Snorers are at risk for major health issues, but they are not the only ones with problems. Snoring also has debilitating effects on the snorer’s spouse and family members who are in earshot of the offender. They also suffer sleeplessness. You may find yourself wondering how to make someone stop snoring.
There are statistics that say snoring affects relationships. In a National Sleep Foundation poll, 50% of people at risk for sleep apnea said that snoring and daytime drowsiness caused problems in their relationship.
A research study in 2014 revealed that 13.9% of couples sleep apart every night, and snoring accounts for half of those.
So what are solutions for how to make someone stop snoring? Do you yell at them, wake them up, or send them to the sofa? Or is there a more humane way to deal with the aggravations of living with a snorer?
Actually, there are many ways to help a snorer beat the rap. If you live with a snorer, you can try these recommendations and see what works for you – and the snorer.
If none of these suggestions work to stop snoring, it will be time to bring in a medical professional for some personal consultations. Some of the steps below do involve medical involvement, and those of course require medical approval. But even if you do not consider procedures like surgery, a doctor can help with initial evaluations.
Let’s start with the easier and more obvious solutions.
How to Make Someone Stop Snoring: 4 Proven Tips
Provide a good sleep environment
You want to make sure the snorer is practicing good sleep hygiene. This involves several practices, starting with maintaining a good sleep environment.
Sleep positions are important. Snoring is at its worst when the sleeper is on his or her back. This allows the soft tissues in the back of the throat to more easily collapse and block the airways. Getting the snorer to change positions, to sleep on his or her side, is a good first step.
One trick often used is the tennis ball solution. A tennis ball is sewn into a tee-shirt pocket, and the snorer puts the tee-shirt on backwards. When rolling onto his or her back, the tennis ball makes it uncomfortable. A similar solution would be a body-length pillow up against the back of the snorer to prevent rolling onto the back.
The second thing to consider is the position of the head relative to the pillows in use. Raising the head a few inches can help. There are specially designed pillows with different levels of firmness to try. Some are designed specifically to support and relax neck muscles.
Mattresses should be comfortable and beds should be big enough. Some beds can raise the position of the sleeper, and this can help reduce snoring.
There is also the possibility that allergens in the air are affecting snoring as well. To avoid this, keep mattresses, pillows, and covers as clean as possible.
If the nasal and throat tissues and airways are moist, it reduces snoring. You can keep the bedroom moist with a humidifier. You can also have the snorer breathe steaming saltwater or rinse the nose with a saline solution in a net pot. A hot shower and steam is another way to breathe in moist air before sleeping.
Other environmental suggestions for how to make someone stop snoring include light and sound. When it’s dark, our bodies prepare for sleep. That’s our circadian rhythm at work. The bedroom should be as dark as possible, with all electronic devices turned off.
A quiet room is advisable, too. If you have a partner that snores, you would no doubt love a quiet room. The only sounds that might be helpful are a white noise like the whir of a fan, or pink noise like a gentle waterfall. These sounds might help the snorer have a better night’s sleep.
Suggest anti-snoring devices
There are devices that might help reduce or eliminate snoring.
One solution is noise masking earbuds worn by the spouse or family member of the snorer in order to reduce snoring noise completely. These earbuds successfully mask unwanted snoring noise with calming pink noise.
There is another device that addresses snoring directly. It should only be used with the recommendation of a physician and probably only after performing a sleep study. It’s called a CPAP device (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).
A CPAP machine produces air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep. There are variations of this machine that produce different levels of pressure and/or actually sense the breathing patterns of the snorer and work to complement that pattern by increasing or decreasing the pressure as needed.
Make lifestyle changes
There are several things the snorer can do every day to reduce chances of snoring. Changes in lifestyle can go a long way to increasing the quality of sleep.
Excess weight is also linked to snoring. A diet and exercise program can lead to weight loss and a reduction in the weight of the neck tissues around the throat leading to airways.
You can recommend that the snorer not eat a heavy meal before bedtime or consume alcohol or caffeine within a few hours of bedtime. Coffee, tea, and sodas with caffeine are stimulants and alcohol and sedatives can cause the soft tissues to relax during sleep thus leading to snoring.
You can also suggest that the snorer keep well hydrated during the day. This is a good general health practice, anyway, and will help all bodily functions perform better.
Travelers who cross time zones can prepare for the inevitable jet lag that follows. You may want to suggest that the traveler go to bed an hour or two earlier or later depending on the direction of travel to get accustomed to the new schedule. This will help adjust the person’s circadian rhythm for a more natural sleep pattern at the new location.
Recommend a medical consultation for possible surgery
Implement good sleep hygiene. Make lifestyle changes. Try anti-snoring devices. But if snoring persists, what do you do next?
The only solution at this point may be surgery. Recommending a consultation with a physician will be in the best interests of the snorer. If a sleep study is performed and sleep apnea is identified, then a CPAP solution will avoid surgery.
But if the problem is found to be structural, then surgery may be the only answer to stop snoring. There are different surgeries recommended for different causes. Traditional surgery removes tissues that are blocking the airways and/or corrects any abnormalities in the nose.
Laser-assisted surgery of the uvula is also possible. This is the removal of the hanging tissue at the back of the throat and small cuts in the soft palate. The healing process makes the palate stiffer and resists snoring.
Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are often performed in children who have chronic sore throats. The purpose of the surgery is not to cure snoring, but is a byproduct of the surgery for those children who do snore.
So pulling that pillow over your head may give you a brief peace of mind. But for a long-term, and hopefully permanent, solution, you can try these steps and instructions for how to make someone stop snoring.