Strategies for Sharing a Bed with a Chronic Snorer

Last updated: August 18th, 2023

If you're sharing a bed with someone who snores, it can indeed be a challenge to get a good night's sleep. Here are several strategies you can try to minimize the impact of their snoring:

  1. Adjust Sleeping Positions:

    • Ask the person to sleep on their side instead of their back. When someone sleeps on their back, their tongue may fall backwards into the throat, narrowing the airway and causing snoring.
    • There are specially designed pillows available that can help keep the snorer in a side-sleeping position.
    • Sewing a tennis ball into the back of their pajama top can make it uncomfortable for them to sleep on their back, which might encourage side sleeping.
  2. Nasal Strips or Nasal Dilators: These over-the-counter products help open the nasal passages, which can reduce snoring for some individuals.

  3. Lifestyle Changes:

    • Losing weight can reduce or eliminate snoring for some people.
    • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed can reduce the risk of snoring.
    • Staying well-hydrated can prevent tissues in the throat from becoming sticky and causing snoring.
  4. Establish a Bedtime Routine: Going to bed at the same time each night can help both of you fall asleep faster and possibly reduce the snoring.

  5. Sound Masking or White Noise Machines: These devices can help mask the sound of snoring, making it less noticeable.

  6. Earplugs: Consider using soft earplugs to block out the noise. There are even earplugs specifically designed for sleeping.

  7. Snoring Mouthpiece: Snoring mouthpieces, also known as dental devices or mandibular advancement devices (MADs), are designed to prevent snoring by adjusting the position of the mouth and jaw. Here's how they typically work to address snoring:

    • Repositioning the Jaw: The primary function of many snoring mouthpieces is to gently push the lower jaw (mandible) forward. This advancement of the jaw can enlarge the airway, reducing the air resistance that leads to snoring.

    • Lifting the Soft Palate: By advancing the lower jaw, some mouthpieces can also lift the soft palate slightly. This action reduces the vibration of the soft palate, which is a common source of the snoring sound.

    • Holding the Tongue: Some devices have a design feature that prevents the tongue from falling backward into the throat. This is especially useful for individuals whose snoring originates from the base of the tongue blocking the airway.

    • Preventing Mouth Breathing: Some mouthpieces encourage nasal breathing by preventing the mouth from opening fully. Breathing through the nose can be quieter than mouth breathing and less likely to result in snoring for many individuals.

    • Stabilizing Loose Tissues: The adjusted position of the jaw can help tighten the tissues around the airway. Firmer tissues are less likely to vibrate as air flows past.

  8. Humidifier: Dry air can irritate the throat and nasal passages, making snoring worse. Consider adding a humidifier to your bedroom.

  9. Address Allergies: Allergies can cause nasal congestion, which can lead to snoring. Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications might help.

  10. Talk to a Doctor: Persistent snoring can be a sign of a more serious health issue like obstructive sleep apnea. It's a good idea to seek medical advice if the snoring is chronic.

  11. Communication: It's essential to talk to your partner about their snoring in a non-confrontational way. It's a sensitive topic, but addressing it together can help find a solution that works for both of you.

Remember that snoring can be a symptom of underlying health issues. While these strategies can help in many cases, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional if the snoring is persistent or severe.

FAQ: Living with Someone Who Snores

How do you share a bed with someone who snores?

Sharing a bed with someone who snores can be challenging, but there are several strategies to make it manageable:

  1. Encourage side sleeping: This position can reduce the chances of snoring.
  2. Elevate the head: Prop up your partner's head with pillows or raise the head of the bed to help open the airway.
  3. Invest in noise-cancelling earplugs: These can help mute the sound of snoring.
  4. Use a white noise machine: This can help mask the sound of snoring.
  5. Ensure a consistent sleep routine: Going to bed at the same time can help both of you sleep better.

How do I live with my snoring husband?

Living with a husband who snores can test your patience, but these approaches might help:

  1. Communication: Discuss the issue calmly and express how it affects your sleep.
  2. Encourage a medical check-up: Sometimes, snoring is a symptom of a more serious condition like sleep apnea.
  3. Healthy habits: Encourage your husband to maintain a healthy weight, avoid alcohol before bedtime, and quit smoking, as these can contribute to snoring.
  4. Anti-snoring devices: Explore over-the-counter options like nasal strips or consider consulting a dentist about mouthpieces designed to reduce snoring.

Should I wake someone who is snoring?

Waking someone up because they're snoring isn't always the best solution, as it can disrupt their sleep cycle. Instead, try gently changing their sleeping position, like turning them to their side. However, if the snoring is accompanied by pauses in breathing, it could be a sign of sleep apnea, and it's crucial to wake them and seek medical attention.

What is snoring spouse syndrome?

Snoring spouse syndrome refers to the sleep disturbances and subsequent daytime fatigue experienced by individuals who share a bed with someone who snores loudly. It can lead to irritability, health issues, relationship strain, and even sleeping in separate rooms. It's essential for couples to address the root cause of snoring and consider potential treatments to ensure both partners get a good night's sleep.

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