Behind Closed Doors: Dealing with a Snoring Spouse
For some, the idea of sharing a bed with their spouse or partners is bliss. For others, it can be a wonderful dream that slowly turns into a nightmare when you learn all of the things your spouse does while asleep. Maybe they move around a lot, or talk in their sleep. But hands down one of the most annoying and upsetting things to have to deal with is a snoring spouse. Your nights can be easily ruined and it can have a negative impact on your relationship as a whole.
Don’t let your spouse’s snoring deter you from marital bliss. There are plenty of things that you can do to help both of you sleep better and more harmoniously together.
Often snoring occurs because of obstructed nasal passages. You’ll notice that their snoring will occur, or get much worse when they are sick. If this is a rare occurrence but has been going on for a couple of days, have a little bit of patience. Chances are the snoring will stop as soon as your spouse feels a bit better. Some chamomile tea or other relaxing nighttime beverage could help both of you fall asleep a bit easier, and will help clear up the lingering symptoms of their sickness.
Wake them up gently
Snoring is caused when the muscles of the throat and respiratory structures vibrate during sleep because air is obstructed exiting the nose and throat. This occurs during sleep because we are relaxed, and our muscles have relaxed along with us. By waking the person up, you cause the muscles in their throat to tense back up again, which stops the snoring. However, it’s much easier on both of you if you wake the person up gently. Try not to use your elbows. A gentle hand on the arm, or a tickling on the back of their neck can often wake them up just enough to stop the snoring.
Visit the pharmacy and buy some over-the-counter snoring fixes
There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for snoring. Enough for you to try a new one almost every single day of the year! Do some research and figure out what the best option would be for you and your partner. Some people swear by nasal strips which help open the nostrils, while others chose lubricating sprays or special mouthpieces. With a little bit of advance research, you should be able to go to the drug store and walk away with an option that works for you and your partner.
Keep the air moist and fresh
Snoring is sometimes caused by irritated throat tissue, often caused by smoking. If this is the case, invest in a humidifier to make sure your bedroom air is nice and moist, and encourage your spouse to quit smoking once and for all.
Change your pillows
Many people find that by sleeping with their head slightly more elevated, they are able to decrease the pressure on their throat muscles, which lessens their snoring. An orthopedic contour pillow can help release your airways, which should stop your snoring. If your spouse is embarrassed about their snoring, use this as an opportunity to invest in a set of brand new pillows for your bed. Upgrading your old ones to newer, more supportive pillows will benefit both of you.
Buy some earplugs
Wearing earplugs is a simple solution to a dealing with a snoring spouse. They’re cheap, and you can still sleep close together without being woken up by their snoring. You can buy a whole case of the orange foam earplugs for around $25. Or you can invest in a pair of custom made earplugs that are made to fit, which will save you money in the long run (disposables are after all, disposable). Either option will guarantee a peaceful, uninterrupted night’s sleep, although getting them custom made will make them more comfortable to wear.
Suggest a visit to the doctor
If the snoring has been going on for a long time, and doesn’t seem to be related to a cold or other mild illness, then you should encourage your spouse to get checked out by a doctor. Snoring can be a symptom of a serious condition, like sleep apnea, and visiting the doctor together will allow you to figure out how to best treat the snoring. If the snoring is due to the way the muscles in their throat are built, there are some options for treatment, but if it’s due to a certain condition, it will be important to treat that first.
Invest in a CPAP machine
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It’s a machine designed to direct a thin stream of air into the nose and mouth, which encourages the airways to remain open rather than collapsing during sleep. These machines are usually recommended to people with sleep apnea, and can cost anywhere between $300 to upwards of $900. While it may seem like an extreme measure, a CPAP machine can ensure a good night’s sleep for both you and your spouse.
Consider surgical options
After talking to your doctor to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing your spouse to snore, you may want to then discuss any surgical options. These are generally only done in cases where the snoring is chronic, and because of the makeup of the throat muscles, unlikely to stop in the future.
There are several different options, most of which involve a minor outpatient procedure. These operations strengthen and stiffen the soft tissue at the back of the throat and on the soft palate, which will stop them from vibrating during sleep. It might seem drastic, but surely years and years of uninterrupted sleep is worth the momentary sacrifice.
Invest in a second bedroom
There’s nothing in any marital rule book that says that married couples must share a bed. There are many couples who enjoy a wonderful relationship but who retire to their own bedrooms at the end of the night. This might be an option for you if your spouse’s snoring is intolerable. Even if you arrange for a second bedroom, it doesn’t mean you have to sleep in it every night. It might be a good option to have to ensure you always have a place to retreat to if you need an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Take up the didgeridoo together
It seems crazy, but there was actually a study done on the effect of didgeridoo playing had on snoring. 25 people with sleep apnea were given a didgeridoo, and half of that group had daily lessons in the instrument for four months. At the end of the four-month period, the group that was given lessons showed a marked decrease in snoring, reported having less daytime sleepiness, and an improvement in their sleep apnea symptoms. If your spouse has sleep apnea and isn’t responding to any other treatment, this option could work for you.
Don’t let resentment linger
Being woken up from a restful sleep by loud snoring is one of the most unpleasant things in the world. However, it’s always important to try not to let your frustration and exhaustion get the best of you. No one wants to snore, and by being patient and working on a solution together, it will bring you even closer instead of tearing you apart. Think of your marriage as a marathon, not a sprint. This is a small issue, and in the end you won’t remember the snoring, you’ll only remember the way that you handled it together.