The Best Snoring Solutions for You and Your Partner
Are you one of the 45% of Americans that snores occasionally? What about the one in four Americans that snore who snores every night? If you or your partner are looking for a snoring cure, read on.
In a partnership, the likelihood that one or both of you snores increases. Sometimes it’s not an issue, but snoring can lead to poor sleep quality, fatigue, health issues, and even relationship issues (do you know how frustrating it is to be woken up by someone else’s loud chainsaw snores?).
If you or your partner have issues with snoring, there are things you can do to solve your snoring problem. If you both snore, there are things you can do together in order to stop snoring.
Keep reading for the best snoring solutions you can do on your own and as a couple to sleep soundly with your partner once again!
Best Snoring Solutions: The Three Types of Snoring
Before you can solve your or your partner’s snoring problem, you have to identify which type of snoring is occurring. Different snoring solutions are required for each snoring type.
Nasal snoring occurs when the nasal passages are blocked, obstructed, collapsed, deformed, or otherwise affected.
This causes air to get stuck or blocked in the airways, which leads to snoring. It also leads to mouth breathing, which can lead to snoring.
Test whether this is your issue by using your finger to block one nostril. Try and breathe through the other nostril only. If you see your nostril collapse, thus blocking the airway, then you’re likely a nasal snorer.
Try breathing solely through your nose (keep your mouth closed). If it’s hard, or impossible, then your snoring is likely caused by nasal issues.
If you sleep and breathe with your mouth open, your snoring is likely “mouth/throat snoring”. Try opening our mouth and making a snoring sound. Can you do the same thing with your mouth closed?
If you can’t, you’re snoring is because of your nighttime mouth breathing.
During sleep, the tongue can “fall” to the back of the throat and block your airways, which leads to tongue-based snoring. If your snoring isn’t the result of the other two types, then you’re likely a tongue snorer.
While it’s useful to pinpoint you and your partner’s snoring type, the fact is that the majority of snorers do two (or all three) of these things. This is called multifactorial snoring.
What causes those types of snoring? Let’s go over a few common reasons.
When you gain weight or put on weight, it puts increased pressure on your airways. This narrows your airways, cut off airflow, and cause snoring. Bulky fat tissue in the neck and face can also cut off airflow in your airways.
Weight gain and obesity are also linked to decreased muscle tone in your throat and nasal passages. This leads to palette “fluttering”, vibration, and mouth breathing, all of which are causes of snoring.
Besides the food you eat and your weight, lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, and doing certain types of drugs have been linked to snoring. Lack of exercise can also lead to weight gain and snoring.
Similar to when obesity, pregnancy can cause women to gain weight, which can lead to snoring. Pregnancy also forces many women to sleep on their backs. Back-sleepers are more likely to snore than side sleepers.
Certain genetic factors can lead to snoring. This could include:
- The shape of your nose
- The formation of your nasal passages
- Predisposition to obesity
- Predisposition to sleep apnea
- Large tonsils/adenoids
- Excess throat tissue
- Weak throat/nasal muscles
These things can be exacerbated by lifestyle and environmental factors like illness, weight gain, pregnancy, etc.
Allergies and Illness
Allergies can lead to nasal and chest congestion that can lead to blocked or clogged airways. This can lead to snoring.
It can also cause your tonsils/adenoids/lymph nods to swell, which can also block your airways and lead to multiple types of snoring.
Certain medications can cause snoring. These include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Other relaxants
These medications cause your nasal, throat, and jaw muscles to relax. This can lead to blocked airways and mouth breathing, which is the perfect recipe for snoring.
What’s the Big Deal?
You might be thinking, “so what if my partner and I snore? We’ll just get earplugs.”
But the fact is that 20 million people report that they don’t get a good night’s sleep because of their partner’s snoring. Do you want to be the reason your significant other suffers from the negative mental and physical effects of your (and their) snoring?
Yes, that’s right, there are a number of negative mental and physical effects you’ll experience because of snoring. Let’s look at a few.
Best Snoring Solutions: Physical and Mental Effects of Snoring
Snoring can block your airways for a long period, which strains your heart as you begin to take in less oxygen throughout the night. This can also affect your circulation, respiratory system, and your brain.
Lack of oxygen while you sleep (as a result of snoring) can cause your blood vessels to become restricted, which can lead to breathing and lung issues.
Snoring has been linked to higher risks of developing serious conditions, including:
- Heart attack
- Chronic headaches/migraines
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots
Remember how we said obesity and weight gain can lead to snoring? Well, in a cruel twist of fate, snoring can also lead to weight gain, which puts further strain on your health.
If you’re a mouth breather, this can lead to dental problems like dry mouth and cavities.
Perhaps the most obvious physical effects are going to be because of you and your partner’s lack of adequate sleep. Those who snore are typically light sleepers and awake easily throughout the night.
Snoring, and hearing a partner snore, interrupts sleep patterns and results in poor sleep quality. This leads to:
- Mental fog
- Difficulty concentrating
If you’re fine with all of these things for yourself, that’s one thing. But your snoring could be causing all of these risks in your partner, too, which you should be concerned about.
Best Snoring Solutions You Can Try Together
The good news is, there are snoring solutions that you and your partner can do together to help you both stop snoring. From singing to spooning, here are a few of your options:
Once you’ve identified the likely cause of each of your snoring issues (nasal, mouth breathing, tongue-based, etc), you can try various anti-snoring devices.
Mouthpieces, nasal strips, nasal sprays, chin-up Strips, and oral shields are all different types of anti-snoring devices that have been proven to work.
His and hers monogrammed towels? Think his and hers anti-snoring mouthpieces! They make these devices for different genders, so you can get one that works for you that still matches your partner’s.
While this isn’t technically something you do together, you can both try out these devices together. It could provide some accountability: if your partner looks silly wearing an anti-snoring mouthpiece, you’ll feel less self-conscious wearing your own.
Your old or improperly made pillows could be causing your snoring or making it worse for you and your partner! Try switching out the pillows on your shared bed with ones that are specially designed to mitigate snoring.
People find success with wedge pillows that keep them propped up during sleep. These pillows are great for back sleepers.
Hypoallergenic pillows can reduce any allergy issues that could be causing nasal congestion and nasal snoring. Look for memory foam and contoured pillows that position your neck and shoulder to open up the airways and improve breathing for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
There are also anti-snore pillows designed specifically for this issue that people have success with.
While you’re getting new pillows, consider getting a new bed. Memory foam and “sleep number” beds are great options for snorers since they can support your body positioning and keep your airways open.
Sleep number beds are great for couples since each side is customizable. This way, each of you can adjust the bed to the firmness/softness that works for you to reduce your snoring.
The same is true for adjustable beds: you can angle/prop yourself up based on what works for each of you.
Switch Up Your Diet and Exercise Regimen
If you and your partner believe that weight is one of the root causes of your snoring issues, pledge to get healthy together.
Start taking a morning walk or going to the gym together. Go through your fridge and pantry and get rid of all of your junk food. Learn to cook healthy meals together.
Losing weight and eating healthy is tough, but with your partner doing everything with you, it’s easier to stay on track and motivated. This is also a great way to bond with your partner, which is especially important if you’re experiencing resentment or relationship issues because of your (or their) snoring.
Quit Drinking and/or Smoking
If one or both of you smoke or drink, make a pledge to quit together. This goes right along with the previous suggestion: having your partner there to keep you on track and motivate you to stop drinking and/or smoking will make it easier.
And since both drinking and smoking can cause snoring and making snoring worse, cutting these things out of your life can potentially stop your problems.
Drinking can also add a ton of extra empty calories to your daily intake (ever heard of the term “beer belly”?). Cutting out alcohol can help you shed a few pounds, which will also help you stop snoring.
Drinking and smoking also increase your risk for constricted blood vessels, weight gain, breathing/lung problems, and heart problems, all of which can make snoring worse (or cause snoring in the first place!).
Get a Humidifier
Dry air and allergens can cause inflammation in the nasal and throat passages. Keep your room’s air moist with a humidifier. You can also get humidifiers that release essential oils that can help reduce inflammation, calm anxiety, and promote good sleep.
Change Your Sleeping Positions
Are you and your spouse back or stomach sleepers? Try spooning instead.
Sleeping on your side helps the airways stay open and reduces the risk that they become constricted. Besides, what couple doesn’t love spooning?
If your arm falls asleep when you spoon your partner or sleeping too close to someone else is uncomfortable, try spooning with a body pillow. This can help keep you on your side while you sleep instead of rolling onto your back during the night.
Strengthening your jaw, throat, and mouth muscles can help you stop snoring. Keeping these muscles strong reduces the risk of palette fluttering, airway collapse, and mouth breathing.
Here are a few you can try:
- Close your mouth and keep your lips pursed for 30-60 seconds
- Open your mouth and look in the mirror. Contract/flex the muscle in the back of your throat (to know you’re doing it right, watch the back of your throat move in the mirror)
- Sing! Singing works your mouth, jaw, and throat muscles. Epic duet with your partner (“I’ve Had the Time of My Life”, anyone?)
- Slide the tip of your tongue along the back of your teeth
- Pronounce and enunciate each of your vowels in the mirror 5-10 times per day
Stay motivated to do these exercises every day by holding each other accountable. Vow to do these exercises every night before you go to bed or right when you wake up in the morning.
Taking care of your snoring problem is in your own best interest: it can help with a number of health issues and prevent fatigue, health risks, and negative mental health effects.
However, when the person you love is also affected, it’s even more of a motivator to fix your (and their) problems.
The things we went over in this article are some of the best snoring solutions out there for you and your partner to try. If you’re ready to get started on fixing the snoring issue plaguing your relationship, check out our product reviews of the best snoring solutions you can buy.
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