Getting a Better Night's Sleep When Your Partner Snores

Healthy Sleep Practices

Tammy George

man snoring in bed with wife who is awake

A good night’s sleep is imperative for overall good health. If your partner is keeping you awake at night, you are probably not getting the quality restorative sleep you need to avoid health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. A lack of sleep can also impact memory, job performance, cause injuries and mood disorders. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per night to feel rested and stay healthy. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, encourage your partner to find out the cause of their snoring.

What Causes Snoring

Snoring occurs when tissue in the airways of the nose or throat vibrate. The tissues vibrate due to turbulent airflow passing through narrowed airways. Snoring can be a sign of other underlying medical conditions but can be made worse by alcohol, medications and the sleeping position. Snoring can increase with age and weight gain.   

Encourage them to Seek Help

Not many people like to admit that they snore but they need to have it checked out in case there are any underlying health problems like sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease.

If all other medical issues are ruled out, then it's possible to find a solution to their snoring to help improve other family members’ sleep.

Behavioural Changes

Sometimes behavioural changes can work to reduce snoring. For example, losing some weight or not drinking alcohol close to bedtime may cut back on the snoring. Snorers can stop sleeping on their back with special pillows or an object sewn into the back of their pyjamas shirt which makes them roll over.

Devices Available to Snorers

The narrowed area of the throat can be caused by the tongue and palate falling backwards. A dental device can be used to keep the jaw and tongue forward. Other devices are designed to hold the palate up and forward. Most dental devices don’t offer a complete fix but rather an improvement in their snoring which can be enough to help their partner sleep.

In the case of a narrowed nasal passage, snoring can be improved with strips that open the front part of the nose and allow more air to pass. Nasal sprays can improve the lining of the nose if there are allergies or irritation and steroid sprays can help with inflammation. Nasal decongestants shrink the blood vessels which can improve snoring.

For chronic snorers and sleep apnoea sufferers, there is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The mask supplies increased air pressure to prevent airway narrowing during inspiration and expiration.


If a sleep study has revealed a severe obstruction or narrowing, then surgery may be the only option. A minor procedure can reduce the problems in one or more areas of the nose and mouth.  Palette implants can improve the severity of snoring.

If snorers make an effort to find the cause of their snoring, they can make sure there aren't any health problems and take steps to reduce the level of noise. Even a small improvement can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep for their partner and years of poor sleep.


Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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