Does your partner snore at night? Are you the one keeping them up with your noisy night time breathing? Snoring can have a significant impact on couples and their health, especially if it’s keeping one or both partners from getting the quantity and quality of sleep they need to thrive. Feelings can get hurt when couples don’t communicate compassionately and directly, and frustration rises as one or more partner loses sleep. For some couples, the snoring is so disruptive that they choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. We don’t want you to have to sacrifice your time together to get your best night’s sleep, so we scouted out data-backed advice for how to stop snoring.
Keep reading to learn about the changes you can make to your lifestyle, recommendations for the best mattress for snoring and signs that you need to talk with your doctor. These insights could help you reduce snoring and sleep better as a couple.
Why Do I (or My Partner) Snore?
Before you can solve your snoring problem, you need to know what causes it. When you sleep, your muscles relax—which is usually a good thing—but sometimes the muscles in your throat relax too much and narrow the airways. The tissues in your throat become soft and what sleep experts call “floppy.” As your breath vibrates these tissues, your throat makes that signature rattling sound you and your partner have become so familiar with.
How to Stop Snoring
Snoring is very common. In fact, 45% of adults snore at least sometimes, especially men, as they approach and pass middle age. However, this sleep problem can affect people of all genders, ages and body types, so don’t worry if you don’t fit that mold. That’s all the more reason to learn how to stop snoring naturally, based on your body’s needs. Try these solutions:
- Sleep on your side. A lot of people can stop snoring by simply changing the position of their body. If you or your partner sleep on your back, your tongue could be relaxing to the back of your throat and blocking the airflow (leading to that tissue flapping). Learning to sleep on your side might take some time. If you experience any tension in your hips and lower back, try bending your legs gently and placing a pillow between your knees. It will be worth it when you and your partner both fall asleep soundly night after night.
- Prop yourself up. When you sleep with your head level with your body, your tongue and throat tissues can collapse as they relax and make it harder for air to pass freely to and from your lungs. Prop yourself up with supportive pillows to shift these muscles and open up the airways. This is a simple solution that helps many couples stop snoring and get instant relief. If propping yourself up with pillows causes you any neck discomfort, an adjustable bed base like the isense Elite Adjustable Base might be a good fit as it elevates your head at a more gradual incline.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. At least a few hours before bed, try to avoid alcohol and sleeping aids because they can cause the muscles in your throat to relax too much. Yes, relaxation is essential to a great night’s sleep, but when not when it makes the tissues in your throat soft and “flappy.” Alcohol consumption too close to bedtime can also disrupt your REM sleep cycles, and it’s one of the most common reasons why couples wake up in the night. So, it’s best to stick to one glass of wine or cocktail at dinner and to give your body time to metabolize the alcohol before sleeping.
- Clear up congestion. Not all snoring is caused solely by your throat and tongue. Do you experience snoring when you have allergies or a cold? Nasal congestion could be creating that same sleep-disrupting sound. If propping yourself up doesn’t do the trick, try taking steamy showers before bed, sleeping with nasal strips that physically hold the nasal passages open or diffusing eucalyptus essential oil near your bed.
- Use a hypoallergenic pillow. According to the snoring experts at WebMD, dust mites and allergens can irritate your throat and respiratory system and lead to snoring. Good pillows are an investment, and you don’t want to have to throw yours out just to get rid of pesky irritants. Make sure you have a hypoallergenic pillow that resists dust mites and has an easy-to-wash cover, like our Classic Adjustable Pillow. It could help you stop snoring naturally without bulky machines and save money in the long run. This isn’t just for the snorer in your relationship, though. Allergens from your partner’s pillow could also be the culprits, so it’s best for both of you to make the switch and practice good pillow hygiene.
- Quit smoking. We don’t have to tell you that smoking is hazardous to your health. But did you know it could be behind your snoring problem? Smoking irritates the membranes in your respiratory system, which can block the airways and cause those noisy snoring vibrations. It should come as no surprise that medical experts agree that quitting smoking will have a positive affect on your snoring and overall health.
- Stay hydrated. Let’s talk about mucus. Do we have your attention? Great! This is important. When you don’t get the amount of fluids you need, your body has a hard time lubricating itself, and that includes your mucus membranes. In the WebMD report mentioned above, otolaryngologist and snoring expert Dr. Daniel P. Slaughter explains that hydration is key to staying comfortable and it keeps your nose and soft palate (the roof of your mouth) from getting sticky, which impedes clear breathing. The easy solution is to drink more water. Keep in mind, you and your partner may have different hydration needs based on your size and activity level.
- Turn on a humidifier at night. Ever notice how you or your partner snores more during the winter when you’re heating the house at night? This might be due to the dryness of the air. The lack of humidity can irritate mucous membranes, causing them to get inflamed and swollen—the last thing you want when you’re trying to figure out how to stop snoring. Turn on a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom to soothe your nose and throat. This can help with seasonal headaches too—win, win.
- Sleep with the right mattress. This is obvious advice coming from a brand that loves to create mattresses designed specifically for couples. But it’s true! We’ll take a more detailed look at the best mattress for snoring in the next section because it’s important that you have the right foundation to make these changes for you and your partner.
The Best Mattress for Snoring
You’ve already gathered that to stop snoring, you and your partner need to be able to change your sleeping positions, support levels and environment. Your mattress plays a central role in helping you reach this goal easily and comfortably. Therefore, the best mattress for snoring should be adjustable and compatible with an adjustable base. Here’s why:
- Adjustability: As you change positions to sleep on your side, you will likely need to adjust the firmness or plushness of your mattress to support your spine, hips and shoulders comfortably. You and your partner don’t have to give up a great night’s sleep as the other person finds the right setting to help them stop snoring. That’s why all isense mattresses are uniquely designed with comfort control™ so that couples can adjust their side of the bed independently. Plus, snoring tends to increase with age as our bodies change, and a bed that adapts with you can help keep the problem in check.
- Compatibility with an adjustable base: As we mentioned above, elevating your head can do wonders for shifting your tongue and throat muscles into a better position for easy breathing. It can also help you clear up nasal congestion. If this is the right solution for you or your partner, then you might sleep best with an adjustable base. Not all mattresses are made to move and retain their quality over time, so make sure they’re made out of durable and flexible materials, like our premium quality foam and innerspring coils.
When to Talk with Your Doctor
Snoring is quite common, but you might be experiencing a more severe condition, such as sleep apnea. As you learn how to stop snoring naturally, you may find that the problem persists. Ask your doctor if you have a more serious condition if you or your partner gasp or choke while sleeping, you experience fatigue due to poor sleep quality or your snoring is especially loud.
Your sleep quality directly affects your overall health, so don’t be shy about addressing the problem with your healthcare provider.
Learning how to stop snoring without bulky machines can help you and your partner reclaim better sleep and strengthen your relationship. You deserve a great night’s sleep every night, and now you have the insights to make it happen. Sweet dreams!