How To Stop Snoring (Before Your Partner Stops It For You)

Photo: Getty
How To Stop Snoring — Immediately And Naturally
Health And Wellness

Snoring sucks — both for the person who snores and the person they share a bedroom with.

Let's face it, snoring is loud, embarrassing, and brings up thoughts of old, drunk cartoon characters.

It's important to fix your snoring because, if you don't, it's likely causing a ton of problems beyond the obvious late-night sounds of distant power tools.

I get it. I refused to deal with my own snoring for years, blocked by own shame and denial, despite the cost to my health. But I learned just how many issues I was dealing with related to my sleep apnea, after working for about three years to get to the bottom of several health conditions that all turned out to be related to my snoring!

So don't be like me. Instead of putting your health and relationship at risk due to your snoring, learn how to address it head on and put an end to the problems it's likely already causing for you and your partner.

How snoring affects relationships

Snoring is one of those shameful secrets couples don't want to talk about, yet it's one of the most common problems people face in their relationships. This is because snoring interrupts sleep for both people, and poor sleep affects everything aspect of our lives while we're awake, including our capacity for patience and compassion.

RELATED: Let Her Sleep In! Women Need More Sleep Than Men, Says Science

I'll never forget being awakened by my 6-year-old in a hotel room at the side of my bed: 'Mommy you're snoring like a troll!"

I tried to brush it off, but as much as I wanted to deny it, I still snored. Some nights my snoring was worse than others, but it never went away. Whether I was going away and sharing a room for a weekend with the girls or sharing a hotel room with a colleague at a conference, my snoring was bad, and it left me feeling embarrassed, mad, and sad. I felt I had no control over it, and for years I simply refused to do anything about it because I was not going to deal with using one of those CPAP machines in bed.

I convinced myself my snoring was just an inconvenience, and that if my husband didn't care, neither did I ... until I realized just how badly my snoring was impacting my life and my health.

Anyone who's experienced sleeping with a snorer knows how disruptive it can be. In fact, snoring, which is almost twice more likely to occur in men than women, is the most common reason couples sleep in separate bedrooms.

Statistics gathered from a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation show that:

  • Up to 59% of people report that their partner snores
  • 23% of couples sleep in separate beds
  • Over 35% of those couples surveyed report disharmony within their relationship due to snoring
  • People who sleep with a snorer typically lose at least one hour of sleep per night
  • People who snore may wake up as many as 21 times per hour

If you're the snorer, you may often feel ashamed and helpless about it. How can you not? But what are you supposed to do about it? You're sleeping! How can you have control over yourself when you are literally unconscious?

I know, I've said all of that before, and I get it. But, having fixed my own snoring, midnight gasping, and obstructive sleep apnea, I can tell you that it is possible to stop snoring. Don't allow yourself to go down the path of learned helpless ness that leave you feeling like a victim who can't do anything about it anyway.

You can do something about your snoring, and you should. If not just for yourself, do it for your partner and for the sake of your relationship.

Ask yourself, “How often do I get a good night’s sleep?” Like a good diet and regular exercise, getting good sleep is a critical component affecting the quality of your overall health, as well as the health of your relationship.

Snoring and sleep apnea aren't just impacting your relationship. They can indicate serious underlying health conditions, and they are nothing to be embarrassed about. Fixing your sleep is one of the most critical ways you can take care of yourself.

RELATED: What Your Sleeping Position Says About Your Relationship

What causes snoring and how does it affect your health?

Some common causes of snoring include age, being overweight or out of shape, heredity, nasal and sinus problems, alcohol, smoking, medications and sleep posture.

About half of the people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), "a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep."

Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can have serious, life-shortening consequences. This condition increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), and might also increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias), such as atrial fibrillation.

Additionally, poor sleep quality can create adrenal fatigue and put your body into metabolic syndrome. This can make it hard to lose weight, and really negatively impact your ability to focus throughout the day. And poor sleep quality can affect your mood, energy, and fitness levels. Poor sleep has even been linked to depression and other mood disorders.

When you're not getting adequate sleep, you're tired all the time. For me, the joke used to be I had two speeds: on and off. I was known for my classic habit of sitting down at a dinner party and falling asleep at the table. I fell asleep during movies, at lectures, and anywhere that required me to sit still for more than 10 minutes. I was always tired. And while this was fodder for jokes within my family, the truth was that that risks this posed for my health were serious.

Frequent drowsiness and fatigue have come to be seen as badges of honor in our ever-connected world. But people who are tired, many of whom are people who snore and/or have sleep apnea, are dangerous to themselves and others. As just one tragic example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 91,000 motor vehicle crashes involved drowsy driving in 2017, claiming 795 lives that year alone, and causing 4,111 fatalities between 2013-2017.

How to stop snoring: home remedies to stop snoring naturally

Even if it's only for your sleep partner, you owe it to yourself to fix your snoring problem and get better quality sleep.

If you know you have sleep apnea, see your doctor. A quality physician be able to ascertain whether a sleep study, either at home or at a sleep center, is warranted.

But if you're just curious about your snoring patterns, you can do some research yourself by simply experimenting with different amounts of sleep and noticing your bedtime patterns and habits.

To try it yourself, you can try these simple yet effective healthy sleep tips to make better sleep a priority.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.

It's a good idea to go to bed and awaken at the same time daily for a week and see how you feel.

2. Exercise daily.

Get in some cardio and movement, but not too close to bedtime. Get moving during the day, but allow your body to relax naturally by getting exercise prior to sundown.

3. Create a sleep zone in your bedroom.

Set your ideal temperature, and experiment with sound and low light. Also be sure to eliminate blue light during your sleep.

RELATED: How To Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Better All Night

4. Try a sleep app.

There are some great apps out there that can help you measure how much sleep you're getting.

5. Meditate.

There are many ways to meditate prior to sleep. Meditating helps you wind down and set your thoughts up for a great night of sleep.

Try Calm, Headspace, or other apps that help you train your brain to settle down prior to bed.

6. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

Try shutting down devices and taking a warm bath or shower to prepare for bed.

7. Try gentle stretching or yoga.

Gentle movement in low light to quiet music can be a great way to release stored toxins and energy in your muscles and joints. There are great, free streaming video services available everywhere.

RELATED: 15 Best Free Yoga Videos On YouTube

8. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

Where you sleep matters. Most importantly, you must feel safe in order to sleep well.

9. Avoid drugs and alcohol.

You may think they help you sleep better, but data proves otherwise. Avoid sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.

10. Change your typical sleep position.

Sleeping flat on your back may cause your tongue to be positioned in a way that blocks your airflow. By sleeping on your side, you may allow air to flow more easily, reducing, if not entirely stopping, your snoring.

If you are sleepy during the day or when you expect to be awake and alert and you experience leg cramps, tingling, gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep, your snoring may indicate a more serious problem.

Put aside your fears of looking like an alien between the sheets because of a CPAP machine and seek help from a qualified medical professional.

If you have prolonged insomnia or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well or if you're being treated for hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, or even depression, ask your doctor for a referral so you can get a sleep study to determine the underlying cause. Your health insurance will likely cover the study, as well as any treatment the results indicate to be necessary.

Instead of asking for forgiveness and acceptance from your partner every morning, or fighting with them every night, use their complaints about your snoring as your motivation to seek help.

Finding solutions to my own snoring led me to improve many habits and behaviors.

I'm much healthier and happier as a result of fixing my snoring problem — and so is my husband.

RELATED: My Seriously Obnoxious Sleep Disorder Almost Ruined My Relationship

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Cena Block works with ADHD entrepreneurs to reclaim their time and sanity in both their professional and personal lives. Turn your ADHD from a blind spot into your superpower through coaching. Visit her website to schedule a complimentary discovery call and learn more.