They might be your lifelong soulmate, but it’s hard to love a snorer when they’re keeping you awake at night. Whether they make a loud rumble or a bothersome whistle, snoring is never fun to deal with, especially if it’s preventing you from getting the 7 to 9 hours of sleep experts suggest we should aim for each night. Here’s how to stop your partner snoring.
If your partner snores, take some comfort in the fact you’re not alone. According to the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, 41.5% of the UK adult population snore, and 58% of these are between 50-59 years of age.
What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused when the air travelling through your nose, mouth or throat is partially obstructed during the night.
“When you sleep, the muscles in your mouth and throat relax and can partially block your airway, causing the tissue to vibrate,” explains Holly Housby, sleep expert at Sealy UK.
Snoring can be caused by a wide range of factors. “Often the biggest influences are related to your lifestyle, such as smoking, being overweight, and drinking alcohol before bed. However, your sleeping position can also contribute to snoring too.”
Housby says that if you fall asleep on your back for example, your tongue can move to the back of your throat during the night, which can partially block the airflow to your lungs.
One of the biggest misconceptions about snoring is that it only affects men. In reality, while these conditions are more common amongst men, women are also able to suffer too.
“It’s worth noting that snoring can also be related to health conditions, such as sleep apnea,” adds Housby. “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition which causes your airway to close down whilst you sleep, preventing you from breathing for a short time, before you suddenly gasp for breath.”
How to stop your partner snoring
Thankfully, experts say you can effectively lessen or silence the noise with a few simple and easy tricks. Stephanie Romiszewski is a sleep physiologist and Bensons for Beds sleep expert. Here, she’s outlined some handy tips that could be the answer to your nocturnal woes.
1. Get their back up
Sometimes, simply shifting your partner’s sleeping position can make all the difference. “Some people who snore tend to sleep on their back which can make snoring worse, so turn your partner on their side instead,” advises Romiszewski.
This simple tip seems too good to be true, but silencing your snores could be as simple as adjusting your sleeping position.
“Sleeping on your side rather than your back can help to reduce snoring, as this can prevent the base of your tongue collapsing into the back wall of your throat,” says Housby.
2. Give them a poke
If you’ve been enduring night after night of low-frequency rumbling, you probably won’t need any encouragement.
“Don’t poke them too hard though,” warns Romiszewski. “Just do it gently – this will get them out of their snoring state, without interrupting their sleep too much.”
3. Play midnight tennis
“Get your partner to try the tennis ball technique,” Romiszewski suggests. This is a sleep technique to stop your partner snoring that involves placing a tennis ball in a t-shirt pocket.
“Get your partner to put the t-shirt on backwards right before bed, as this will encourage your partner to learn to sleep on their side during the night – rather than their back.”
4. Skip the nightcap
Having a glass of wine with dinner might seem like a good idea at the time, but it can actually make your partner’s snoring worse during the night.
“It’s best to avoid alcohol in the hours before bed,” says Housby. “Alcohol has a sedative effect, which relaxes the jaw and throat muscles, making an obstruction in your airway more likely.”
5. Pile up the pillows
Here’s a pretty simple tip that you can try tonight. “If you sleep with a snorer, get them to use an extra pillow for elevation, which can reduce snoring,” says Romiszewski.
Alternatively, invest in a snoring pillow. They are specially designed to prevent snoring.
“Sleeping on a pillow which sufficiently supports your head and neck can help. It can ensure your head is propped up enough to prevent your airways becoming blocked,” Housby notes.
Get your partner to try out the Silentnight Anti-Snore Pillow to stop them snoring, available on Amazon.
6. Get a weight loss plan in place
Obesity and being overweight can increase the risk of many serious health problems, but it can also make snoring worse too. Excess fatty tissue around the neck and poor muscle tone can contribute to the problem.
Snoring is more common if you’re overweight, so taking steps to reduce excessive weight can help to reduce the chances you’ll start making noise in the night.
“Encourage your partner to lose some weight if needed,” says Romiszewski. “Carrying extra weight around the neck area can lead to snoring, because of the pressure that rests on the throat.”
7. Keep a snoring diary
“A sleep diary is a great way to help you identify what factors in your life are helping and hindering your sleep and snoring,” says Housby.
“You should make a note of everything – from your sleep times and how many times you’re waking up in the night. Also include the food and drink you’ve consumed throughout the day, your amount of screen time, and your day’s activity.”
After keeping a record of your sleep for a month, you’ll be able to see any trends, including activities during the day that are impacting you at night. Using this information, Housby says that you can then make lifestyle changes to help tackle the issue.
8. Divide and conquer
Finally, if you need to, sleep in separate bedrooms. “It’s the social norm that couples should sleep together, but we weren’t made to sleep in someone else’s sleeping pattern,” says Romiszewski.
“In the worst-case scenario, don’t be ashamed to sleep in a the spare bedroom if you need to – you will have a good night’s rest and potentially fewer arguments the day after.”
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