Sleep Hygiene Part 3: Sleeping Through the Snores
Whether you have roommates, a significant other, or just thin walls, plenty of people have to deal with trying to get to sleep while someone is snoring. Even if you aren’t a light sleeper, it can be hard to fall asleep if it sounds like a bear is growling in your ear. So, what can you do to get a more peaceful night’s rest?
Position, Position, Position
First things first, talk to whoever is snoring and get them to work with you. It’s hard to get someone to stop snoring if they don’t think it’s a problem. There are a lot of minor things they can do that will help them sleep more peacefully, too, so it’s a win-win to get them on your side here. If you’re the one snoring, then it’s going to be easy to address the problem too.
Sleeping on your back is the best way to saw logs and announce to the world that you snore. If you can train yourself to sleep on your side, you will be a lot quieter, and it is one of the easiest methods to sleeping more quietly. Sleeping on your stomach can work as well but isn’t a very comfortable position for most people.
It can be hard to stay on your side or stomach if you’re used to sleeping on your back, but you can try using pillows to help out or sleeping against a wall if your bed is positioned against one. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you can also have someone try to nudge you until you roll over too.
My partner sleeps like the dead, so when they’re particularly loud sometimes, I end up manhandling them onto their side. It does make falling asleep so much easier, but most people probably wouldn’t sleep through it. I know if someone touched me in my sleep, I would be up in an instant.
There are many free/ cheap options you can try if the snoring really gets to you. Earplugs are cheap and easy to use. If you find the right fit, they can be fairly comfortable too. For a lot of people, earplugs are going to be the best option. Certainly, they have the most instant results.
White noise is an option but could take some getting used to. Being lulled by the soft pattering of rain on glass is better than falling asleep next to a chain saw, right? Sleep podcasts are nice too, Spotify’s sleep timer is a blessing that I take advantage of nearly every night.
You can also try out some of the products specifically made to deal with snoring. Nasal strips, mouth guards, or special pillows all claim to deal with the problem of noisy sleepers. Effectiveness varies, so be prepared to experiment if you go this route. There are plenty of reviews online, so you will have something to go on, but every person is different.
If you can’t train yourself to change positions, then these low-tech options will be the most accessible way of addressing the problem. To help you sift through some of them, you can check out CNN’s article on the 16 top-rated products to prevent snoring.
You can also try a few lifestyle changes to deal with snoring too. Alcohol is known to make snoring worse, so avoid drinking too late in the day. You can also try exercising a little more, so your body is relaxed when you head to bed. If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, it might be time to get professional help.
Sometimes snoring is an indicator of actual health problems. Of the 90 million men and women in the United States who snore (according to sleep.org) it’s estimated that half of them have sleep apnea. If nothing is working and the snoring continues, you may want to speak with your doctor about doing a sleep study.
If you have sleep apnea, you may need to get a special machine called a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine. If you have sleep apnea, you aren’t just snoring. When you sleep, you actually stop breathing for very short periods of time. CPAPs can help counteract this, but you will need to get used to sleeping with a mask on.
Sleep apnea isn’t the only medical concern that can cause snoring, so your doctor may have you do a sleep study to get to the bottom of it. They will be able to recommend products or, in rare cases, procedures that will reduce your snoring most effectively. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but working with a doctor can at least help you figure out a game plan.
It can be frustrating to struggle alone if nothing is working. I hope you’re able to find some relief with these tips. Snoring isn’t usually too big of a problem but getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important ways we take care of ourselves. If you’ve got it bad, you may even be waking yourself up in the middle of the night (whether you remember it or not).
If Snoring Isn’t the Only Problem…
We have a whole series on sleep hygiene and sleeping habits you can check out to switch up your bedtime routine. Whether it’s dealing with trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, or wanting to hear from an expert, our sleep series has it all!
Is there anything you like to do to get a restful night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments below!