If you’ve ever slept with a snorer, you’ll know it can be an uphill struggle. But there are plenty of things you can try to help you both.
From wearing earplugs to changing sleep position, our tips might just set you on the path to happier sleep.
1. Understand the issue
Rather than endless digs to the ribs in the middle of the night, it’s always a good idea to have it out with the offending snorer in a grown-up conversation. Knowing the causes of the involuntary noise is a sensible start too.
Snoring is caused by the soft tissues (tonsils, soft palate) in your upper airway vibrating as a result of air not moving freely through it. Drinking alcohol, extreme tiredness and suffering from allergic reactions to dusts mites or pets can all affect snoring. Experiment with keeping a sleep diary, so you can both make a note of what could potentially be causing the issue. A doctor will also be able to help you with this.
2. Tune out the snoring
Before you even hit the sheets, you might feel convinced that you’ll not sleep due to the snoring. You’ll quickly become angry and resentful, and this in turn can keep you awake.
Try getting rid of these negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your sleep. Pay attention as you get into bed and pull your cosy duvet cover over your body, and that feeling when your head touches down on your soft pillow. By tuning into these pleasurable thoughts, your brain stands a better chance of adjusting when the inevitable happens, helping you to mentally tune out and get that longed-for night’s sleep.
3. Experiment with sleep positions
Snoring can happen in all sleeping positions, but it pays to work out which ones are proving more problematic for your sleep partner. If they sleep on their back, try moving them onto their side, as this will open up their airway rather than compress it.
You could also suggest other ideas such as taping or sewing a tennis ball into their nightwear to prevent them from rolling over onto their backs. If they’re still likely to sleep in this position, ask them to experiment with different pillow heights which could keep their airway in a better position and stop the snoring.
4. Wear earplugs
Earplugs can certainly help muffle out the unwelcome ambience beside you. When choosing them, think about how loud the noise is (mild or severe), then pay attention to the noise reduction rating (NRR).
Also consider if you want disposable or reusable plugs and the type of material you favour. Foam is popular for bedtime and can fit most ear canals. You can also opt for silicone wax if the foam versions irritate your ears.
5. Sleep in a different room
Sleeping with a snoring partner can lead to arguments and over time, can put a genuine strain on relationships. Sleeping separately may seem like a drastic measure, but it really doesn’t need to be, and is actually much more common than you might think.
You can still follow your normal bedtime routine and spend time together. When one of you starts to feel tired, say your goodnights and head off to the other room. You’ll both feel better in the morning for getting a good night’s sleep. Who knows, perhaps whoever wakes up first in the morning can bring the other a cup of tea in bed!