A good night’s sleep is crucial for both the body and the mind to rest and recharge. However disturbances caused during the night for example by a partner’s snoring can prevent you from getting that much-needed respite. However here are a few things you can do if your partner’s snoring is keeping you awake.
Recognize the problem
Loss of sleep due to snoring isn’t just a mere inconvenience that comes with being in a relationship. It is a real problem which causes for poor sleep quality for both the snorer and his/her partner. A survey carried out by the Leger Marketing in April 2008 found out that around two-thirds of adults in Canada admitted to having a partner who snored. The non-snoring partners reportedly lost one to three hours of sleep every night due to restless sleep brought about by snoring noise – hardly surprising since snoring volume can go up to sixty or seventy decibels.
Get him to co-operate
It is extremely difficult to find a solution if the snorer himself does not acknowledge there is a problem. Your partner may start by refusing to admit that he snores or point out that he is merely a loud breather. What you can do here is to gather evidence of the extent of the problem like taping the sound of his snoring. There are sound activated cassette recorders available which starts recording when it detects enough volume. Or you can use a manual recorder to tape your partner’s snoring. Once confronted with evidence of the volume of his “loud breathing”, your partner may come out of denial and agree to do something about it.
Point out the risks
As so often happens in a relationship, you need to point out how any action would benefit your partner too and not just yourself. So you need to make him aware of the health risks that snoring is associated with. Snoring during the night is responsible for poor sleep quality not only for those around but primarily for the snorer even though he may not be aware of his own disturbed sleep. Not getting enough sleep at night is directly responsible for day-time wariness, irritability and poor concentration which can affect performance at work but more importantly prove dangerous while driving or doing something which demands total attention. Also snoring has been linked to increased chances of developing high blood pressure and heart conditions. Finally snoring is related to a potentially fatal condition called sleep apnea in which the snorer stops breathing for few seconds in his sleep. So even if your partner has been taking his snoring lightly, once aware of the many health risks it is associated with, he might be motivated to seeking help.
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Come up with options
If you are serious about finding a solution to your partner’s snoring, you cannot afford to stop at just pointing out how it is affecting his own health and your sleep too. You have to do further by presenting him with an array of options on how to deal with the situation. Often individuals believe that the only treatment for snoring is surgery and thus they are reluctant to do anything about it if it means going under the knife. However today there is a whole range of snoring solutions available both over the counter as well as through doctor’s consultation. Some of the options that you and your partner can explore are:
Nasal strip. This clears the nasal passage so that the snorer is able to breathe fully through the nose rather than using multiple breathing passages like the mouth. Once mouth-breathing is cut down, there are lesser chances of loud snoring.
Electronic snore stopper. The great advantage of this option is that this device is worn around the wrist so that the wearer is not concerned that he may feel self-conscious or look silly. You can present this to your partner as a gift on his birthday or some occasion perhaps. After all, boys love toys, especially ones that are electronic.
Snoring exercises. If your partner is interested in finding a long-term solution to the problem, he can look at some snoring exercises. These specifically target the muscles and physiological structure directly associated with vibrations that cause snoring. The snoring sound is made when air passes through areas like the soft palate and uvula causing them to vibrate. As the body gets older it begins to lose elasticity and muscle tone and when this happens in the throat area, it leads to snoring. So exercises which firm the tissues in the throat region can help to reduce snoring to a large extent. Yet another cause of snoring is when the lower jaw drops open while sleeping and slips backwards. This in turn causes the base of the tongue to block the airflow in the throat leading to the snoring sound. Snoring exercises also help to retrain the tongue and lower jaw so that they do disturb the airflow in the throat and cause snoring.
Lifestyle changes. Encourage your partner to stop smoking and limit his intake of alcohol. Being overweight is another condition linked to higher chances of snoring. While these changes by themselves may not bring about a complete stop to snoring, having a healthy lifestyle would result in overall well-being which may go a long way in reducing the severity of the snoring problem.
So, gather as much information about snoring solutions as you can from a library or the internet and then decide what would work best for your partner and you.
Fend for yourself
However if you cannot get your partner to co-operate at all, you could buy a pair of ear plugs to block out the noise caused by his snoring. Move to a larger bed if the size of your room allows it since experts believe that sleeping with around twenty inches of distance from your partner can reduce the sound to a greater extent than if you are sleeping a mere couple of inches away. Another option is to use a white noise generator which will drown out the sound of your partner’s snoring. Even though this is not the best solution for your partner, if you desperately need a good night’s sleep it may be the only one for you.