What can you do when you share a bed with someone whose snoring keeps you awake?
Comedians joke about snoring, but snoring can be deadly serious. Your partner's snoring could be a serious health and quality-of-life issue for you. If your partner's snoring undermines your sleep then your brain and body are doing less well. With poorer sleep your work life, friendships, memory, driving, and everything else you do in life may suffer. The snoring can even become a threat to your couple relationship. So if your partner's snoring is a problem for you, best to try to do something about it.
Here are nine things that might help.
1. Get Proof
Many people learn to sleep through the sounds of their heating system, traffic on the street, airplane traffic overhead, the noises neighbors make, and the sounds of a nearby railroad. So if the snoring problem is new, possibly within a week or two you might become accustomed to it and be able to sleep through the night. But if you are reading this, probably that has not worked out. Anything else you might try in order to deal with a partner's snoring requires your partner to at least accept what you do, and may require him (it's more often "him") to actively do something. So if your partner doesn't believe he snores, you will have to persuade him that he does. Sometimes an audio or video recording can help, as can testimony from overnight visitors or resident children. Assuming your partner can believe that he or she snores, any of the following might be doable and might help.
2. Fall Asleep First
If you partner's snoring is mainly a problem when you are trying to fall asleep, try to get to bed and to sleep first. Just a 15-minute head start might mean that you successfully fall asleep and sleep well.
3. Buy Earplugs
Some partners of snorers sleep with earplugs or bend their pillow so it covers their ears. Neither ear plugs nor a pillow will completely deaden the sound of loud snoring, but they may reduce the loudness enough so that you can sleep.
4. Try Nudging Them
If your partner can tolerate it, push or nudge him or talk to him when his snoring is blocking your sleep. That may wake him enough to change his breathing or to roll over from his back to his side (where he is less likely to snore) and his snoring may stop for a while.
5. Buy An Over-The-Counter Remedy
A Breathe-Right Strip across the nose reduces or eliminates the snoring of some people.
6. Determine If It's Allergies
Some people snore primarily when they have a cold, a sinus infection, or allergic reactions that affect their breathing. For them a decongestant or antihistamine might reduce or eliminate the snoring.
7. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Some people snore or snore much more when they have had alcohol. Even just a few sips of wine at dinner make some people snore loudly. If alcohol seems an issue, see if your snoring partner is willing to experiment with reducing the amount of alcohol he drinks or not drinking at all in the hours before bedtime.
8. Assess If It Could Be A Weight Problem
Losing weight may dampen down or eliminate snoring. Some snorers might have to lose many pounds to stop snoring. But for others, losing a few pounds can make a difference. One man told me that his normal weight was 220, and at that weight he did not snore. Whenever his wife told him he was snoring, he knew his weight was up a few pounds. Just dieting for a week would get his weight down to 220 and stop the snoring.
9. Find Another Place To Sleep
Having another place to sleep, even if it's only for a few nights a week or only part of some nights may help you to get more and higher quality sleep. It might be a couch in another room or the bed of a child who is off at college. Wherever it is, getting to the alternative sleeping place now and then may give you hours more of blessed sleep.