Last Updated on: 21st September 2023, 11:36 am
Snoring is a common cause of relationship disputes among partners who share a bed. Consequently, it’s tempting to wake the person snoring beside you to get a good night’s sleep.
Nobody should suffer in silence. Restful sleep is a fundamental human need, and somebody else’s right to sleep without disturbance doesn’t supersede your right to rest.
If you share a bed or bedroom with somebody with sleep apnea, waking them may even benefit their health. That’s because sleep apnea revolves around a short-term inability to breathe.
While waking a snorer is acceptable, it’s not always necessary.
You may be able to nudge somebody onto their side from the supine position without waking them or increase the humidity in a room to provide easier access to the airways.
If you wake a snorer, avoid shaking them, especially if they’re in deep sleep. People are often angry and confused when unexpectedly woken up and may react defensively.
Consider playing music to rouse them from sleep or make a noise outside the room, like setting an alarm in a different part of the house. Gradually increasing the lights in a room can also work.
Should You Wake Someone Up Who Is Snoring?
If somebody else’s snoring keeps you awake and prevents you from getting sufficient rest, you can wake them up. Chronic snoring over several nights can lead to significant sleep debt.
No one person has more right to sleep than another, so don’t tolerate snoring and remain awake. Regardless of your job or responsibilities, 2 people sharing a bed need 8 hours of rest to feel their best.
If you’re opposed to waking a snorer, sleep in a different location. Separate bedrooms may be required, as you can only reasonably be expected to sleep on an air mattress for so long.
Is it Safe to Wake Somebody with Sleep Apnea?
If you share a bed with somebody with sleep apnea, as opposed to simple snoring, waking them may be beneficial. Sleep apnea means that somebody temporarily stops breathing, which can be dangerous.
Rousing somebody with sleep apnea will allow them to adjust their sleeping position, take medication, or refit a prescribed CPAP mask to increase efficacy.
While somebody may be grumpy at being woken, they’ll likely thank you in the morning.
Is It Rude to Wake Someone Up Who is Snoring?
If somebody is snoring, they may consider it rude to be woken up.
Irritability and anger are common reactions when our sleep is disturbed, and snorers sometimes experience denial about the noise they make.
It could be considered equally rude to snore throughout the night, disturbing the sleep of a partner who shares a bed. Snoring should be managed for the sake of nocturnal harmony.
If you share a bed with a snorer or snore yourself and prevent your partner from gaining restful sleep, discuss the problem before retiring to bed and agree on controlling this noise.
Ways to reduce the likelihood of snoring include:
- Avoid sleeping flat on your back – JMIR Formative Research recommends sleeping in an inclined position to minimize snoring.
- Get an anti-snoring pillow, ergonomically designed to keep the airways open.
- Limit consumption of alcohol and avoid eating in the hours before bed.
- Get some exercise before bedtime, especially if you’re overweight. For example, take a walk.
- Take a shower in a steamy room before bed to open your airways.
If you share a bed with a partner who snores, consider ways to mask the noise. Methods include:
- Wear earplugs or listen to music to block the sound.
- Use a white noise machine to provide an alternative sound to focus on.
- Attempt to fall asleep before a snoring partner.
Come to an arrangement where you mutually agree that enough is enough and when it would be appropriate to be woken from sleep during snoring.
When Should You Wake Up Someone Who Snores?
Lying awake and waiting for the right time to wake somebody can be frustrating, but everybody will find the experience easier if you wake somebody at the lightest stage of their sleep cycle.
Look for physical signs that somebody is sleeping lightly:
- No rapid movement behind closed eyes.
- Occasional physical activity, like kicking the legs.
- Greater tension in the muscles.
If you’re unsure of what stage of sleep somebody else is in, you may need to take the risk and wake them at any point. Anything less than 8 hours of sleep will have repercussions in the morning, although it’s possible to function on around 4 hours as a one-off.
Don’t allow sleep debt to build if snoring becomes habitual in a partner. You should take action if you lose multiple hours of sleep every evening due to noise beyond your control.
Does Waking Up Someone Who Snores Hurt Them?
You won’t place somebody’s health at risk if you wake them up when snoring. Throwing a bucket of cold water over somebody is ill-advised, but a quick nudge won’t cause heart failure.
If anybody is at risk when a snorer is woken abruptly, it’s the person doing the waking. The person you’ve woken will be startled by the disturbance and may unwittingly lash out with flailing limbs.
The American Review of Respiratory Disease explains that if snoring is loud and intense, the individual will likely be experiencing slow-wave or REM sleep.
These are the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle, where we are at the deepest phase of rest.
It can be harder to pull somebody from sleep in these stages. However, this may be a welcome development, as it means you could move the snorer into a quieter position without waking them.
Expect a response if you force somebody out of deep or REM sleep.
The snorer may have been experiencing a particularly vivid dream or nightmare, or their mind and body may be entirely at rest. Any interruption to this sleep will be jarring, even if essential.
Is Waking Up a Snoring Pregnant Woman Bad?
Pregnant women usually snore, with Sleep Medicine Reviews claiming that women in their second and third trimesters are likeliest to snore or struggle with sleep apnea. Explanations include:
- Pregnancy-related weight gain leads to swelling around the throat’s airways, restricting airflow.
- Side effects of hormonal fluctuations, like progesterone and estrogen, cause nasal blockages.
- Increased blood flow, reducing space in the nasal passages and creating congestion.
- There is a higher likelihood of sleeping in the supine position to protect the “baby bump.”
Generally, it’s not recommended to wake a pregnant woman under any circumstances.
Sleep is more pivotal than ever at this stage of life and can be challenging to obtain as the pregnancy progresses due to the discomfort of a changing body.
Chest suggests that waking a sleeping woman is advisable if she shows signs of sleep apnea or extremely loud snoring. If snoring limits oxygen intake while a pregnant woman sleeps, the fetus may be impacted, with delayed growth a common concern.
How To Safely Wake Up A Snoring Person
Snoring can lead to frustration, so it’s tempting to prod, poke, or shake somebody roughly until they wake up. Look for a more natural and less abrasive way to rouse somebody from sleep.
If you choose to wake somebody with noise, PLoS One recommends music. This is a gentler way to be roused from sleep than yelling somebody’s name and reduces the impact of sleep inertia.
If playing music isn’t an option, consider sounding an alarm from another room.
Set an alarm clock to chime outside the bedroom door, or push the test button on your smoke alarm. This will snatch somebody from sleep abruptly, but you’ll maintain a safe distance.
If your sleeping partner keeps their cell phone beside the bed, calling the phone may also work – assuming it is not set to do not disturb. You can also call a central landline in the home.
Consider the implications, as people rarely call in the middle of the night with good news. You may force somebody into a state of panic and anxiety, which could prevent them from falling asleep again.
Light is another way that you can rouse somebody from sleep.
If you have a dimmer switch in the bedroom, steadily increase the light level. This heightened illumination will steadily arouse the snorer, though it won’t be as sudden as using sound.
How Do You Stop Someone from Snoring Without Waking Them Up?
While the frustration of sharing a bed with a sleeping person makes it tempting to wake them immediately, there are alternative approaches.
Before rousing somebody from sleep, try gently rolling them onto their side.
Harefuah stated that over 50% of chronic snorers and sleep apnea patients adopt the supine position overnight. Getting a snorer onto their side can reduce noise.
Roll somebody over by pushing from the shoulder with one hand and the hip with the other.
If the snoring person is a light sleeper, this may still wake them, but they should fall asleep again almost immediately. Prop a pillow behind the snorer’s back to keep them on their side.
If your partner is a deep sleeper, you could try slipping an additional pillow under their head.
Lifting the head and neck opens the airways further, reducing snoring. Poorly positioned pillows can cause neck and shoulder pain, so this may trade one problem for another.
Increasing the humidity in a bedroom reduces snoring, so consider this if you don’t want to wake your partner. Open a window, or if you have a humidifier, switch this one. An appliance will also emit a low humming sound, which may give you a different noise to focus on.
Never attempt to stop somebody snoring by closing their mouth, pinching their nose, or covering their face. These approaches won’t be successful and are potentially dangerous.
Snoring can cause problems in a relationship, especially if one person loses sleep. Don’t allow snoring to lead to disharmony, so wake them up if they’re making it impossible for you to rest.