How to Sleep With Someone Who Snores

Updated on January 19, 2018
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael is an author with a passion for health and the longevity of human lives.

sleeping and snoring
sleeping and snoring | Source

Get Someone to Stop Snoring

When you're in a relationship with someone who snores and disturbs your sleep it takes a toll on everything. Without sleep, you're more likely to be irritable over minuscule problems. Research from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., discovered that spouses of snorers were woken up a significant amount of times per night, an average of 20 times every hour, nearly as often as the 28 times the snorers were awakened by their own snoring.

My partner and I would get into shouting matches about it, just detrimental to the friendship component of our relationship. I didn't want to be frustrated with her, and I'm certain she didn't like the thought of keeping me up so much. Many people don't keep in mind that when you're in a committed relationship and your significant other snores loudly, both end up with sleeping disorders.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips to Stop Snoring, Drug-Free, Large, Clear for Sensitive Skin, 30 count ( Pack of 2)
Breathe Right Nasal Strips to Stop Snoring, Drug-Free, Large, Clear for Sensitive Skin, 30 count ( Pack of 2)
Although this item didn't outright cure my girlfriend's snoring, they did help with the overall frequency and volume of the snoring. These nasal strips help with snoring but more importantly will let one breathe a lot more efficiently. I highly recommend at least trying them!

Sleeping With a Snorer

I wanted to preface this article with my own experience with being attached to a person that snores like the squealing of railroad brakes. It is utterly maddening, for me it was like a combination of Chinese water torture and overwhelmingly loud gasps really belted out sporadically that was impossible to "live with". Every three seconds, like clockwork to lead me to yet another sleep-deprived night.

However, this all led to a scary discovery as I perused the internet for proven cures for snoring. From what I've been researching, snoring is directly linked to being a symptom of sleep apnea, cause it does sound like she's not catching her breath. This really scared me, cause she's my girlfriend. The thought of her not breathing is a little unsettling, to say the least. It was clear her snoring and my sleepless nights were an endless source of frustration, and it was driving us apart.

So we talked, and I voiced my concerns. She and I agreed to find a way to get her to stop snoring. As an amazing and beautiful person she is, my girlfriend is even more neurotic and phobic than I am, so she refused to take any sleep apnea test. I suppose I understood, it's the fear of confirmation, if she doesn't find out for sure, technically it's not yet for sure. Here's the rigamarole of possible solutions my girlfriend and I tried, to stop her from snoring.

stopping a snorer
stopping a snorer | Source

How long does it take you to decide on nudging your partner when they're snoring?

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Snoring While Sleeping on my Back

More or less, half of the people at some point in their lives will snore. Although men are afflicted more often than women are, 45% of adult men and 25% of adult women are classified as habitual snorers. A vast majority of people who snore, do so more often and more excessively lying on their back.

Many figure this out on their own, through sheer repetition in the nightly routine. You hold out as long you possibly can before nudging your significant other awake, as to mitigate the snoring to a more bearable acoustic level. They sooner or later turn over and it was instant relief until they need to adjust sleeping positions and it all starts up again.

This didn't work for my girlfriend and me, we called it what it was, a stop-gap measure, not a solution. It was doing wonders at first, but its effectiveness wanes. But just because it did not work for us, doesn't mean it couldn't work for another couple. Every couple is different, and there are many other variables to consider, such as tolerance of the spouse, the actual decibel level of the snorer, and so forth. Here are some other factors and conditions that can cause snoring to worsen:

  • Drinking too much alcohol before settling in for the night can make snoring even louder, so try to not overdo it with alcohol consumption.
  • The actual anatomy and variables of one's mouth, having a large soft palate can exacerbate the obstruction of air, causing snoring to be compounded.
  • Having a deviated septum, or constant nasal congestion, such as in allergy season, or cold weather.
  • Having diabetes, diabetes has been linked to snorers.
  • Possessing a degree of obstructive sleep apnea, this can possibly be a serious condition.

loss of sleep due to snoring
loss of sleep due to snoring | Source

Using Ear Plugs for Snoring

Some people just wad up something, which can be dangerous for your inner ear. Using cotton balls is also a bad idea, the fibers are easily broken up and can possibly get impacted. Go to a convenience store that carries earplugs or purchase them online, for the quickest and most convenient way to block out noises, such as snoring.

There are a variety of earplugs, and it's important to find ones that are cost-effective, preferably reusable. If the store bought brands aren't comfortable enough for you, there are custom made earplugs from an audiologist. The earplugs do not make it long if you're not perfectly comfortable with the fit, and the idea of sleeping with zero ambient noise. The earplugs you decide on should expand enough not to enter too far into your ear canal.

Additionally, it might now be suitable for every couple, especially if one member replies on the sound of an alarm to wake them up for work. You would have to count on your other half to wake up, in order to wake yourself up. If you have no qualms about this method, it might be right for you. However, if your spouse doesn't wake up themselves(common with snorers) you run the risk of oversleeping.

Yogasleep Dohm Classic (Tan) The Original White Noise Machine | Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan | Noise Cancelling | Sleep Therapy, Office Privacy, Travel | For Adults, Baby | 101 Night Trial
Yogasleep Dohm Classic (Tan) The Original White Noise Machine | Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan | Noise Cancelling | Sleep Therapy, Office Privacy, Travel | For Adults, Baby | 101 Night Trial
They come in many unique styles and different ambient sounds to drown out the snoring. My girlfriend and I use the Marpac DOHM-DS, it works like a dream when we're bedding down in hotels. We highly recommend it!

White Noise Machine to Drown out Snoring

Many sufferers at one point have tried leaving the TV on, which is comparatively the worst option of white noise, or background noise. The lights and sounds from the TV are not conducive to a good night's rest. It's more difficult to reach a deep natural REM sleep with audio from a TV.

Also, you're leaving a television set on all night isn't exactly energy conscious. A small fan next to the sleeping area helps many people filter out the noise of their partner snoring. It essentially masks the breathing noises of your spouse and you may find it's helpful in lulling you off to sleep. Fan noise isn't right for all couples, or it's just not enough, you can find a good white noise machine.

Sleep Apnea Doctor

Sleeping With a Partner that Snores

If you're sleeping with a partner that snores, it is effectively depriving you and your partner of a good night's rest. Furthermore, it may be a telltale sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as sleep apnea, and other associated breathing problems.

Persuade your partner to see a specialist that hopefully can rule out any serious conditions involved with snoring. Additionally, you should be understanding and sensitive with your partner's snoring, it's not exactly in their control. Try to not blame them or be overly frustrated, display patience.

make someone stop snoring
make someone stop snoring

Sleeping Separately due to Snoring

Ultimately, my girlfriend and I sleep separately, it's the one thing that has clearly improved our relationship. After she's off to sleep, I'll head to the couch, where I've been getting very acquainted with the past year. It did bother us at first not to be able to sleep with one another when our white noise machine just wasn't cutting it.

But in the long run, we knew it was a perfect solution, and it was right for us, we don't care for each other any less for sleeping apart. Now we both sleep well, our bonds are stronger and less strained. (She has yet to cave in on taking her sleep apnea test.)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Michael Kismet


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    • profile image


      10 months ago

      If you have a girlfriend that snores, I find the best solution is to break up with her.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      I appreciate your article. Over the years he has denied that he snores, so I recorded the snoring one afternoon in the livingroom when he was snoring on the couch. He was quite shocked. From there he decided to try a number of 'exercises' that he found on youtube. They did seem to work from time to time, but we are pretty much back to the snoring-nudge-grrr routine. I agree that sleep disturbance of one person affects both and I would like him to see a sleep specialist. He definitely doesn't like the idea of a C-PAP machine, but perhaps a look at that video of Dr. Phil's might convince him otherwise.

      Have you heard anyone talk about how the stop-snoring-pillow works for them (I mean, someone other than a promoter on info-mercials.)

      Thank you for this article. I'm posting it on social media.

    • viryabo2 profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for this article. i too am a snorer but my partner seems to be used to it (or so he says). I've tried everything.

      But i like the fan and earplugs idea.


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