As much as you love your partner, what do you do if they snore to the point that it keeps you from sleeping? Saying nothing can hurt your relationship and health: Sleep deprivation harms the immune system and hormonal secretions, thus increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Having a partner who snores may be affecting your quality of sleep. Here are eight ways to address it.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing is interrupted, causing sleep disruptions. (Read our article on how sleep apnea impacts weight.) If you notice your partner is restless during the day, snores loudly, stops breathing while they're sleeping, or has episodes of gasping in their sleep, they could have sleep apnea. There are several different types of this condition, so your partner needs to get an evaluation from their doctor. An at-home test can diagnose it, and treatment often includes use of a CPAP machine. Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation concluded that "untreated OSA [obstructive sleep apnea] is associated with long-term health consequences including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, cognitive impairment, and depression."
Wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones
Wearing earplugs is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce or eliminate the snoring you hear. If earplugs are uncomfortable for you, noise-canceling headphones can work as a great alternative.
Listen to a sound machine or relaxing music
Researchers at the Sleep Foundation suggest that music "enhances sleep because of its effects on the regulation of hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol. Being stressed and having elevated levels of cortisol can increase alertness and lead to poor sleep." Sound machines can help mask noise and offer multiple sounds, such as rain, waves, or white noise. They've been proven to shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by 40 percent, according to the Sleep Foundation. If you'd rather not purchase a sound machine, you can find apps or YouTube videos that offer the same benefits. Here are some sleep meditation music tracks on YouTube:
11 hours of relaxing sleep music: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWZd79rJ6a7lp?si=14e87de5c1d24f5d&%3Bnd=1&nd=1
11 hours of waves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn9F19Hi1Lk
8 hours of cozy cabin ambiance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RcVIuZ8Wdk
8 hours of jazz and light rain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMAPTo7RVCo
10 hours of white noise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdN1pnEaJs0
1 hour of guided sleep meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBHLMkBnWB8
Go to bed before your partner
This may be easier said than done, but it is definitely worth trying. Adjusting your nighttime routine so that you are fast asleep before your partner can be the method that works well for you and helps you get more sleep.
Ask your partner to sleep in a different position
Sleeping on your back makes it easier for your airway to become obstructed. It may take time to get used to a different position, but it can be a helpful change. According to the Journal of Sleep Research, "the optimal sleeping position for eliminating snoring was highly associated with the lateral position" or sleeping on your side.
Raise your partner's pillow so their head is elevated
The Sleep Foundation states that "elevating the top part of your bed with risers, a wedge pillow, or an adjustable frame may reduce snoring." It is a quick and easy method to try out and maybe just the thing your partner needs.
Sleep in another room
Don't be apologetic if you need to sleep in another room. Sleep is important to your mental and physical health, and it may ultimately benefit your relationship.
Try supplements designed to help you sleep
The main benefit of a nighttime sleep aid is that they induce drowsiness and promote sleep. Melatonin is associated with better sleep quality. Here are some other alternatives that can help promote restful sleep. (Please consult your physician before taking any of them if you're on other medications.)
Beam Dream Powder: Cacao and cinnamon powder enhanced with supplements that promote relaxation and your body's sleep cycle make for better snoozing.
Natural Vitality Calm: This is a magnesium supplement designed to support good health and restfulness.
Nuun Rest: Dissolve these tablets in water for a mix of magnesium, potassium, and tart-cherry that helps relax muscles and promote sleep.
Remember that these are general tips and may not be equally effective for everybody. If your partner continues to snore, support them in seeking medical help or making a lifestyle change. Research conducted by the Sleep Foundation suggests that smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, sleep medications or sedatives, and nasal congestion all promote snoring.
Coach Sabrina S. also contributed to this article.
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