Sharing your bed can affect your sleep at the best of times. There's the tossing and turning and the late night trips to the loo, but the biggest thing affecting our sleep... snorers.
If you're sleeping with a snorer it can be annoying, disruptive and infuriating enough that it takes its toll on your sleep and your relationship. The average bed buddy of a snorer loses up to an hours sleep every sing night... and with over 40% of the UK admitting to snoring, it's something the other 60% have to learn to live with.
If you're suffering in silence (or not, in this case) then let's hope we can help.
What causes snoring?
Snoring happens when our airways are blocked, at night we struggle to let air pass freely through our nose and throat which creates tissue vibration which comes out as a typical snore. Some suffer with light snoring, where we may have inflamed nasal tissue (that's why we snore when we have cold) and others have more severe conditions.
Sleep Apnea can cause heavy snoring, which causes the airway to be blocked, meaning you can snore heavily, be woken suddenly in the night and will mean you need lots more daytime naps.
How to stop snoring?
One of the oldest tricks in the book to help with snoring is to change the way you sleep. Plump up your bed, so that you sleep elevated (in our household the spare duvet rolled and tucked under the mattress always did the trick). Sleeping flat on your back, with your airways completely open is the perfect recipe for a long night of snoring.
Ban the booze
Not only does a drink or two free up our inhibitions it also frees up the muscles in our throat, making snoring more likely to occur. The answer, unfortunately is to avoid alcohol all together, or to have at least 3 hours alcohol free before bed (the same can be said for smoking).
Sing in the shower
If snoring occurs because of muscle vibration, if we train the muscles in our throat this can reduce snoring. Singing is one of the best ways you can strengthen your throat muscles and it promotes exhalation. Exercising your vocal chords daily could well stop your snoring, and if not... at least you'll be able to hold a note.
Although weight-loss isn't a fix for everyone, if you've noticed your snoring getting worse since piling on a few pounds it might be in yours (and whoever sleeps next to you) best interest to exercise a little more and eat a little better.
How to sleep with a snorer?
If you can't stop the snorer you can try to learn to live with it, here's our tips for learning to get some kip next to a loud sleeper.
Make sure your bed is perfect
If your bed is uncomfortable it won't help the situation. Make sure you have the perfect bedtime set up by investing in your mattress, bedding and bed linen. Everything about your sleep space needs to be right so block out any unwanted bright lights, plump up your pillows and spritz some pillow spray to encourage deep sleep.
This isn't a fix for the snorer, but a way to sleep with one. Having a continuous, dull background noise can help to drown out the sounds of the snorer next to you. A fan is a great solution for this, or download a nature sounds app which works wonders too.
Elbow to the ribs
On nights when you really can't sleep, the best thing might be to wake up your bed buddy with a gentle nudge. Don't be afraid to ask them to move to the spare room if they are really disrupting you. Always have your spare room set up so either of you are happy to pop in there for a kip, at least that way you'll both wake up happy, even if it's not next to each other.
Ear plugs could be the very simple solution you've been looking for, try a few different types to see what works best for you. These are very effective if you sleep next to a light snorer (or a heavy breather).
Do you have any secret solutions to sleeping with a snorer? We'd love to hear them.