How to Be Supportive of a Snoring Partner

Having a snoring partner can put a lot of strain on a relationship. Here’s how to prevent guilt and resentment.

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Did you know that around 90 million Americans snore occasionally and 37 million snore regularly? That’s a lot of potential relationship problems if the other partner can’t sleep when listening to the snoring.

There are many solutions for stopping snoring, but it will take willingness from the snoring partner and time to find the best result.

In the meantime, it’s important for you to be supportive of your snoring partner rather than being resentful. Here are some things you can do to be supportive of a snoring partner.

Communicate With Your Partner

If you’ve never mentioned how much your partner’s snoring bothers you, they may not be aware how much you’re struggling with it. If you constantly nag your partner about their snoring, they may feel guilty and frustrated.

One key to communicating with your partner about their snoring is to use the “complaint sandwich.” You start a conversation with your partner with something that you love about them, then switch to your complaint using “feeling” words (like “when you refuse to find solutions for your snoring, I feel unimportant”), then end with another thing you love about your partner. This helps soften the blow of a complaint and feels less like an attack.

Show Appreciation for Efforts to Seek Solutions

Instead of guilting your partner for waiting too long to seek out solutions for their snoring, thank them and show gratitude about the fact that they are now looking for ways to stop snoring.

Buy Earplugs

Beeswax earplugs, in particular, can do an excellent job of blocking out snoring. Just be sure you can still hear your alarm or a smoke detector.

Sleep in Separate Rooms

This suggestion is controversial. For some couples, it’s the perfect solution and may save their marriage. For other couples, the added difficulty of maintaining a good sex life may tank the marriage.  

Find Solutions for the Snoring

Talk with your partner to consider solutions that may either stop the snoring or lessen how much it affects you. Here are a few examples of possible solutions for snoring.

Snoring Mouthpiece

There are two main types of snoring mouthpieces. The mandibular adjustment device (MAD) pulls the lower jaw forward to prevent the tongue from relaxing into the throat and blocking the airway. A tongue retaining device (TRD) holds the tongue between the teeth to prevent it from blocking your airway.

This snoring mouthpieces comparison guide can help you find the best snoring mouthpiece to help reduce or eliminate snoring.

Changing Sleep Positions

If the snoring partner only snores when they lie on their back, there are ways to help that person sleep on their side rather than rolling onto their back. One simple solution is to sew a pocket with a tennis ball inside it on the back of a t-shirt, in between the shoulder blades. When the snorer rolls over, the pressure from the tennis ball will encourage them to go back on their side without any prodding from their partner.  

Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol Before Bed

Drinking alcohol and smoking can both cause the tissue in the back of the throat to relax and fall into the airway. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for at least 4 hours before going to bed to reduce the likelihood of snoring.

Lose Weight

Obesity is a big contributor to snoring. Losing weight may be all it takes to reduce or eliminate snoring. The non-snoring partner should encourage the snorer by cooking healthy meals and exercising together so it feels like a group effort rather than a punishment for the snoring partner.

Get a Diagnosis

One cause of severe snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is when the airway is completely blocked off and the snorer stops breathing for up to a minute or two. Sleep apnea can cause a variety of health problems from lack of sleep to heart problems.

A person diagnosed with sleep apnea will likely benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine may be difficult to get used to for both the snorer and the partner, but it could be a life-saving device for somebody with severe sleep apnea.

Wrapping Up

Snoring can cause a lot of stress on a relationship, but it doesn’t have to. If you work together and support each other through a discussion of how the snoring affects the non-snoring partner and look for solutions together, you can find peace and quiet and remove tension from your relationship.

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