How to sleep with a snorer

If you are a light sleeper, or find any noise difficult, snoring is the absolute worst. To be honest, for me, so also is deep breathing or any sound other than silence. I find it almost impossible to sleep if I am sharing a bed with a snorer or a deep breather. The resentment that builds as you hear the person lying peacefully beside you, clearly sound asleep (sound being the operative word) from the deep, methodical noises emitting from them. Whilst me, sleep starved, filled with anger that they are totally asleep and I am completely awake because of THEM (and that this happened last night, and the night before), unleashes uncharacteristic and extremely unpleasant thoughts (one might even categories them as murderous). 

I know this, because it’s me. For example, with a previous partner of mine who snored, I contemplated in the dead of night whether I should break up with them, right then and there. That this, this was it, their snoring was clearly an embodiment of all our problems. Totally bonkers!  But yet, this is not uncommon. Many people find it incredibly difficult to sleep next to a snorer and this can seriously affect relationships. 

Apparently this (rather embarrassing, thank goodness no one can see inside my mind) anger is quite normal. It is our body’s fight-or-flight response to the situation as the snoring is deemed a “threat” thereby putting us into survival mode. The only issue with this, sadly, is that this rather dramatic response causes a rush of adrenaline which actually ends up keeping us awake and making it hard to sleep.

So what can you do if you have fallen in love with a snorer so that hopefully you can sleep better:

  1. Dump them: they weren’t right for you anyway. No, only kidding! You can’t pick who you love and snoring should certainly not be the reason for it ending (although, full disclosure my friends, I did wish that you could stipulate on dating apps “no snorers, no deep breathers”)  
  2. Try to stop them snoring: I know, this is much harder than it sounds, but there are some things you can try. Snoring can be influenced by alcohol, smoking and excessive tiredness, to name a few things. So encourage them to prioritise getting enough sleep so as not to get too tired and to not drink too much in the evenings (again, easier said than done!). Another tactic that always worked for me, if they start snoring, roll them onto their side. Snoring happens when air can’t move freely through your nose and throat during sleep so by putting them on their side this prevents the tongue from blocking the throat. [I’ll also admit, in dark times when the snoring was really bad and I was fully angered, I would cough loudly, make an “accidental” noise or “uncontrolled” kick to wake them, hoping I’d buy myself enough silence to fall asleep.] If you’ve tried all these preventative measures and their snoring isn’t easily solved, encourage your partner to visit a doctor to investigate further - they owe this to you and their own health - it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
  3. Reframe the snoring: I often feared the snore before I’d even clambered into bed. I would tell myself that I must fall asleep before them that the moment we clambered into bed it was a race against time. A race I always lost as, besides the fact my partner fell asleep almost instantaneously, the pressure of falling asleep only made me more anxious so there was no chance of me falling asleep. What you have to try to do is not allow yourself to get worked up or angered by the noise or situation. This is what I mean by “reframe the snore”. Yes, you can hear it, it certainly hasn’t disappeared, but try not to let it get to you. This is by no means easy, but what worked for me was to try to hear the snore slightly differently, focus on your own breathing, body position, your head on the pillow, other sounds in the room or try to think of the snore as some sort of strange (less desirable) sleep noise app or just another sound in the room and one that doesn’t get under your skin but lulls you to sleep. It’s wishful thinking, but over time you do train the brain to see (or rather hear) the snoring differently meaning you will be more measure and it won’t provoke such an emotional response 
  4. Get good earplugs or nighttime headphones: the best earplugs for me were the foam ones like these or I would try to drown out the noise with better noise of my own through my headphones - a sleep story or ocean sounds - that also calmed me. If you want to go the extra mile - try this eye mask with built in headphones

Hopefully something here will help get to sleep more easily with a snorer. If you have any other suggestions do send them our way! It goes without saying, but I would also suggest our nightly Sleep Capsules as we also designed them to instill calm before you go to bed. This should help put you into a state of zen ready for the night ahead and to take on the snorer making you less likely to react and be more measured if it happens.