Noises – SNORING
Sharing a bed. Three words than can cost many a good-night’s sleep whether sleeping in someone else’s bed in a new environment, being next to someone whose sleep habits or lack of them alter your ability to wake up refreshed, or simply going from spreading out like a starfish in all directions to accidently hitting another person in the face because they’re taking up half the bed…well, it’s a big adjustment. I recently found I was sharing a bed with someone almost overnight…for 80+ days (and coming on 90+ nights) in a row now (he’s counting, I’m not).
To fall in love or have love, and to sleep. Two human needs that sometimes seem mutually exclusive. In all honesty I need food and sleep before I need to feel loved by someone in the romantic sense, but when you date in NYC, you usually get all three: food, sleep (or sleeping with someone), and some sort of rollercoaster dating experience where the word love is…well….terrifying, one-sided unrequited obsession, short-lived, overwhelming, valid for the first two weeks, met with red flags…fill in the blanks. If you can imagine it, in the NYC dating world, it can happen. And occasionally, on the very chance that it is the right timing for two likely different albeit similar (perhaps even just in that they’re both human and living in NY within a dating age-range and geographical distance or borough that is acceptable enough to continue past date 1 into dates 2 and three or in my case…he just never let me sleep without him there after the first date…) enough to give the person a chance to win your heart or enter a relationship or even just continue to sleep next to you for longer than originally anticipated because, well…sometimes it works in a way that’s mutual. However, most times that isn’t the case…so here I go with some of the best ways to get sleep when learning to SLEEP WITH A PARTNER instead of your cat … dog … childhood blanket … Ambien… boyfriend pillow… crowbar for your first-floor walk-up’s lack of security… brave and independent self.
Today we will address a big issue: Dealing with the Noises, SNORING
Chances are if you’re sleeping at someone’s place or sleeping next to someone new, they will make various kinds of noise. Maybe they have an animal that barks, meows, or some variation of the two. Maybe they are a snorer. Maybe they have an air conditioner that sounds like a Mach 3 jet. Or if you’re unlucky and a city dweller, maybe they live on a busy street where people honk near a tunnel that people commute in and out of before the sun has even actually made its way into the day.
Let’s be real…snoring is sometimes a deal breaker. On the first date with my 80+ almost 90+ day guy, he told me flat out: “Snoring is a deal breaker. I cannot stand sleeping next to a woman who snores.” Lucky for me, I don’t snore, but have been accused of grinding my teeth. For those who do snore or are dating someone who does, I can’t reassure you by telling you that snoring actually gets worse as you get older. Both the snorer and the snore-witness are likely to sleep less-well when it’s happening.
How to fix it?
- Give the snorer an old-fashioned nudge or push them over onto their side…it will mitigate the snoring at least temporarily since most snoring is a result of people who sleep on their backs.
- Buy pillows for side-sleeping and condition your partner to roll on their side automatically.
- Go to bed before the snorer so that falling asleep isn’t difficult if they fall asleep first.
- Invest in earplugs. Earplugs come in foam, plastic, rubber… and many are available nearby at a 24/7 pharmacy or convenience store. You can stock up on them through Amazon so you can dispose of them and reduce the risk of ear infections. Also make sure that you can still hear your alarm (or fire alarm in case of an emergency) in the morning if they are truly effective noise blocker and you’re a deep sleeper. Click here to spend a little for the gift that keeps on giving (noise-free ZZZ’s). Find a 50 pack for less than $15 here…
- Take something to help you fall asleep and stay asleep like melatonin or a tea that can help you feel drowsy. You’ll be more relaxed instead of anxious at the idea that another snoring lullaby might keep you awake. This is especially helpful to take when you’re staying at someone else’s house for the first time. Here’s a fast dissolve tablet that doesn’t even require water!
- Play some noise that isn’t as bad as the noise that is keeping you up. I have a DAHM noise machine that I got as a Christmas gift over 8 years ago that still works, but an air conditioner or quiet TV show playing in the background …even a fan blowing can create a white noise effect that makes the snoring almost non-audible. Spotify and other music streaming services likely have sleep playlists and white noise sounds that you can download or stream on your phone or radio if you’re not at home and need to block out noise. For my favorite noise machine, click here.
- Stay relaxed and do not check the time over and over if you are waking up multiple times. Invest in some relaxing pillow sprays.
- Change the way you think about snoring. Think about it as a rhythm that might be soothing. Think about the safety of sleeping next to someone you care about. Think about it as a meditative sound that you do not resent for waking you up. I don’t think this would work but my friend gave me this advice once when I had issues dealing with someone who talked in their sleep. This book might even help…
- Sneak to the couch or a different room so you can fall asleep without waking your partner and still get some REM cycles in. Chances are your partner won’t be angry if they wake up in the morning and you aren’t next to them. Explain that you needed a good night’s rest and that the snoring was disturbing it but that you aren’t upset. This may save some embarrassment and help them seek proactive measures that may reduce the snoring or eliminate it all-together.
- Avoid drinking alcohol together before bed. Drinking alcohol can make snoring more likely and increase the noise significantly. Alcohol is a depressant and it relaxes the throat muscles. This can cause snoring a partner who is otherwise silent or make existing snoring way worse. If they must have a drink, one drink instead of three is helpful along with a glass of water to keep them hydrated rather than intoxicated.
- Nasal strips. I am not a snorer as I mentioned, but when I had allergies that made my nose feel plugged up, I once used a snoring strip to see if it would help. It did help my nasal passages open up, but it also took the top-layer of my skin off with it upon wakening. This might be something good to suggest to a partner who is willing to address the snoring problem.
- Raise the head of the bed 3-6 inches. Lifting the head of a bed with extra pillows or if you have an adjustable mattress base can reduce snoring as it opens up the mouth and airways.
Lucky for me, the 80+ almost 90+ day sleeping partner (first date that never ended, yet…or The Never Ending First date?) does not snore. Unlucky for me, he thinks if he wakes up, I should be awake and he’s a few years younger…does not yet understand the meaning of “I need sleep” or “beauty sleep” or “my alarm clock was set for a reason…” haha but that’s a story for another day…