At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than sliding into bed next to your partner. Until the snoring starts. No matter how close your relationship or comfortable your mattress, a partner who’s sawing logs can ruin your night.
Listed by the Mayo Clinic as an actual condition, snoring can be disruptive to one’s sleep hygiene and in turn, overall health. There are ways to fix your schedule, but it’s hard to get out of this rut.
For this reason, it’s best to attack the source: snoring. These six strategies can help you both sleep through the night.
When your partner snores, the best thing you can do to remedy the issue is to work with your partner to stop the issue.
1. Talk About It
Don’t suffer in silence. Have a conversation about your partner’s snoring, but keep it light. “Are you tired this morning? You were really ripping it up last night.” or “Man, I felt like I was sleeping on the runway at LaGuardia all night. Did you sleep OK?”
The response will usually be a surprise, then an apology. It’s important to understand they aren’t snoring on purpose. Work together to come up with a civil gameplan.
2. Have a Wake-Up or Shake-and-Roll Policy
Let your partner know that if their snoring wakes you up, you’ll try to shake them awake or try to re-orient them in bed.
Most snoring occurs from sleeping on the back, when the base of the tongue and soft palate slide against the back of the throat and cause vibration. Ease your partner onto their side or prop up their head with an additional pillow.
3. Try Breathe-Right Strips
Those adhesive strips attach to the outside of the nose, opening the airway and easing congestion that can cause snoring. The company claims that Breathe-Right strips reduce snoring for up to 90% of people who use them, but a 2014 survey of studies published in the International Journal of General Medicine showed mixed results.
Major drugstores also stock anti-snoring sprays and tablets such as SnoreStop, which contains a mix of herbs that are intended to reduce inflammation and ease congestion. They might be worth a try.
4. Get a Full-Body Pillow
Having your partner sleep against a full-body pillow will encourage them to move onto their side while sleeping — which will mitigate snoring.
This foam pillow is a good combination of support and softness to amend snoring and open airways. Ideally, have them sleep on their left side, as this discourages acid reflux problems
5. Start Happy Hour Earlier
Alcohol relaxes the muscles of the mouth and throat, which can lead to snoring. Stop drinking three hours before bedtime. Alcohol can also prevent a solid night of sleep, as it can prohibit REM cycle processes.
6. Make Sure It’s Not Serious
About 50 percent of chronic snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, in which breathing is interrupted occasionally during sleep. It’s a potentially dangerous condition that can lead to high blood pressure and heart and liver problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. This, along with other sleep conditions, can worsen with age. Have your partner talk to their doctor, who may refer them to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Although annoying, there are remedies for a snoring partner. However, it’s important to consult a doctor if snoring persists.