can.
Has snoring been a problem in your relationship? How have you handled it?
Every Thursday, Steven Petrow, the author of five etiquette books, and the forthcoming “Mind Your Digital Manners,” addresses questions about medical manners.
Send your question to [email protected]
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How to Stop Your Partner Snoring
Do you snore at night? You probably won’t know as you’re sound asleep! However, if you have a snoring partner, then you’ll know how annoying it can be. This can often lead to sleep deprivation – or even relationship issues – in the future. To help you, we teamed up with the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association to bring you some tips on how you can help prevent snoring. This infographic explains why you or your partner might snore and how you can stop your partner snoring, so you can both get a better night’s sleep.
Related: We Asked 5 Doctors For The Fastest Way To Stop Snoring
Why Snoring Happens
Are you kept awake at night by your partner’s nocturnal noises? It’s not uncommon: 45% of adults snore at least occasionally. Snoring happens when air is unable to move freely through the nose and throat whilst someone sleeps. This causes vibrations, which in turn causes the snoring sound. However, it is not as simple as that, as there are various snoring causes.
What Causes Snoring
There are many remedies that can help to prevent someone from snoring, but first, it’s important to determine what kind of snorer they are. Most snoring comes from the nose and throat, but other factors, such as the tongue and soft palate can contribute to snoring. The type of snoring will determine the ways you can help to stop someone from snoring.
There are 5 main types of snorers:
- Nose Snorers – The cause of snoring is a blocked nasal passage or collapsing nostrils that leads to mouth breathing.
- Mouth Breather – This type of snoring is caused by the mouth falling open and a relaxed jaw.
- Tongue Snorers – The tongue being dropped to the back of the mouth and obstructs airways in tongue snorers.
- Palatal Flutterer – The cause of this snoring is the soft palate and uvula vibrating.
- Multifactorial –When snoring is caused by a combination of the above, you have a multifactorial snorer.
Read more: What Causes Snoring? How Can You Prevent It?
What Type Of Snorer Am I?
To work out which kind of snorer your partner is, and consequently, the solutions, get them to try the following tests. If none of the tests seems to work, they’re likely to be a palatal flutterer. If they can answer yes to more than one, they’re a multifactorial snorer.
The nose test – Look in a mirror. Press the side of one nostril to close it. With your mouth closed, breathe in through the other nostril. Does the nostril collapse? Also, with your mouth closed, try breathing in through your nose. Can you breathe easily? If breathing is difficult or the nostril collapses, you are likely a nose snorer.
The mouth test – Open your mouth and make a snoring noise. Now, can you make the same noise with your mouth closed? If yes, you are a mouth breather.
The tongue test – Make a snoring noise. Now stick your tongue out as far as it will go and grip it between your teeth. Is the snoring noise reduced? If yes, you are a tongue snorer.
Figuring out which type of snorer you are can help you to discover how to stop snoring.
Can Snoring Be Cured?
There are various ways to help prevent snoring, both before falling asleep and when someone is already asleep. But it all depends on the person and the type of snorer that they are. But for some, snoring can even be an indicator of more serious health issues, so if the following remedies don’t work, you should see your GP.
How To Prevent Snoring
If you’re being kept awake by someone snoring, there are various ways to help prevent snoring. There are a range of snoring solutions, from aids to natural remedies, though often the way to prevent snoring depends on what type of snorer you or your partner is.
Stop Snoring Aids
To get a good night’s sleep and stop your partner snoring, try out the appropriate options below depending on which type of snorer you partner is:
- Nasal strips
- Nasal dilator
- Eyebright nasal spray
These help to widen the nasal passages, which helps to reduce the vibration that causes snoring.
- Chin-up strips
- Oral shield (snore guard)
- Eyebright mouth spray
These solutions prevent snoring in different ways; chin straps close your mouth, oral shields block the passage of air and mouth spray relaxes your muscles. All of which can help to reduce the vibration that causes someone to snore.
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD)
The MAD holds your lower jaw and tongue forward creating more space to breathe, which can help to prevent snoring.
- Chin-up strips
- Eyebright mouth spray
By holding your mouth closed or relaxing your muscles these solutions limit the vibration that causes snoring.
- Nasal strips
- Nasal dilator
- Eyebright mouth and nasal spray
- Chin-up strips
- Oral shield (snore guard)
- Mandibular advancement device
Each device works differently. Multifactorial snores should try to find a balance between effectiveness and comfort.
How To Stop Snoring Naturally
If you don’t want to spend money on devices or strips, there are few natural remedies you can try beforehand, regardless of which type of snorer you are, or your partner is. A few lifestyle changes can play a key part. For example, the NHS advises you try to lose weight, as being overweight or having an unhealthy diet can increase the fatty tissue in the throat, which in turn can lead to snoring.
Also, avoid alcohol before bed and don’t overdrink. Alcohol and sedatives relax the muscles in the throat, which can block air passages. Push Doctor advises that you stop smoking, as smoking blocks airways by irritating the membranes in the nose and throat, which can lead to snoring.
You could also try to stop snoring with essential oils. Although research on the effectiveness of essential oils on snoring is limited, some people swear by them. For example, peppermint is known to help clear the sinuses, and so can help if you snore more when you’re stuffed up.
Read more: 7 Ways To Prevent Snoring Naturally
How To Stop Someone Snoring When They Are Sleeping
Waiting for someone to adjust their lifestyle is an effective method, but obviously takes time. If you are fed up of sleepless nights, there are a few things you can try to stop someone snoring when they are already asleep:
- Lie them on their side. The NHS says that if you sleep on your side, it avoids the squashed airways you could get if you sleep on your back. If your partner is likely to roll onto their back often, buy them a body pillow that will prevent this.
- Place extra pillows under their head. Bupa recommends elevating the head with good quality pillows.
How To Sleep When Someone Is Snoring
If your partner’s snoring doesn’t seem to be stopping and it’s keeping you awake, it’s important to prioritise your own sleep needs. The most obvious solutions are to adjust your sleeping patterns for example, if you go to bed before them, you’re more likely to be asleep before the snoring starts. If you have a spare room, don’t be afraid to use it, a third of married couples admit to sleeping better alone.
Read more: Should Couples Sleep in Separate Beds? Dr Sarah Brewer
If you haven’t got a spare room and the snoring wakes you up. It might be best to invest in some good quality earplugs and remember to keep your partner’s head elevated while they sleep on their side.
If all of the above doesn’t work, it’s best to see your GP, snoring can often be a symptom of the sleep disorder Sleep Apnea, so it’s always good to get it checked if in doubt.
Read more: Sleep Apnea: The Symptoms, Causes & Treatments.
Have any of these techniques managed to stop your partner snoring? Let us know in the comments below.
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Ever fallen asleep at your desk or felt yourself nodding off on the highway? Is hitting the snooze button five times and drinking your weight in coffee still not enough to prop you up through your day? There are many reasons Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, but one good reason could be lying in bed right next to you: a snoring spouse.
According to the TODAY “Snooze or Lose” Sleep Survey, 33 percent of adults says a spouse or significant other has disturbed their sleep over the past year.
Tips for sleeping through your partners snoring
Nov. 13, 201403:55
Richmond, Virginia, painter Tracey St. Peter dealt with her husband Kevin Murphy’s supersonic snoring for their first 18 years together. After being woken up for the third or fourth time at night, she says, “I would literally scream out, ‘I’m going to go deaf—you’re a monster!’” But just as he slept through his own snores, her howls fell on deaf ears.
Days were as bad as nights, as St. Peter found herself increasingly irritable without really knowing why. Dr. Shelby Harris director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City says that crankiness is only one of the side effects that comes from not getting enough sleep. “It can also lead to poor memory function, and a whole host of health issues, including diabetes,” she says.
In order to save your sleep—and possibly your relationship—we polled some sleep and snoring experts to find out how one can successfully live with a sleeping one-man-band with the help of tennis balls (yes, tennis balls) a video camera and a little bit of Zen.
“Try not to see the sound as the annoying noise of someone snoring. Instead, think of it as the sound of someone you love breathing,” suggests an entry on WikiHow. Anyone who has ever tried to get some shut-eye while the person next to them blasted nose trombone is rolling their eyes right now, but Joy Martina, Ph.D and co-author of the upcoming book “Sleep your Fat Away,” says that learning to embrace the snore isn’t so far-fetched. She suggests hypnosis can help the non-snoring partner actually find the sounds soothing rather than infuriating. “Most people like sleeping next to the sound of waves,” she says. “The snoring also comes in waves. So through hypnosis, you can give people the suggestion that every time they hear their spouse snores, it lulls them into deeper sleep.”
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While this might be a dicey topic to broach with your beloved, persuading them to lose a few pounds may help quiet them down. Dr. Andrew Westwood, an assistant professor of clinical neurology specializing in sleep disorders at Columbia University Medical Center, says “some people who snore haven’t always snored— they’ve gained weight and then they start. So if over the last year they’ve gained 20 pounds, then losing that weight is probably going to solve the problem.”
Roll Them Over
“Some people only snore when they’re on their back,” says Robert Turner a counselor at the Rose Sleep Disorder Center. “So there are lots of mechanisms for keeping people off their back.” Some of these mechanisms include a shove in the night, but you can also sew a tennis ball into the back of a T-shirt to discourage back-sleeping.
Open those Passageways
They won’t work for everyone, but Dr. Westwood has suggested Theravent, an over-the-counter “snore strip” for non-chronic snorers.
Dr. Harris has had good results with patients who wear earplugs to block the noise, but not everyone finds them physically comfortable and others won’t wear them because they’re afraid they’ll miss the sounds they need to hear, such as their alarm clock or child’s cries. In that case, she suggests, “If the person refuses to get treatment, sleeping in separate rooms will make everyone less irritable together during the day.” Turner agrees with the separate bedroom solution. “Our society tends to believe that if you don’t sleep in the same room, that it somehow indicates that there’s a problem with the relationship, and that’s not the case at all.”
Read: ‘Happily united’ in separate rooms: Why my husband and I sleep apart
Let’s go to the Videotape!
Though St. Peter was often tempted to record her husband’s snores and then play it back to him, she always resisted, thinking he would be horrified by the cacophony. But Dr. Westwood says it can be quite helpful. “I have a couple patients who’ve done that, and then if they can hear themselves and the dramatic noises they’re making, it can frighten them enough to get help.”
Speaking of getting help. . . .
One thing that every expert polled agreed on, was that if you are sleeping with a chronic, loud snorer, it’s imperative to get them evaluated for sleep apnea, which can lead to heart problems, strokes, diabetes, and a host of other unpleasantness. Besides snoring, there are other issues such as drowsiness during the day, irritability, and lack of focus.
How sleep apnea affects a good night’s rest
Nov. 13, 201406:06
Indeed, St. Peter’s husband was unconvinced of just how bad it was until his boss insisted he take time off work and get his health in check, after noting that Kevin was increasingly forgetful and sleepy on the job. “He told me, ‘I just can’t have you getting in a car and crashing and dying,’” Murphy said.
Unwilling to put his job at risk, Murphy went in for a sleep evaluation and was immediately diagnosed with sleep apnea. He says, “I avoided being tested for so many years, because I just assumed I could never sleep with a machine on my face, but I was wrong.”
The machine Murphy is talking about is called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device, which increases the air pressure in the throat, so the wearer breathes easier—and more quietly. As a bonus, the hum of the machine acts as a sort of white noise machine for his wife. “I find it soothing,” she says.
The difference was immediate and dramatic. “We’re both much happier now,” St. Peter laughs, her relief audible. Murphy agrees. “I can actually live a real life again. I’ve had it about a month now, and I haven’t fallen asleep in the middle of the day, I’m not drowsy driving . . . I thought the medicine would be worse than the cure and it wasn’t.”
Because when it comes down to it, all the tennis balls, affirmations, and nasal strips in the world won’t make as much of a difference as nipping the sound at its source. Westwood has seen it hundreds of times in his studies. “We’re like relationship counselors,” he laughs.
How To Sleep With A Snorer
Does your partner keep you awake all night with noisy breathing? These tips may help you get a better night’s rest.
You set your bedroom thermostat to the perfect cool temperature, put fresh linens on your bed, and turned off all your electronics an hour ago. But for many people, there’s one thing about their sleep environment that they can’t control: the noise of a partner’s snoring. If this sounds like your situation and your sleep quality is suffering because of it, these tips may help you get the rest you need.
Change Your Pillows
Thanks to congested nasal passages, allergy sufferers are more likely to snore. Pillows, which collect dust and aren’t washed as often as your sheets, can hold these this common allergen, so consider cleaning or changing them every six months to ease your partner’s snoring. Nasal strips or a nasal decongestant taken before bed may also help, especially if the allergies are seasonal.
Change the Angle
Elevating the head of your bed by about four inches (use blocks or wedges beneath the front supports) may help clear nasal passages. For a more low-maintenance option, have your partner sleep on a thicker pillow that raises the head up a little more.
Roll Your Partner Over
Sometimes, snoring can be due to sleep position. If your partner is a back sleeper, snoring may be a result of the tongue relaxing and rolling to the wall of the throat, partially blocking the airway. Placing a pillow behind your partner can help enforce side sleeping. Another strategy: Sew a tennis ball in the back of your partner’s sleep shirt to discourage rolling onto the back.
Invest in a Sound Machine
A little bit of neutral background noise goes a long way in muffling the sounds of a snoring partner. White noise machines come pre-loaded with several different variations of unobtrusive sounds; you can also download white noise sound files to play through your phone overnight.
How to Keep Snoring from Hurting Your Relationship
Snoring doesn’t just interfere with the snorer’s sleep. When it comes to couples, one person’s snoring often means sleep trouble for two.
And it isn’t only sleep that can suffer. Snoring can put great strain on relationships. A snoring problem often creates not only tiredness but also frustration and resentment between couples. It can interfere with sexual and emotional intimacy, and can push couples to sleep in separate bedrooms.
There are many good reasons to treat snoring, including restoring sleep quality, guarding against risks to health, and improving daytime functioning. Protecting the health and intimacy of your relationship is another important reason to treat a snoring problem.
How can snoring cause so much trouble within a relationship?
Snoring, a form of sleep-disordered breathing, interferes with sleep quality and sleep quantity, both for the person who snores, and, often, for the person who sleeps with a snorer. Poor quality and insufficient sleep interfere with our thinking skills and judgment. Lack of sleep can make us irritable and short-tempered. Poor sleep diminishes our ability to manage conflict well, increasing negative feelings and reducing our ability to empathize. Lack of sleep has been shown in scientific research to make couples feel less appreciative of each other, and to experience greater feelings of selfishness. Sound like a recipe for relationship difficulties? It is.
What’s more, snoring itself can become a focal point of both frustration and shame within the dynamic of a couple’s relationship. The person who is kept awake (or who has to shuffle off to the spare bedroom in the middle of the night) may grow to feel resentful of his or her snoring partner. The snorer, meanwhile, often feels guilty, ashamed, and helpless about their noisy, disruptive sleep. These feelings can be a real source of irritation and isolation for even very loving couples.
It’s no surprise that snoring often sends couples to separate bedrooms in search of undisturbed rest. Some couples may find that sleeping apart suits them well, and doesn’t diminish their feelings of closeness. But many couples very much want to sleep together—but can’t, because of a snoring issue. Sleeping apart can interfere with intimacy, sexual and emotional. Couples may find themselves having sex less often when they’re regularly sleeping apart. Partners also may miss the physical closeness of sleeping together, and the emotional bond that it confers for many people.
Snoring isn’t the only reason that couples resort to sleeping apart. Different schedules and different preferences for bedtimes and wake times may lead couples to separate sleeping spaces. Issues within a couple’s sleep environment—a room that’s too hot, or too bright, or a bed that’s too small—can also drive couples to different rooms. But snoring is a common reason. Think you’re alone in sleeping separately from your partner? Far from it. Estimates vary, but recent studies and surveys indicate that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of couples are regularly sleeping in separate bedrooms.
It doesn’t need to be this way. Tending to a snoring problem can pave the way for couples to sleep peacefully—and quietly—together, and help to improve the way couples relate to one another during their waking day.
EPAP (expiratory positive airway pressure) presents one of the most effective—and couple-friendly—therapies available to reduce or eliminate snoring. EPAP, which uses the sleeper’s own exhaling breath to help alleviate snoring, is the next evolution in positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, which has been successful for many years in treating forms of sleep-disordered breathing. Theravent uses EPAP therapy to keep the upper airway open and unobstructed during sleep, reducing the vibration of tissue at the back of the throat that creates the disruptive noise of snoring.
Unlike continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which requires a mask worn over the face and a machine to supply a constant stream of air, Theravent’s EPAP technology uses only a small adhesive device worn just under the nostrils. The Theravent device contains micro-valves that harness the sleeper’s breath to provide air pressure to keep the upper airway open and reduce or eliminate snoring.
One significant issue with CPAP is compliance—the willingness and ability of a patient to use the device regularly and as directed. The equipment required for CPAP therapy is one reason why it isn’t always used consistently. Theravent’s EPAP device is small and unobtrusive. The snorer in your relationship may find Theravent’s small, device easier to use regularly. And without a mouthpiece or a machine, couples may find it easier to enjoy sleeping close and unencumbered.
Tending to a snoring issue can lead to better sleep for both partners, as well as a more loving and harmonious relationship that includes sleeping together, not apart. Sleeping well with the person we love is the goal, and by treating snoring effectively, it can happen.
Michael J. Breus, Ph.D.
The Sleep Doctor™
Say What? Yes, Your Hair Dryer Makes You Deaf
While not sleeping because of no apparent reason is already pretty frustrating, it’s even worse when it’s caused by something you can’t control: noise. You can ask your neighbours to lower the volume of their music, but it’s a lot harder to ask your partner to stop snoring.
The first thing you might be inclined to do is just giving an elbow in the sides but you can imagine this is not the most effective tactic. However, there are some methods to tackle this problem. Here they are.
1. Don’t focus on the sound of the snoring
This is probably the most important thing to do. Getting annoyed by the sound is the worst thing you can do, so try to focus on other things if you want to sleep.
2. Wear earplugs
Okay, this is one you could’ve come up with yourself, but we just wanna make sure you’re thinking about everything.
3. Listen to music or white noise
If music distracts you from sleeping as well, white noise could be an option. White noise the kind of sound that a static TV makes. It’s easy to ignore and blocks out most of the other sounds. If you don’t have a TV near your bed, you can put on a fan. It’s also fairly easy to play it on your phone or sound system, just look for ‘white noise’ on YouTube.
4. Change the position of your partner
Lying on your back makes you snore, so making your partner sleep on their sides can help stop it. What also helps: lifting the head. So get an extra pillow for him or her.
5. Ask him or her to go to a doctor
There can be a medical solution to the problem, so it’s always a good idea to go to a doctor with this. Stopping with smoking, nose spray or medication for other conditions are possible solutions.
Do you have other tips for trying to sleep? Let us know! We’re always happy with your input.
Help! My Husband Snores and I Can’t Sleep!
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Hearing complaints that a husband snores is probably almost as common as hearing that kids forget to make their beds. Unfortunately, a husband’s snoring issue can negatively influence not only his own sleep (and health), but yours too. Many people snore, and it is especially common in men.
Snoring is caused by a partial obstruction or narrowing in the throat, mouth or nose due to a number of factors, including:
- being overweight
- nasal congestion
- a deviated septum
- alcohol use
The problem is especially common in men because airway passages in men are narrower than in women. It is the vibrations from the tissues that produce the annoying sounds that can have you tossing and turning and keep you up all night. If your husband snores, here are some top tips to tame the beast and get some real sleep yourself.
Weight Loss & Snoring
If your husband is overweight, help him shed some extra pounds. Losing even a small amount of weight will decrease snoring by reducing fat in the back of the throat that can constrict breathing.
You know the drill: Replace fatty meats with lean meat and get rid of the skin on poultry. Avoid or greatly limit processed foods and introduce more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains into his diet. Become members of a local gym or simply take a daily brisk walk together every evening.
Lying on your back can cause the tongue to fall back, obstructing the airway. Suggest that your husband lie on his side with pillows propped up against his back, or attach a tennis ball to the back of his night shirt to make it uncomfortable when he tries to sleep on his back.
Decongestants can help clear nasal congestion, but they should be used for short periods only. Natural remedies include drinking a lot of water, using a neti pot and inhaling steam. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, a natural decongestant, to a pot of hot water and have him lean over the pot with a towel over his head to trap the steam.
Nasal strips can also help your husband if he has nasal congestion, or if he has a deviated septum. These are flexible, “spring-like” bands that are applied to the outside of the nose. They open nasal passages by lifting the sides of the nose.
Not only does smoking cause a number of health problems like heart disease and lung cancer, it can also lead to a narrowing of the airways by irritating their membranes. If your husband smokes, encourage him to quit with the help of a support system, nicotine replacement products and/or pharmaceuticals.
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system which relaxes muscles, causing the airways to narrow. If your husband drinks alcohol, encourage him to quit (especially if he is overweight) or at least stop drinking a couple of hours before bedtime. Antihistamines and sleeping pills should also be avoided before going to sleep because they can have the same effect as alcohol.
Visit the Doctor
Habitual snoring can result in sleep deprivation and health problems like high blood pressure. If the above remedies do not work, urge him to consult his doctor. If your husband snores and periodically stops breathing for a short time before gasping for air during the night, he may have a serious condition called sleep apnea. If this is the case, he should make the next available appointment with his doctor to be examined.
Ear Plugs and Sleeping Arrangement
Until the problem is fixed, try wearing ear plugs to block out the sound of his snores. If this doesn’t help, and his snoring is affecting your sleep and health, you may want to consider sleeping in another room.
Written by: Diana Cooper
Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com
Published: 14 Jun 2011
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2015