Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 at 7:53 pm
Sleeping is the body’s way of relaxing and recharging for the next day. You might look forward to getting a good night’s sleep after a busy and exhausting schedule. You start to wind down after dinner and experience euphoria once your head hits the pillow. Then suddenly, your partner starts to snore, preventing you from falling asleep as easily as you had hoped.
Snoring is a common problem. According to statistics from the Sleep Foundation, around 40 percent of women and 57 percent of men snore. It’s disruptive for the person who shares their bed and is unable to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, it can be extremely unhealthy for the snorer.
When someone snores, it means their brain isn’t receiving adequate oxygen. Their airway becomes obstructed for some reason as they sleep, causing them to gasp for air. This leads to consistent disruptions throughout the night and doesn’t allow the person to get the quality sleep they need to function the next day.
What Happens When a Person Snores?
Before we can dive into solutions for your partner’s snoring problems, you first need to understand what happens when someone snores. The sound produced during snoring occurs when the air flowing through the throat or nose becomes restricted.
When a person lies on their back, their tongue and muscles at the back of their throat relax, obstructing the airway. Total blockage can occur if the muscles relax too much, causing them to stop breathing entirely.
The body’s natural reflex is to cough or gasp for air, waking the sleeper in the process. The cycle of awakening to regain control of their breath and falling back to sleep all night disrupts sleep quality for both people in the relationship.
Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring can happen for many reasons. The most common include:
- Structural issues – Some people can’t avoid snoring because of the structure of their bodies. Someone with a deviated septum has a more challenging time receiving the air they need while they sleep. The only thing that could fix a deviated septum is surgery, and most people don’t have the finances for it.
- Lifestyle choices – Obese individuals can carry excess weight around their neck. The fat surrounding the upper airways can interfere with breathing and lead to snoring. Losing weight, especially the fat around the airways, could alleviate this problem and even eliminate the snoring entirely.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder. It causes someone to start and stop breathing repeatedly as they sleep. Loud snoring could be a warning sign that your partner has sleep apnea, especially if you notice them gasping for air as they sleep.
How to Stop Your Partner from Snoring
If your partner snores, you might struggle with daytime fatigue and other problems that affect your routine and overall quality of life. Below are some tips you can use to deal with your snoring partner so both of you can sleep better.
Different Sleeping Position
Inform your partner of the best positions to sleep in so they don’t snore. Experts recommend side sleeping to manage sleep apnea symptoms and reduce the occurrence of episodes.
If your partner can’t comfortably sleep on their side, they could try to sleep on their stomach with their head turned to either side. This allows gravity to pull the tongue and muscles at the back of the throat forward, so they don’t rest against the airway.
The worst sleeping position is on the back. This obstructs airflow through the nose and mouth, resulting in snoring.
Diet and Exercise
Everyone knows how important it is to maintain a healthy weight and eat the right foods for overall good health. However, what you might not realize is living a healthy lifestyle can also reduce instances of snoring.
If your partner is overweight, encourage them to begin a diet and exercise regimen. Losing fat in their neck could reduce the pressure placed on their airways so they can breathe easier as they sleep.
It’s not ideal, but if you’ve tried various remedies that haven’t stopped the snoring, you might have no choice but to sleep in different rooms. Although the idea of sleeping separately can be undesirable, it will allow you to get the sleep you need to be at your best the next day.
Seek Medical Care
When all else fails, you can take your partner to a sleep clinic to determine whether their snoring is due to sleep apnea. Alternative treatments, such as lifestyle changes, might not be enough. If your partner snores because of a medical condition, they will likely need a professional’s help to manage their symptoms and episodes of sleep apnea.
If your partner snores and seems not to get enough sleep at night, contact Silent Night Therapy right now. Our team of professionals can determine whether your partner has sleep apnea and advise them about the available treatment options so you both feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning.