If you’re annoyed by your partner’s snoring every night, you’re not alone. More than half the adult population in the United States experiences habitual snoring. However, there’s much debate on whether waking up a snoring person is bad for them.
Waking someone up is only bad if they’re general snorers. It’s not a problem if they snore due to sleep apnea. Simple snoring doesn’t lower sleep quality, but being awoken does. Sleep apnea causes poor sleep quality, so your partner will already suffer from mild sleep deprivation anyway.
Understanding the difference between a simple snorer and someone with sleep apnea is important. How much of a detriment waking them up is depends on the distinction between these two different conditions. Once you know, you can devise a plan to help your partner snore less.
Should You Wake Up Someone Who is Snoring?
You shouldn’t wake up someone who snores if the person is a general snorer. Instead, take steps to block out the sound of snoring. However, it’s advised that you wake someone up if the person snores because of obstructive sleep apnea.
Waking up someone who snores due to sleep apnea may help the person because you can reduce the snoring and help the person sleep better by:
- Adjusting sleeping position
- Helping to take medication
- Reminding the person to fix the pillows a certain way
According to Sleep Medicine Reviews, simple snoring is a common problem defined by a lack of obstructive sleep apnea. Simple snoring is caused by the partial collapse of certain throat tissues. Because the collapse is only partial, the snorer remains capable of breathing normally.
According to the University of Toronto, simple snoring doesn’t affect sleep quality, and this is why it’s not advised that you wake someone up if the person is a simple snorer.
Doing so will disrupt the person’s sleep, resulting in:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Poor concentration
Before figuring out how to get a good night’s rest despite having a snoring partner, ensure the person goes to a somnologist to determine if it’s a case of simple snoring or sleep apnea.
When Should You Wake Up Someone Who Snores?
The individual can’t hear themselves snoring, so they’re not going to wake up on their own.
You should only wake up a snoring person if they snore due to obstructive sleep apnea. However, simply waking the person up is often not enough to help stop snoring.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that may require lifestyle adjustments. So, if you wake up your snoring partner, it should only be because you are trying to help the person with those adjustments.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes people to suddenly stop breathing while they sleep. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but snoring is common in people with sleep apnea.
If your bed partner has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, depending on what the doctor said, you can help them snore less and sleep better by waking them up when you hear them snoring.
Once awake, you can help them by doing things that help with snoring and sleep apnea, such as:
- Reminding the person to sleep on the side instead of the back
- Taking medication for asthma
- Taking sleep apnea medication
- Re-adjusting the sleep apnea mask
- Re-adjusting the pillows to prevent the person from rolling on to the back
If you and your partner devise a plan where you wake up to reduce snoring, make sure you only do so once a night.
Waking the person up several times throughout the night is just as harmful as sleep apnea. If the first attempt at reducing the snoring doesn’t work, you’ll have to talk to the somnologist again.
Why You Should Wake Up a Snoring Person
If your bed partner snores because of sleep apnea, it is beneficial for both of you to wake the person up and help to snore less. For you, the benefits are obvious: your quality of sleep will greatly improve.
According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings, bed partners of patients who snore had poor sleep quality, even after long-term exposure to the partner’s snoring.
Eliminating your partner’s snoring will increase your sleep efficiency by around 13%, which translates to an additional hour of sleep (assuming an 8-hour sleep period).
Waking up your snoring partner will help them in the short-term and long-term. According to the European Respiratory Journal, snoring is associated with various health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases and nocturnal asthma. According to the Karolinska Institute, in middle-aged women, it can lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea also affects sleep quality, leading to:
- Mood disorders
- Daytime drowsiness
- Overall fatigue
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
So, it’s in your best interest to wake up your sleep apnea-affected bed partner once you have guidance from a doctor. Not only will setting up a plan to reduce the condition help you sleep better, but it’ll also help your partner live longer.
Does Waking Up Someone Who Snores Hurt Them?
Waking up a snoring person doesn’t hurt the person, and it doesn’t cause heart attacks, induce a panic attack, or reduce sleep quality if the person already has sleep apnea.
People believe that you shouldn’t wake someone who is snoring for two reasons:
- The person will have an aggressive reaction.
- It disrupts the person’s sleep.
Unless you wake the snoring person up suddenly and loudly, there is no reason for an aggressive reaction to being woken up.
This belief comes from dealing with sleepwalkers, who get disoriented and violent if woken up suddenly. As long as you wake up the snoring person gently, the reaction will be mild.
If the person has a violent reaction to being woken up, there may be an underlying problem that has nothing to do with snoring, such as:
- Severe anxiety
- Night terrors
Waking up someone who snores only disrupts sleep if the person is a simple snorer. If the person snores because of sleep apnea, waking up does not disrupt sleep any more than the sleep apnea does.
Sleep apnea-induced snoring reduces sleep quality because it causes sleep arousals. Sleep arousals are small interruptions during sleep, and they usually last 3 to 15 seconds. People who experience sleep arousals throughout the night don’t remember it, but frequent arousals cause sleep deprivation.
Is It Rude to Wake Someone Up Who is Snoring?
It’s only rude to wake up a snoring person if they’ve said that they don’t like it.
Some people cannot go back to sleep once they wake up, even once during the night. If the snorer feels like it is a detriment to sleep quality, then it’s rude.
Waking up a snorer only to chastise the person for waking you up is not productive. Both should agree on a plan that can help the snorer snore less. This way, both people get a good night’s rest.
Is Someone in a Deep Sleep Snoring?
Snoring doesn’t only occur when the person is in deep sleep.
There are 5 stages of sleep. The first 3 are a part of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and they’re considered the light sleep stages. The last 2 belong in the REM stage, which is considered deep sleep.
People usually begin snoring when they hit stage 2 of the sleep cycle. Stage 2 can start anywhere between 1 to 5 minutes after falling asleep. This stage can last up to 25 minutes. During this stage, your muscles relax, including your tongue and throat muscles, which causes the snoring.
Is Waking Up a Snoring Pregnant Woman Bad?
If your pregnant partner snores, waking the person up may be a good idea. According to CHEST, snoring is extremely common in pregnant women, but it can cause fetal growth retardation.
Women who never snored before pregnancy suddenly do so because of hormonal changes and weight gain. Because snoring can cause sleep arousals and reduce sleep quality, it may be healthier for the mother and the baby if the mother woke up and adjusted herself to stop snoring.
Letting the pregnant woman snore through the night only means she will have hours upon hours of disturbed sleep. However, waking her up and reducing the snoring will help her get better rest.
Of course, you are always advised to do this under the guidance of both a somnologist and an obstetrician.
How to Wake Up A Snoring Person
The best way to wake up a snoring person is by being gentle. Waking the person up with a loud noise or aggressively shaking the body can send the person into a state of panic.
Waking someone up suddenly can increase blood pressure, cause headaches, and become aggressive. Waking up abruptly is not good for anyone’s health. So, no matter how annoyed you are at your snoring bed partner, you should always try a gentle approach.
Calling your partner’s name is an efficient tactic. The brain is still active, even when sleeping, and it can detect when our names are being called because it considers it important information.
It’s not bad to wake someone up if they have sleep apnea. However, if the person is snoring in general, there are better ways to address the problem.