If your partner's snoring is keeping you up at night, you're not alone. Dr. Dianne Augelli, a sleep medicine specialist, says that 75 percent of the couples who come to her say partner's snores are to blame for their restless nights.
To help you both get a sound night's sleep, Augelli has a few tricks to keep the peace:
Because sleeping on your back puts you in prime position for snoring, Augelli recommends a "snore ball T-shirt" to help the offender sleep on his or her side.
"Essentially, it's just putting two or three tennis balls into a pocket on the back of a t-shirt, which makes it uncomfortable and unpleasant to sleep on your back," Augelli explains in the above #OWNSHOW video. "And so people will tend to learn to sleep on their side."
If the tennis ball fails, Augelli says she occasionally recommends purchasing an inflatable belt made specifically for snoring. Like the snore ball T-shirt, an inflatable belt makes it difficult to sleep on your back.
Surrounding yourself in stiff body pillows may also do the trick, Augelli says. She instructs to place them on either side of the body which can help you stay positioned your side.
While these simple solutions can work for the casual snorer, it's important to note that people who suffer from sleep apnea need more than a home remedy. "[Sleep] apnea is a collapse of your airway, where it doesn't allow enough oxygen or air to flow through," Augelli explains. "This can have profound effects on your heart, your brain and your entire body functioning."
Sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Gasping for breath
- Your partner witnessing you stop breathing or having pauses in your breathing
- Loud snoring that can be heard outside of the bedroom
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
If you or your partner suffers from sleep apnea, Augelli says there are two helpful products on the market that you can discuss with your physician.
Your doctor may recommend you wear a CPAP device, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The device supplies air to sleep apnea patients through a tube connected to a mask -- but unfortunately, this can be an uncomfortable experience. "Having something on your face can be a little bit difficult for some people, especially side sleepers," Augelli says.
In this case, Augelli recommends her patients try a CPAP pillow. "Basically, they're grooved on each side, which allows a patient wearing a mask to turn from side to side without pushing their mask away from their face and causing leaks," she says.
For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, Augelli may suggest something called a mandibular advancement device. This custom fitted device is fitted to the lower teeth and the upper teeth and pulls the lower jaw forward, creating more airway space.
More advice: Should you get out of bed when you can't sleep?
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