Did you know that snoring is the third leading cause of divorce in the United States?
Yes, you read that right…
It is estimated that about 45% of people snore occasionally, while about 25% snore regularly. On average, about 40% of men snore habitually, compared to only 25% of women. In America, March 24th is Stop Snoring Day, which in itself speaks to how prevalent and annoying this habit actually is.
Why do people snore?
There are many reasons why people snore, but the most common is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s airway becomes blocked during sleep, which causes them to snore loudly. This can be dangerous, as it can lead to serious health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. There are treatments for sleep apnea, such as CPAP therapy, which can help to improve your quality of sleep.
Snoring can also occur due to alcohol consumption, medications or obesity. And although there are many available treatments for people who snore, they are not guaranteed to eliminate it completely.
So how can you block out snoring?
Sleeping in another room is a pretty much guaranteed way to get a good night’s sleep if your partner is a heavy snorer. If there is agreement on both sides, then either you or your partner can choose to sleep in another room in your home.
The problem with this suggestion is, not everyone has a spare room with a comfortable bed to sleep in every night. And who wants to sleep on the couch forever?
Also, sleeping in separate rooms can take away from the intimacy you have with your partner and can put an even heavier strain on your relationship. While this idea may work for some, it’s definitely not for everyone.
Again, this decision should only be made after amicable discussion and agreement on both sides
Some sources suggest that the best way to block out snoring is to counter it with an even louder sound.
Foam earplugs may work for some people, but it’s important to understand that if your partner is an exceptionally loud snorer then the earplugs may not do you much good. This is because bone conduction allows sound to be conducted through your skull into the inner ear, rendering your earplugs useless at that point.
The average person snores at between 60-80 decibels. In comparison, a lawnmower is 90 decibels loud.
The trick is to replace the snoring with another, more soothing sound, then you will be more effective in your efforts to get a good night’s sleep. You could try noise canceling headphones designed specifically for sleeping.
Download an app on your phone that plays white noise, which sounds very similar to a waterfall, allowing you to fall asleep much easier. There are even headbands with built in earphones, which makes for a more comfortable alternative.
If headphones don’t work for you, there are devices on the market you could buy to play white noise while you sleep. The problem with this option comes if you in turn end up disturbing your partner’s sleep.
An alternative that some find effective is to purchase an anti-snore pillow. These pillows can range in price from $40 to $100+ depending largely on the quality of the pillow and from whom you purchase it.
Anti-snore pillows come in a variety of shapes and usages, depending on your circumstances:
Pillows that support side-sleeping
have ridges that encourage sleepers to roll onto their sides, rather than sleeping on their backs, which is what causes most people to snore the loudest. There are also wearable pillows that hold a small pillow in the middle of your back, making it difficult to sleep comfortably on your back. But if your partner isn’t comfortable sleeping on their side…
Wedge pillows for snoring
Wedge pillows are designed to lift people’s heads while they are asleep on their back, which has been proven to reduce snoring significantly by opening up the airway.
Smart Nora pillow
The Smart Nora device comes with an inflatable pad that you slide into your regular pillow, a pump, and a device that listens for you to start snoring. When your partner starts snoring in the middle of the device inflates, lifting their head enough to open their airways, reducing their snoring significantly.
There are also smart pillows on the market that will inflate or vibrate when your partner starts snoring.
CPAP mask Pillow
Or you could purchase a CPAP mask pillow, which is designed so people can comfortably wear the CPAP mask. The mask is connected to a machine that treats sleep apnea by sending purified air through the mask that pushes against any blockages, opening the airways so that your lungs can receive air unrestricted.
Breathe Right nasal strips
Another good way to reduce or even eliminate snoring is Breathe Right nasal strips. These are excellent because they’re small and effective. A single strip placed over the bridge of the nose opens up the nasal passages, allowing more air to get through. This is mostly effective when congestion is the cause of your snoring.
You could also try purchasing a good quality humidifier. Some people snore because of allergies or upper respiratory diseases. A good humidifier can help to sooth these illnesses, thereby reducing or even eliminating the snoring issue altogether.
Anti-snoring chin straps
Anti-snoring chin straps are also an effective alternative. These chin straps are specially designed to keep your mouth closed while you sleep, forcing you to breathe out of your nose, rather than out of your mouth as most snorers do.
As stated above, and many of you know all too well, snoring can put a heavy strain on an otherwise healthy relationship. Snoring can be caused by a number of different factors, including the position of your tongue, the shape of your throat, and the amount of fatty tissue in your neck. The important thing is to discuss this issue with your partner and maybe even a physician in order to figure out the cause. While it is not always a cause for concern, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious health issue.
As you may have experienced yourself, some people are embarrassed and can be resistant depending on how you confront them. So always approach your partner with love and compassion.
While it can be embarrassing and frustrating, snoring is a common problem that can often be treated with simple changes to your lifestyle or with a doctor’s help.