Kept Awake by their Snoring?
Do they laugh and say:
“I don’t have a problem with snoring!”
while you find yourself laying awake, listening to them and maybe wondering if they’re going to start breathing again..?
Research suggests that snoring negatively affects partner’s health and wellbeing1, if they’re kept awake by their snoring partner – but how do you change this?
OK they snore and its really annoying, but leaving the room isn’t fixing the problem.
Here are some things to ask yourself:
- Are they sleepy in the day (as opposed to tired)?
- Do they need an afternoon nap?
- Over time, have they become more grumpy and irritable?
- Can they drive for more than an hour (or a similar boring task) without having to stop for a snooze?
If someone you care about snores and exhibits these classic warning signs of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (check out our Jargon Buster if you’re not sure what that is) you could be really helping them (and of course yourself) by suggesting they get checked out.
This really is deadly serious stuff.
The suggestions below do progressively escalate your situation. So, perhaps start by discussing the situation as calmly as possible.
Find a good time – not perhaps first thing in the morning after a sleepless night! You will both be grumpy and it is unlikely your message will be positively received…
Have a plan & do your homework
Find out what help options are available in your area. This gets round the “What do you want me to do about it?!” response and shows you care and are serious. And not just moaning…
Talk to your Primary Care Physician/GP/Practice Nurse
Educate yourself so you can help them. Snoring affects you BOTH. Its not just keeping you awake while they blissfully snore away, it actually affects them as well. Studies have shown that the snoring vibrates and hardens the arteries in the throat (wiki explanation of atherosclerosis ).
Encouragement and support
Sadly, we hear all the time that partners just give up and go and sleep in the spare room or on the sofa. This isn’t a solution! And it can spell the end for a relationship. Alternatively, consider ways in which you could hint or suggest they learn more about the impact of their snoring upon themselves.
You could try encouraging them to change sleep position. Some people snore more loudly (or only) when they sleep on their back (known as supine related). Google ‘sleep positional therapy’ to learn more.
Perhaps leaving this tab open on your internet browser (especially if you share a computer)…
Record the noise and play it back to them
If all the above fails, then you could try recording the snoring noise and playing it back to them. This is really confronting the snorer with their own snoring – it could get messy! Some smartphones have a voice record capability.
If you are thinking of using one, then here are some tips that may help:
- Mute the phone!
- Turn off vibrate – this may turn off in ‘silent’ mode (check first)
- Turn down the screen brightness to its very minimum – or it may seem like a torch in the snorer’s face!
- Place the phone close to the snorer’s face
Good luck! Helping them to stop snoring could not only improve your own sleep, but may actually prolong their life and improve the quality of that life, especially if they have undiagnosed sleep apnoea.
Want to find out more?
Read our FREE Partners Guide available on our Information Guides page.
Consult a sleep-trained pharmacist
When ear plugs, self-help and pillows aren't cutting it - it's time to get serious.
A sleep-trained pharmacist can direct you to the most appropriate expert to help you stop snoring.
They can also help with lifestyle issues (which may be the underlying reason why you snore).
They will screen you for sleep apnoea and decide if you need further investigation i.e. a sleep study.
If you don't need a sleep study they can direct you to a sleep-trained dentist for a custom-made, anti-snoring device.
Which is the first way to stop snoring and also treat mild to moderate OSA3, 4.
What NOT to do
Please do not encourage your partner to self-diagnose themselves (“Oh its just snoring”) and buy an Over-the-Counter (OTC) anti-snoring device. Here’s why: these things do more harm than good.
1. William Beninati, Cameron D. Harris, Daniel L. Herold, John W. Shepard Jr, The Effect of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea on the Sleep Quality of Bed Partners, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 74, Issue 10, October 1999, Pages 955-958, ISSN 0025-6196, http://dx.doi.org/10.4065/74.10.955 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619611639918)
Created by Adrian Zacher | Page last updated 18th Jan 2021