Snoring is a deeply off-putting habit that can be hard for anyone to put up with. Even when you love everything else about that person, a propensity to snore can make life intolerable, so you need to block out snoring.
The most popular method for blocking out the sound of a snoring partner is to shield the ears with soft earbuds or earmuffs. Alternatively, meditation, listening to ambient white noise, or noise-canceling appliances like headphones can mute the sound of a partner.
The noise of snoring will keep you awake at night and ruin your day. You won’t be getting enough sleep, and the stress and frustration you feel as a result can place a strain on your relationship. It’s a fact that no matter how much you love your partner, you’ll hate the fact that they snore.
Why Does My Partner Snore So Loud?
There’s no such thing as an average decibel level for snoring, but it could range from 50 to 120 dB. If your partner snores loudly, there will be a reason why.
Common causes of snoring include:
- Sleep apnea
- Consumption of alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes
- Swollen tonsils
- Block nose (permanent or due to seasonal allergies or respiratory infection)
Snoring from a partner shouldn’t just be tolerated as it’ll keep you up at night.
Sharing a Bed with a Snoring Partner
If you’re sharing a bed with a partner that snores, costing you sleep, you need to speak to them about the issue. Your partner may be upset to learn that they’re snoring.
Your partner may deny snoring, which is surprisingly common. In this instance, take a recording of your partner’s snoring, as this will make them face up to how much they’re disturbing you.
Of course, accepting that you snore and doing something about it are two entirely different things. You’ll need to encourage your partner to cease snoring or find a way to sleep despite the disturbance.
What Can I Use to Block Out Snoring?
Ask a hundred people to describe the biggest challenge to sharing a bed, and many will say, “my husband snores so loud that I can’t sleep.” Sleep confirms that men are likelier to snore loudly than women.
It can be hard to know what to do when someone is snoring, especially when it keeps you awake. Remaining in bed and growing frustrated by your inability to sleep shouldn’t be considered an option.
Blocking the sound of snoring comes in one of three forms – muffling the sound, drowning it out, or focusing on something else so that you no longer notice the snoring. Different people find success from varying approaches, and patience will be required.
Head into a pharmacy, and you’ll find a range of over-the-counter products that claim to aid with snoring. Some are wearable, such as nasal strips or mouth guards, while others are more medicinal, such as pills.
The aim of most of these items is the same. They seek to open up the throat while you sleep, thus keeping the airways open. This makes snoring less likely. Some remedies are more reliable than others, and none are a permanent solution.
Wearable remedies to reduce snoring are usually effective in the short term, and they can minimize the volume of snoring and delay the inevitable. This will give you time to fall asleep before the snoring starts.
Change Your Partner’s Position
If your partner is snoring like a pneumatic drill, your partner is likely on their back. This sleeping position is comfortable but commonly associated with loud snoring.
When on our back, the airways in the neck collapse. This leads to snoring and sleep apnea. Give your partner a nudge or roll them onto their side. This will reduce the snoring volume, making it easier to ignore.
In the longer term, encourage your partner to prevent back sleeping. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine confirms that positional therapy devices, such as pillows and belts, can keep somebody sleeping on their side.
Earplugs and Earmuffs
Earplugs are among the most popular solutions for people that share a bed with a snoring partner.
Nursing in Critical Care stated that earplugs and eye masks promote sleep in busy ICUs.
Earplugs are safe if they fit correctly, but not everybody has an ear shape that can accommodate these accessories. You’ll need to clean the earplugs regularly.
Regular wear of earplugs pushes wax into the ear canal, leading to ear infections. These can be remedied with ear drops prescribed by a healthcare professional but are still profoundly unpleasant to experience.
Earplugs made from wax are comfortable and easy to clean, albeit expensive. Alternatively, you could pick up overhead earmuffs designed for sleeping. Just ensure these are not uncomfortable and will not increase your body temperature.
A white noise machine is an option if you’re trying to block out snoring. Typically, this approach is advisable if you’re being kept awake by lost-distance snoring. If your partner snores inches from your side, it may not be as effective. It remains worth a try, though.
The idea of a white noise machine is to create a different sound, released at a similar pitch to the snoring. Yes, that means that you’re trading one din for another, but many people find white noise less intrusive than repetitive, droning snoring.
You could try brown noise if your partner sleeps particularly loudly. Brown noise is pitched a little lower than white noise, making it harder to tolerate for some people. Pink noise, meanwhile, is found somewhere between the two.
Noise Cancelling Devices for Sleeping
Another way to block out snoring sounds is to use noise-canceling headphones. You’ll need headphones that you can sleep in, so ensure they are soft and comfortable. High-quality headphones are usually effective, though.
You may not need to listen to anything in these headphones, depending on whether you pick up active or passive noise-canceling headphones. This difference will also influence the price point you are looking at.
Passive headphones are designed to completely cover the ear, preventing external sound from penetrating the ear. These may not be comfortable for sleeping, as they tend to be bulky and tight on the head. Passive noise-canceling tech is usually cheaper, though.
Active noise canceling involves feeding an alternative sound into the headphones, akin to white noise. As a result, you can theoretically use these headphones without music by switching on the noise-canceling tech to block out snoring.
If you can tolerate music at bedtime, though, do consider it. The Journal of Advanced Nursing explains how relaxing music – whatever genre that takes – inspires superior sleep. Classical music is often considered relaxing for the mind and body.
Meditation is a challenging skill that requires practice to master. If you develop the patience and self-discipline to meditate, you’ll be capable of blocking out unwelcome ambient noise in your environment, including snoring.
If attempting to meditate your way through a noisy experience, investigate guided meditations. These can be found on YouTube or through apps, but you’ll need headphones to listen to these meditations.
If you prefer a DIY approach, follow these steps.
- Get yourself into a physically relaxed position. Ideally, remain lying down in your bed
- Clear your mind and focus on how your body feels. Acknowledge any sensations in your physical body, ignoring any irritability you’re feeling about the snoring. Focus on any muscular twinges, temperature fluctuations, or pulsing vibrations
- Take a deep breath, relaxing as much as you can
- Clear your mind as you exhale, then take another deep breath
- Continue to empty your mind, focusing all attention on your breathing and body. Acknowledge that you are breathing in, and out, and in again
Essentially, the aim here is to stop paying attention to the noises surrounding you, such as snoring and instead anchor yourself by concentrating on your breath. Once you master this skill, you should find that snoring no longer dominates and ruins your night.
Temporarily Leave the Room
One of the biggest challenges of being kept awake by snoring is the frustration it causes. Once your sleep is broken, you may feel annoyed and agitated, making it harder to nod off again.
There is little to gain by remaining in bed, growing increasingly angry with your partner. Their snoring will almost sound like goading as sleep evades you. Cool off by leaving the room, even if just for a few minutes.
Get yourself a glass of water, watch TV, read a book – do anything that will take your mind off the immediate issue of the snoring. If you can adjust your mindset so snoring is not at the forefront of your thinking, you’ll have more success ignoring it when you return to bed.
Sleep Elsewhere in the Home
If snoring prevents you from sleeping, one of you needs to rest elsewhere. The couch is fine for a night or two, but you’ll need a spare room.
This won’t spell the end of your relationship. As per Atlantic Marketing Journal, more couples are choosing to sleep in separate rooms. The importance of sleep is common knowledge and losing slumber to snoring makes no sense.
As high-quality sleep is vital to physical, mental, and emotional health, it’s essential to discover how to block out snoring noise from a partner. Experiment with different techniques and find the one that works for you. Equally, ensure that the snorer plays their role in ceasing the din, and you’ll both benefit in the longer term.