Aug 27th 2020

​Snoring Tips: How To Help Your Partner Stop Snoring

Snoring Tips: How To Help Your Partner Stop Snoring

Did you know that snoring can create problems in marriage? According to Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, snoring is more than just a nuisance. In fact, about 75% of those who snore have obstructive sleep apnea.

It is important to be careful when trying to stop your partner’s snoring. Experts say to use with caution over-the-counter pills and sprays because these stop-snoring aids are often marketed without any scientific studies to support them.

So if you are looking for ways to help your partner, read on as we dive deeper into its causes and relationship with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

What are the causes of loud snoring?

  • Age

As you age, your throat becomes narrower and the muscle tones in your throat decrease. As a result, adults have a higher chance of snoring during sleep.

  • Nasal and sinus problems

Inhalation becomes more difficult when you have nasal or sinus problems. This is because a stuffy nose blocks the airways creating a vacuum in the throat.

  • Sleep posture

Your partner’s sleep posture can tell a lot about their sleep health. If they tend to sleep flat on their back, their throat tends to relax more, thus, blocking the airway.

  • Smoking, alcohol, and use of medications

Another thing that could affect one’s sleep health is their lifestyle. Smoking, alcohol intake, and a number of medications, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan), can cause the muscles to relax more leading to louder snoring.

  • Sleeping disorders

Loud snoring can also indicate that your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea. Have you noticed them ever waking up in the middle of the night gasping for breath? Do they gasp or choke in their sleep? Do they experience daytime fatigue?

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

When a healthy person sleeps, the muscles of the upper part of the throat allow air to flow into the lungs. However, when a person with OSA falls asleep, these muscles are not able to keep the air passage open all the time. When the airway closes, breathing stops, oxygen levels fall, and sleep is disrupted in order to open the airway.

The disruption of sleep usually lasts only a few seconds. However, these brief arousals interfere with sleep and prevent people with OSA from reaching the deep stages of sleep, such as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which the body needs in order to rest and replenish its strength. Once breathing is restored, people with OSA fall asleep only to repeat the cycle throughout the night.

Here are a number of ways you can help your partner stop snoring:

  • Change your sleeping position and make sure that the head is elevated properly to ease breathing. There are also pillows specifically designed to help people with snoring problems.
  • You can consult your dentist regarding the use of mandibular advancement devices. These dental devices keep your jaw and tongue in place so that there is no airway obstruction. Your jaw will be held slightly forward while your tongue is held down. This will prevent it from falling back into the throat and block airflow in your body.
  • Keep the air in your bedroom moist. Keep in mind that dry air can irritate membranes in the throat and nose. This is also great if you have nasal or sinus problems.
  • CPAP therapy is an effective way to treat your sleep apnea and reduce breathing problems during sleep. Most CPAP devices, such as the ResMed AirSense10, utilizes advanced technology to adjust the pressure settings based on your breathing patterns.

Sleep apnea may seem harmless but the risks increase with age. If it is left untreated, it could lead to even more serious health conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even depression. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it is best to first consult with your physician.

How To Help Your Partner Stop Snoring