When you go to bed, you expect to relax from all the troubles of your day, and wake up the next morning feeling fresh. If you have a spouse, then you are looking forward to cuddling with them, tune out your surroundings, and sleep comfortably next to them – that is only until you find out that they are snoring, and it ruins your nights forever.
The constant noises they make when they are breathing is such a pain, and it disrupts their sleep as well as yours. Even though there are couples that will choose to suffer in silence, many partners will choose not to – and it causes an unexpected drift in the relationship.
What is the cause of snoring?
You love your partner, yes – but it can be such a pain to endure their snoring throughout the night, yet you are supposed to be sleeping comfortably. Even though it is not only the snorer who suffers, everyone else around them also suffers because of the lack of proper sleep – and you begin to experience symptoms of sleep deprivation during the day.
For the snorer, it is a sensitive issue to bring up – because they feel embarrassed about their snoring, and they already feel responsible for causing the breakdown of intimacy between them and their partner.
If you are among the people that struggles to sleep next to a snoring spouse, it is time to find solutions. Fortunately, thanks to education, you can find a way to improve your sleep quality and save your relationship from falling apart.
Is snoring common, and what is the cause?
Yes, more common than you may think. Statistics estimate that 40 percent of the adult population snores on a regular basis, regardless of whether they know it or not. They will only know when a roommate or partner alerts them.
The cause is due to the restriction of air, likely in their throats or noses. The muscles in their upper airways relax when they lie down, which develops a sort of ‘airflow turbulence’. The surrounding tissues then vibrate, which leads to the noises. If the muscles relax completely, they close their airways completely, which makes them cough or choke to clear the pathway.
The causes of snoring are mostly divided into structural and temporary factors. Structural ones are long term, and they include carrying excess fat deposits in the jaw, nose, neck and palate, as well as other reasons like polyp growths or abnormalities in the structure of the nasal cavity (like as deviated septum).
In the case of temporary factors, these are short term, and can be due to a variety of reasons that result in blocked airways. These include having a cold or the flu, allergic reactions to dust particles, and medication that makes the muscles of the throat to relax.
Tips to help manage the problem
Changing the sleeping position
You do not need to buy a premium mattress such as hypnos to solve the issue or help you sleep better in situations like these – sometimes sleeping positions can play a role in managing the problem. If the snoring partner sleeps on their back or stomach, for instance, use a pillow that will raise their head position, or turn them to the side.
These positions will help to maintain their sleeping position at an angle, which opens their airways as they sleep and reduce the vibrations in their throat.
Have different sleeping schedules
Sometimes the simpler solution to handle a partner’s snoring is heading to bed earlier than them – especially if you have schedules for sleeping. This will also allow you to relax and sleep for as long as possible before they come and join you later.
Earplugs (soft ones)
You can also consider this as a possible solution, especially when all the others fail. Getting a pair of non-invasive and soft earplugs can help in blocking the sounds, which ensures you get a better night’s sleep. The good news is that these earplugs are widely available, so you can get comfortable ones.
You can have a playlist of soft background sounds ready for bedtime, such as instrumental music and white noise. These can mask the noise to help you improve your sleep quality.
Shed those pounds
A common reason behind snoring is the accumulation of fatty tissue in the air passages, which means that overweight and obese people are affected by the problem. Excessive weight also increases the size of tissue around the neck, which leads to extra pressure on the air passages.
If you happen to be suffering from the problem due to weight issues, make sure to lose some kilos – which will help ease it. these include improving your diet and nutritional habits, and developing a major exercise routine.
The amplification of snoring sounds is also because of having a dry mouth or throat – this is due to the passages losing their flexibility. Make sure to keep a glass of water or a full bottle next to your bed, which will help your partner remain hydrated during the night. This will soften the passages and allow them to breathe easier.
See a doctor, if:
While it is easy to overlook snoring as a temporary issue (and many times, it is), it can also be a pointer of a more serious problem. If the tips above are not working, then it is time to see a doctor to find out what could be the reason behind the issue.
For instance, if you hear your partner struggling to breathe throughout the night, like they periodically wake up gasping for air, then it could be that they are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. If it is untreated, it can lead to car accidents, injuries and depression, since it does not allow them to sleep well at all.
Having a snoring partner is a problem you would rather avoid, but in case it happens to you, it is best to handle it as carefully as you can without alienating them entirely.