Snoring happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces the familiar snoring sound. People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate.
For one, a snoring spouse often keeps the other person from a good night’s sleep, which can eventually lead to separate bedrooms. “Snoring can create real problems in a marrige.
Change Your Sleep Position.
Lying on your back makes the base of your tounge and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.
“A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix,” Slaughter says. “It enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference.”
Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you’ll snore. “Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse.
Apply nasal strips or a nasal dilator to keep your airways open. Over-the-counter nasal strips are an easy, inexpensive way to keep your airways open. They work by attaching to the outside of your nostrils and pulling open your nose. Similarly, a nasal dilator is a re-usuble nasal strip that you wear over your nose to help keep your airways open.
- You can find both nasal strips and nasal dilators at local drugstores or online.
- These items do not work for everyone, especially if you have an underlying condition like sleep apnea.
Snoring and relationships
No matter how much you love each other, snoring can put a strain on your relationship. If you’re the one lying awake at night as your partner snores away, it’s easy to start feeling resentful. And if you’re the snorer, you may feel helpless, guilty, or even irritated with your partner for harping on about something you can’t control.
When snoring is a problem, relationship tension can grow in the following ways:
Sleeping in separate rooms. While this may be a solution for some couples, it can also take a toll on emotional and physical intimacy. And if you’re the one snoring, you might feel lonely, isolated, and unfairly punished.
Irritability due to sleep loss. Disrupted sleep isn’t just a problem for the non-snorer. Snoring is caused by disordered breathing, which means the snorer’s sleep quality also suffers. Poor sleep takes a toll on mood, thinking skills, judgment, and your ability to manage stress and conflict. This can explain why communication often breaks down when you and your partner try talking about the problem.
Partner resentment. When a non-snorer feels he or she has done everything possible to sleep through the night (ear plugs, sound machines, etc.) but the snorer does nothing to combat the snoring, it can lead to resentment. Working as a team to find a snoring cure can prevent future fights.
If you value your relationship, make it your priority to find a snoring cure so you can both sleep soundly. Working together to stop snoring can even be an opportunity to improve the quality of your bond and become more deeply connected.