Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Louise Carter
Snoring can disrupt others’ sleep. Even when you love everything else about a person, their propensity to snore can make life intolerable, so you need to know how to block out snoring.
Snoring can keep you awake at night for hours, leaving you exhausted and bad-tempered. You won’t get enough sleep, and the frustration can strain a boyfriend-girlfriend or marital relationship.
You can block out the sound of a snoring partner by shielding the ears with soft earbuds or earmuffs.
Alternatively, meditation, listening to ambient white noise, or noise-canceling appliances (like headphones) can mute or significantly reduce the sound of a snoring partner.
Snoring shouldn’t just be ignored or blocked out. While most of the causes of snoring aren’t life-threatening, a health check-up from a medical doctor is highly recommended.
Why Does My Partner Snore So Loud?
Although snoring is most common among adult men, many women snore loudly. According to Epidemiology, 4 out of 10 males and 1 out of 4 females have snoring problems.
The average decibel level for snoring is 50 to 100 dB. In rare cases, snoring sounds can exceed 110 dB.
If your life partner snores loudly, the possible causes include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Excess weight, especially around the neck.
- Drinking alcohol (relaxes the muscles).
- Smoking cigarettes (edema and upper airway inflammation).
- Swollen tonsils.
- Getting older (muscles weaken with age).
- Sleeping on the back (supine position) rather than the side (lateral position).
- Nasal congestion (seasonal allergies, respiratory infection, etc.)
Snoring from a partner shouldn’t just be tolerated, especially if it keeps you awake at night.
Sharing A Bed With A Snoring Partner
If you share a bed with a partner who snores regularly, costing you sleep, talk to them about the problem. Your partner may be upset to learn that he or she is snoring, possibly becoming defensive.
They may deny snoring, which is common because snorers can’t hear themselves. If so, take a recording of your partner’s snoring to force them to face up to the issue.
Of course, accepting that you snore and doing something about it are entirely different things. You’ll need to help your partner stop snoring or find a way to sleep despite the disturbance.
What Can I Use to Block Out Snoring?
Ask 100 people to tell you 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.
Knowing what to do when someone snores isn’t easy, especially when it keeps you awake. Remaining in bed and growing frustrated by your inability to sleep isn’t an option.
Blocking the sound of snoring comes in 1 of 3 forms: muffling the sound, drowning out the noise, or focusing on something else so that you no longer notice the snoring.
Head into a pharmacy, and you’ll find a range of over-the-counter products that claim to help with snoring. Some are wearable, like nasal strips or mouth guards, while others are medicinal, like pills.
They seek to open the throat while you sleep, thus keeping the airways accessible, making 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. They can minimize the volume and delay the inevitable, giving you time to fall asleep before the snoring starts.
Change Partner’s Sleep Position
If a partner is snoring like a pneumatic drill, he or she is likely sleeping on their back (supine position). This sleeping position is comfortable but commonly associated with loud snoring.
When we are on our backs, the airways in our necks collapse, leading to snoring. Give your partner a nudge or roll them onto their side to reduce the snoring volume and intensity.
Encourage your partner to avoid back sleeping. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine confirms that positional therapy devices, like pillows and belts, can keep somebody sleeping on their side.
Earplugs and Earmuffs
Earplugs are among the most popular solutions for people who share a bed with a snoring partner.
The journal 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’s ear shape can accommodate them. If they’re non-disposable, you’ll also need to clean them regularly.
Regularly wearing earplugs pushes wax into the ear canal, leading to ear infections. The good news is that this can be remedied with doctor-prescribed ear drops.
Earplugs made from wax are comfortable and easy to clean, albeit expensive. Alternatively, you could pick up overhead earmuffs designed for comfortable sleeping.
A white noise machine is an option if you’re trying to block out snoring. This approach is typically advisable if you’re being kept awake by lost-distance snoring from neighbors or another room.
The idea of a white noise machine is to create a different sound released at a similar pitch to the snoring. Many people find white noise less intrusive than repetitive, droning snoring.
You could try brown noise if a partner sleeps particularly loudly.
Brown noise is pitched lower than white noise, making it harder for some people to tolerate. Pink noise, meanwhile, is somewhere between the two extremes.
Noise-Cancelling Devices for Sleeping
You’ll need headphones you can sleep in, so ensure they’re soft and comfortable.
Depending on whether you pick up active or passive noise-canceling headphones, you may not need to listen to anything. This difference will also affect the price point.
Passive headphones cover the ears, preventing external sound from penetrating the ears. However, they may not be comfortable to sleep in because they’re bulky and tight on the head.
Active noise canceling involves feeding an alternative sound into the headphones, such as white noise. By turning on the noise-canceling tech, you can use headphones without music to block out snoring.
If you can tolerate music at bedtime, it’s worth considering. The Journal of Advanced Nursing explains how relaxing music leads to better sleep. For example, classical music is relaxing for the mind and body.
Meditation requires practice to master. If you develop the patience and self-discipline to meditate, you can block out unwelcome ambient noise in your environment, including a partner’s loud snoring.
If you’re attempting to meditate in a noisy environment, consider guided meditations. These can be found on YouTube or apps, but you’ll need headphones to listen to them.
If you prefer a DIY approach, follow these simple steps:
- Get yourself into a relaxed position. Ideally, remain lying down in your bed.
- Clear the mind and focus on how the body feels. Acknowledge sensations, ignoring any snoring-related irritability. Focus on muscular twinges, temperature fluctuations, or pulsing vibrations.
- Take a deep breath, relaxing as much as possible.
- Clear the mind as you exhale before taking another deep breath.
- Continue to empty the mind, focusing attention on your body and breathing.
The objective is to stop noticing the noises surrounding you, like snoring. Instead, anchor yourself by focusing on your breath.
Once you master this skill, you should find that snoring no longer ruins your night’s sleep.
Temporarily Leave the Room
One of the main challenges of being kept awake by snoring is the frustration it creates. Once your sleep is broken, you may feel annoyed and agitated, making it harder to nod off again.
There’s nothing to gain by remaining in bed and growing increasingly angry with a partner. Their snoring will sound like goading as sleep evades you. Cool off by leaving the room for 5-10 minutes.
Get a glass of water, watch TV, read a book – do anything to distract yourself from the snoring.
Sleep Elsewhere in the Home
If snoring prevents you from sleeping at night, one of you needs to rest elsewhere. The couch is okay for a night or two, but you’ll need a spare room with a comfortable bed.
Sleep is essential for physical, mental, and emotional health, so you must find out how to block out snoring noise from a partner. Experiment with different techniques and find what works for you.