Do you live at home with someone who snores when they sleep? If you do, you’ll be aware of how annoying it can be. Snoring is a deeply off-putting habit that can be hard to put up with. Even when you love everything else about that person, a propensity to snore can make life intolerable.
There’s no need to put up with a snoring partner. With the right products, you can find out how to block out snoring completely. This can keep you free from the side effects of sleeping with a snoring partner. You have to main tried-and-tested options.
One option is a white noise machine, such as the Lectrofan — which can block out snoring, and a whole range of other noises — and the other is to use earplugs. Both have their pros and cons, and you might find that one works for you, whereas the other doesn’t. That’s why we wrote this guide: so that you can choose which one is best for you, and make an informed decision.
We’ll take a closer look at the different products and methods available to you later on in this guide. First, though, let’s take a look at why trying to live with a snoring partner without doing anything about it is a bad idea.
The noise of snoring isn’t a pleasant one. Not only will it keep you awake at night, but it will also ruin your day, too. 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.
If you don’t do something about the problem, you can suffer from:
You can’t wait for snoring to solve itself. If you want to get a better night’s sleep and help your partner to stop snoring, you have to do something about it. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do (or buy) that will make your life easier.
Your first option for dealing with snoring is the humble pair of earplugs. If you intend on using earplugs to help minimize the side effects of sleeping with a snoring partner, then you need to know how to use them right in the first place. Here’s how:
If you have other kinds of earplugs—those that aren’t made from foam—simply follow steps 2 to 4.
You may have tried a cheap pair that you found at a pharmacy. If you did, they might have worked for you, or they may have not. Cheap earplugs are hit and miss. But if you shop around, you’ll find that there are a few different kinds of earplugs.
Here are the main options:
You may have used earplugs in the past and found them lacking. Maybe they didn’t block out noise as you would like. Well, there’s a specific way that you should be using them. Here’s exactly how to use earplugs.
The first and most obvious benefit of earplugs is that they block out any sound. But they’re not solely useful because of their effectiveness.
Here are the four benefits of in-ear earplugs:
However, like anything in life, earplugs have some drawbacks, including:
So, given that earplugs may not work for you, what alternatives do you have?
Looking to block out snoring without earplugs? Well, the next option available to you is white noise for snoring removal. Using a white noise machine is easy—much more comfortable than using earplugs.
All you have to do is plug them in (or turn on the batteries), and leave them to run in the background. Over the course of the night, your machine will block out any unwanted noise. As we mentioned above, the reason is that white noise is easy for your brain to block out. It’s just like a clock ticking.
White noise machines are perfect for the home, or for when you’re traveling. You can find portable white noise machines that run on batteries, which allows you to use them when you’re on-the-go. By contrast, you could use one that plugs into the outlet, giving it extended power overnight. It’s all about what you prefer. These devices are small and light, so you can carry them in your luggage wherever you go.
If you have a plug-in machine, you obviously need access to power sockets to use it. That may not be possible on an aircraft or another form of transport, for example. You might also find that you do not like the sound that white noise machines make. Instead, you should look into the brown and pink machines instead. So if yours doesn’t work for you, try one of those alternatives instead.
Here is a guide to white noise machines that we put together.
White noise machines are a common solution for people who have to live with snoring partners. But even so, you may never have heard of them, or may not know how they work.
They can help to cut out every kind of noise, whether from a partner snoring or the dog outside barking all night. If you don’t know, think of the noise an old TV would make if the signal were to go out. This noise is soft, and for some people, soothing. It’s easier to block out than irregular kinds of noise, like snoring.
Think of it this way: do you have a clock in your room right now? If you do, have you been ‘hearing’ the clock tick for the last ten minutes? No, of course not: your brain blocks the noise out. It does the same to white noise.
They are typically quite small, and either plug into an outlet or use batteries. Some play solely white noise; others can play different kinds of noise, like brown noise or pink noise. Others still can play other soothing sounds, like waterfalls.
When they first encounter the concept of a white noise machine for snoring, most people think it could never work. The idea of trying to cancel out one kind of noise with another might seem counterproductive. However, it works, and not just because of some placebo effect.
There’s nothing too complicated about it. Scientifically speaking, it is a continuous sound that is made over and over again with little change in the tone. This produces a fuzzy wall of noise, over which it’s difficult to hear anything else.
The aim here is to not only help you get to sleep but to help you enjoy good quality sleep. When you put your head down at night, snoring will still bother you even if you can sleep through it. Why? Because it’s always causing you to semi-awaken, noise pollution and jarring sounds will continuously cause you to be in a state of near-wakening.
White noise machines, such as the Marpac Dohm DS dual speed sound conditioner, stop this from happening by offering your brain one constant thing to hear, all night long. Just think of somebody shouting: it’s difficult to hear over them, isn’t it? Well, they mask noise in the same, simple way, but without having to be too loud.
Of course, like any other form of anti-snoring or sound blocking device, white noise machines have their benefits.
The weaknesses of white noise machines include:
So, on the one hand, a white noise machine might be just what you need. But if not, you might benefit from looking at some of the other options available.
You have many options outside of the above, thankfully. If neither earplugs nor white noise machines work for you, you aren’t stuck.
To start off with, we recommend you investigate the following:
A compelling form of treatment, hypnosis for snoring can bring about an end to the problem in no time at all. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why it might work, but it’s commonly used for a variety of reasons. For instance, you may have heard that it can help people to stop smoking. For some people who undergo hypnosis for smoking, all they need is one or two sessions, and they don’t even feel the urge to smoke at all.
A hypnotist will use the power of suggestion to help you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep. It’s probably not for everyone but will work for some, especially if you’ve been through hypnosis before.
This one might be a bit drastic. However, if you are suffering to live with the side effects of sleeping with a snoring partner, consider it. For starters, sleeping in different beds can provide immediate relief for you. It will stop you from bickering and arguing over the snoring, and allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
Not only that but changing the kind of bedding you sleep with can help. Maybe your mattress or pillow is causing your lack of sleep too, and you would sleep better if you changed both of them. The kind of pillow you have can have a dramatic effect on your sleep. You can choose hard or soft varieties, and pillows which are either flat or plump. Everyone needs a different kind to help them get to sleep.
You may find that your posture while you sleep can mean the difference between resting peacefully and not. To try and get better sleep, you should try both lying on your back and lying on your side. You should also make sure that your neck has the correct support it needs to prevent neck pain.
One of the most primary causes of sleep deprivation is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common cause of snoring but is a specific condition. This is when you catch your breath as you sleep. Treating it, therefore, gets to the heart of your partner’s snoring problem.
If you would like to avoid such irritation, then a sleep apnea kit can help. These can stop you from catching your breath, and keep your airways open. Luckily, there are a few ways to treat it; losing weight is one, but using a sleep apnea kit is another. Sleep apnea kits include clips to keep the nose and airways open, mouth guards which do the same, and masks to help you breathe.
If none of the above appeals to you, go for wireless earphones and music. Wireless earphones are the best since you won’t get tangled up in wires. They can drown out any noise and play music or other sounds for you to fall asleep to.
Perhaps music works best for you, but you might find that listening to a podcast or soothing rainforest sounds works well. Listening to music can be a good compromise if you are not willing to sleep in different beds or try sleep apnea kits.
Now that you’ve come to the end of our guide, no doubt you’d like some more advice. Which of these paths should you take to start sleeping better? Which one is right for you? Well, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for us to recommend.
Here are a few tips that we think you could follow straight away:
1) Start by using just one or two different kinds of earplugs. You may find that they work for you right off the bat, in which case, your problem is solved.
2) Try a few different kinds if regular foam plugs are uncomfortable, fall out, or don’t work.
3) If earplugs aren’t for you—for whatever reason—try a white noise machine. They’re effective, and not as expensive as you might think.
4) No matter which solution you opt for, try improving your sleep in a number of other ways, too. Buy better pillows, a more comfortable mattress, or even invest in a second bed. You wake up at night for many reasons, not just for snoring, after all.
If you’re still finding it difficult to sleep after all that, you may find it helpful to visit your doctor. They will be able to advise you further, since you may suffer from insomnia. Long periods of interrupted sleep can cause insomnia, and you will have to seek medical treatment. But for the majority of people, these four steps should be enough.