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If the person you share a bed with snores, your sleep can be disrupted, particularly if you sleep lightly. There are several ways to tackle this situation. You can, of course, investigate the cause of the snoring, which is a good idea from a medical standpoint. Some people also try to modify their own sleep patterns so that their not-so-silent partner causes less disruption.
Snoring can be caused by allergies, nasal congestion, carrying excess weight, or by sleep apnea. Allergies or nasal congestion may be addressed with antihistamines or decongestants. Some people find relief with over-the-counter breathing strips that are placed on the nose. This may fail to solve the problem if your partner also suffers from sleep apnea, however.
If your partner’s excessive snoring is keeping you up at night, have him or her talk to a healthcare professional to rule out sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, which is the sudden cessation of breathing, can be dangerous and may reduce oxygen levels in the blood. Since you may already be awake at night, listening for sudden breathing stops or breath holding may help make this diagnosis a little easier.
From a personal standpoint, a partner who snores may cause sleepless nights for both people. While sleep apnea can be addressed through a variety of techniques, they may take time to fully work. Probably the least invasive approach is to attempt earplugs at night to block out the noise.
The trouble with earplugs is that while they effectively block out the noise, they may also block out the sound of a child who needs one during the night or the alarm ringing in the morning, so weigh your options when considering them. Sleeping pills used over short duration may help you get some sleep, but again, taking them could mean that you are too sleepy to attend to a child, so parents with young children should probably not resort to this solution. Sleeping pills are also not intended for long-term use.
Many couples find that the solution to better sleep at night for both parties is to simply keep two separate bedrooms. The person who snores may be exiled to the second bedroom if it really becomes problematic at night. Sleeping in different places does not necessarily have to affect intimacy or closeness, and you may actually feel more cheerful and inclined to intimacy because you are better rested and no longer waking up during the night.
If you do not have the space for separate bedrooms, you can consider purchasing a sleeper sofa or futon that can be used for the partner who snores, as needed. Some couples also find that if the non-snorer is allowed to go to sleep first, and he or she is untroubled by the noisy partner, it may eliminate need for an extra bed in the house.