As an adult, one of the great pleasures of life is sinking into a warm, comfortable bed at the end of a long day and looking forward to a night of peaceful sleep. But when your spouse or partner is a snorer, restful nights are more likely to become restless ones. When the snoring is associated with the condition known as sleep apnea, worry for their health is sure to make falling sleep even more difficult. Luckily, there are some things you can suggest your partner try to help them snore less so you both can sleep more.
Alter sleeping positions
Sometimes simple changes in sleep position can stop or reduce snoring because it makes it easier for the snorer to breathe. Learning to sleep with the head and shoulders in an elevated position by using an extra pillow under the upper back, shoulders, and head can be helpful. Simply choosing to change the sleeping position from the back to one side may also help to alleviate snoring and make sleep more restful.
Lose excess weight
Snorers who are overweight may be able to relieve symptoms by simply making the effort to lose some of the excess weight. When the tissues of the mouth, throat, and neck are enlarged they become capable of restricting air flow, especially when the snorer is lying down and the body is relaxed while sleeping. Shedding even a few pounds has been shown to be helpful for some people in reducing their sleep apnea symptoms and restoring a better quality of sleep.
Opt for an appliance
From a technical perspective, snoring is caused by the sound of air trying to navigate an obstructed passageway. Some cases of snoring can be helped by the use of an oral appliance that is used while sleeping to help keep the tongue in place and the oral tissues from collapsing during sleep. Additionally, some people with mild snoring problems have found a level of relief by using nasal strips or devices to help open the nostrils and allow air to move more freely.
Consider a CPAP mask
A continuous positive air pressure mask, commonly called a CPAP mask, is used successfully by many snorers to help keep oral passageways open by introducing a stream of oxygen laden air. Getting used to wearing a CPAP mask does take time and many people do not carry through with using them due to a poor fit, embarrassment, or another type of discomfort.
Discuss surgical options
If you have tried some or all of the above methods and found little relief from snoring, the next step is to consult with your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to decide if snoring surgery is right for your sleep situation.