They might be your lifelong soulmate, but it’s hard to love a snorer when they’re keeping you awake at night.
Whether they make a loud rumble or a bothersome whistle, snoring is never fun to deal with, especially if it’s preventing you from getting the seven to nine hours of sleep experts suggest we should aim for each night.
If your partner snores, take some comfort in the fact you’re not alone. According to the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, 41.5% of the UK adult population snore and 58% of these are between 50-59 years of age.
Thankfully, experts say you can effectively lessen or silence the noise with a few simple and easy tricks. Stephanie Romiszewski is a sleep physiologist and Bensons for Beds (bensonsforbeds.co.uk) sleep expert. Here she’s outlined some handy tips that could be the answer to your nocturnal woes.
1. Get their back up
Sometimes, simply shifting your partner’s sleeping position can make all the difference. “Some people who snore tend to sleep on their back, which can make snoring worse, so turn your partner on their side instead,” advises Romiszewski.
2. Give them a poke
If you’ve been enduring night after night of low-frequency rumbling, you probably won’t need any encouragement. “Don’t poke them too hard, though,” warns Romiszewski. “Just do it gently – this will get them out of their snoring state, without interrupting their sleep too.”
3. Play midnight tennis
“Get your partner to try the tennis ball technique,” our sleep expert suggests. This is a sleep technique that involves placing a tennis ball in a T-shirt pocket. “Get your partner to put the T-shirt on backwards right before bed, as this will encourage your partner to learn to sleep on their side during the night – rather than their back.”
4. Skip the nightcap
Having a glass of wine with dinner might seem like a good idea at the time but it can actually make your partner’s snoring worse during the night. Romiszewski says: “Alcohol or other sedatives and depressants really don’t help – the more your muscles relax, the more it can lead to snoring.”
5. Pile up the pillows
Here’s a pretty simple tip you can try tonight. “If you sleep with a snorer, get them to use an extra pillow for elevation, which can reduce snoring,” says Romiszewski.
6. Get a weight loss plan in place
Obesity and being overweight can increase the risk of many serious health problems, but it can also make snoring worse too. “Encourage your partner to lose some weight if needed,” says Romiszewski. “Carrying extra weight around the neck area can lead to snoring because of the pressure that rests on the throat.”
7. Divide and conquer
Finally, if you need to, sleep in separate bedrooms. “It’s the social norm that couples should sleep together, but we weren’t made to sleep in someone else’s sleeping pattern,” says Romiszewski. “In the worst-case scenario, don’t be ashamed to sleep in the spare bedroom if you need to – you will have a good night’s rest and potentially fewer arguments the day after.”