Since we have more than a passing interest in snoring, we are always looking for more information about people’s personal experiences with it. The more we understand people’s snoring stories, the better we can reach out to them.
One great source for finding these personal stories is advice columns. The columns regularly feature stories like this:
Dear Columnist: My husband / boyfriend / partner snores all night and it keeps me up. It’s loud–shaking-the-windows loud! I’ve tried everything: I nudge him at night. We prop him up on pillows, he uses nasal strips, I use earplugs. I even try sleeping in another room–and he still keeps me awake. When I talk to him in the morning, he just complains that he didn’t sleep well, either! He blames me for his poor sleep! I don’t know what to do! Please help,
–Desperate for Sleep
“Columnist” will then write back to “Desperate” with relationship advice about working together and the need for compassion. Sometimes Columnist recommends one of the few at-home solutions not listed (but possibly already tried).
However, what people haven’t tried, and what Columnist rarely recommends, is seeing a professional, either a sleep doctor or a sleep dentist. Occasionally, someone will suggest in the comments that sleep apnea could be an issue, but that’s an outlier. We don’t really blame Columnist because they’re typically relationship experts, but it’s important for people dealing with snoring to understand when to seek professional help for their condition.
Go Ahead and Try Home Remedies for Snoring
When dealing with snoring, it’s reasonable to try home remedies first. In some cases, this helps, especially for relatively minor snoring. At-home snoring solutions we recommend include:
- Sleeping on your side rather than your back or stomach
- Propping the snorer up on pillows
- Using nasal strips
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Avoiding alcohol at night
- Getting more exercise and losing weight
Sleeping on your back or stomach means that gravity is more likely to pull your airway closed. Side sleeping helps keep your airway open. Sleeping while propped up also helps keep gravity from pulling the airway closed.
Nasal strips help keep nostrils open. The nose doesn’t cause most loud snoring, but some annoying snoring might be.
Medications can help control allergies, swelling, and other problems that might close your airway. However, some can lead to the relaxation of your airway, which worsens snoring. Talk to your doctor about these issues and figure out the optimal timing for taking medications.
Alcohol relaxes your muscles, as well. It contributes to airway collapse, which in turn causes snoring.
Exercises help tone your muscles, and weight loss can reduce the amount of fat on your throat and tongue. Being active and losing weight can help control snoring.
When to Try Sleeping Apart
A so-called “sleep divorce” was a popular recommendation for dealing with snoring for a while. Simply sleeping in another room might help you get the sleep you need. However, there are problems with this solution, and couples should only try it if:
- Both partners freely agree to this solution
- You have space where both partners get equally good accommodation
- It’s effective
- The snoring partner isn’t experiencing poor sleep
A sleep divorce can be hurtful to one or both partners if they don’t personally think it’s a good idea to sleep separately. Otherwise, it can lead to people feeling rejected and exiled. This can also be true if you don’t have enough space that both partners get equally good sleeping accommodations. The person sleeping on the couch, futon, or hideaway is likely to resent being sent away.
Of course, it’s not enough for many people’s snoring to go to another room. Loud snoring can be penetrative, and it’s hard to get away from it.
Plus, if the snorer continues to suffer poor sleep, you haven’t really solved the true problem of snoring.
Seek Professional Snoring Treatment
If you have tried home remedies and one or both partners still have problems sleeping, it’s time to seek professional help. First, you will want to get a sleep test. A sleep test can tell you if your snoring is linked to sleep apnea, which can guide treatment.
Most people can get good results from a home sleep test. At the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center, we can get you a sleep test you take in the comfort of your own bed. This will tell us if you have sleep apnea or merely snoring. It will also tell us how severe your sleep apnea might be. If you have severe sleep apnea, you will need to try CPAP first. Otherwise, you can benefit from oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliances are also effective at treating snoring without sleep apnea. They work well for snoring that doesn’t respond to the usual home treatments.
Get Help for Snoring in Omaha
If you are at your wits’ end, don’t give up. At the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha, we help our patients get deep, restorative sleep all night, every night. We have helped many people with snoring, just like you.
To learn how we can help you, please call (402) 493-4175 or contact us online today for an appointment at our office in Omaha, NE.