Snoring can be a difficult challenge to deal with, especially if we sleep beside someone who snores.
We understand they aren’t doing it on purpose, but we would like to get some sleep!
About 90 million Americans, or 1 in 4 people, suffer from snoring during sleep. If sleep deprivation wasn’t a public health crisis, then it might be now due to all the night time snores!
How can we block out the noise? We want to sleep and wishing it away ultimately won’t work. Are there specific things we can do to prevent, minimize, or completely block the noise? What would we have to do?
In this guide, we look at how we can block out the noise so we can get some good sleep tonight.
7 Ways to Block Snoring Noises
Using physical, auditory blockers such as a noise-canceling headphone or ear plugs
Noise-canceling headphones can work well. They physically block out sound waves from entering the ear using a cushion that goes comfortably around your ear. We often find these types of headphones used by gamers, travelers, and music studios where listening is essential.
Earplugs also do the same thing, but instead of wrapping the entire ear they go into the auditory canal to prevent as much sound from entering. Though they are great for blocking out noise, as used by construction and factory workers, they might not be the most comfortable. The earplugs do apply pressure on the inside of the ear where it is sensitive. Sometimes, earplugs fall out. But so do headphones when we naturally toss and turn in deep sleep.
What is the best noise canceling headphones for snoring?
We highly recommend trying out the CozyPhones for sleep. They wrap around your head comfortably and doesn’t apply awkward pressure like headphones or go into your ear like earphones. They also feel soft and can generate enough loudness to help mask sleeping noise.
What are the best earplugs for snoring?
One of the most popular brand by far is the Eargasm Earplugs. They’re twice as expensive as the cheaper, generic brands but are built with much better material and design that allows for more comfortable use and helps with blocking out the noise.
Masking the noise with a white noise machine or smartphone app
What tends to disrupt our sleep is the sudden abrupt noise level spike when the snoring noise is at its peak. By setting up another similar sound to mask the noise, you effectively level the sound variance that can interrupt sleep.
The best way to block out snoring noise is to drown out snoring with another less-triggering sound. White noise machines and smartphone apps are often the go.
What is white noise?
Anything that is consistent and without rhythm can be treated as white noise. Most parents for newborn infants would use a regular fan to help mask any outdoor sounds and movement by the parents.
Light or hard rain is also commonly known as a peaceful sound. Any nature-related noise could be helpful as well.
What is the best white noise machine for snoring?
In our buyer’s guide, we recommend the most popular LectroFan for its digital noise and upward-facing speakers. It also plugs into a wall using a USB cord and AC adapter or could be plugged into a computer, laptop, or with most smartphone adapters.
What is the best app for white noise?
We don’t have a recommendation for this. The best way to find the right digital noise for you is to search and download 3-4 apps, and trying them out. Anything that sounds pleasant and peaceful to you can be used as white noise. You can then delete the other apps.
Using the right pillow to stop snoring
Elevating the head the right amount can help open up airways just enough to minimize the noisy breathing. When we lay flat, the epiglottis flap is positioned in a way where gravity helps blockade the airways. Being able to sleep slightly elevated won’t block our breathing.
What is the best pillow to stop snoring?
In our buyer’s guide, we recommend the InteVision wedge pillow. It makes for a great starting pillow because it raises the upper body by 27 degrees, enough to help minimize most snoring cases. Cervical pillows are also known to help. We would recommend the Sleep Innovations pillow for it’s simple and affordable design.
Get your partner to sleep on their sides with a tennis ball
Sewing a tennis ball to the back of your partner’s pajamas can help them intuitively roll on their side.
The tennis ball act as a physical reminder that they should sleep on their side, which is a better sleeping position for many reasons including snoring.
Like elevating our upper body to prevent the epiglottis from blocking our air passages, sleeping on our side also allows the flap to hang onto the side instead of closing our airway.
Any regular tennis ball will do. You can place one or a few into a sock that can be sewn onto a t-shirt or pajama used for sleep. Alternatively, getting an anti-snoring belt that can hold the ball in place without ruining the clothes works just as well.
Consider sleeping in a different room
There’s no shame in leaving the room. We completely avoid the sound, as it is no longer beside us close to our ears. And as a bonus, there is more space to sleep with minimal disruption by our partner.
It doesn’t feel right to move away from your partner, considering how we sleep beside them for a reason. This wouldn’t be a be-all, and end-all solution as something eventually needs to be done to help with the breathing problem. However, temporarily, it can help us get some good sleep along the way while giving us some time to cool off from any frustration built up emotionally.
Consider purchasing an air bed. They are portable, light-weight, easy to set up, and can serve as an extra bed for guests. You can place it in any room and can be quickly deflated and tucked away in a closet after it’s used.
What is the best air bed?
In our buyer’s guide, we recommend the super popular SoundAsleep Dream Series air bed. It uses coils along with air to provide a firm and supportive sleeping surface. It comes with a built-in pump, so you never have to worry about not being able to inflate it. It also provides enough height for a comfortable experience climbing on and off the bed.
Cope properly to the noise
When we do wake up at night, it can be difficult to sleep. Whatever woke us up in the first place, let it be snoring, the heat, or our anxiety, is severe enough to do so. And it demands our attention to remedy the situation.
Until we get the chance to figure out what is going on, one of the most important things we can do is avoid sabotaging our sleep any further.
- Avoid checking your smartphone. The emitting blue light will cause you to become awake and alert, making it difficult to fall back asleep.
- You can get up and take a breather from sleep. Sit somewhere else in the meantime and meditate for a while. When you are feeling tired again or is ready to go back to bed, then you can try once more.
- We also want to avoid doing anything that is stimulating, including physically exerting ourselves (exercise) or requires a lot of thinking (planning).
You may also try some sleeping aid such as melatonin and herbal tea. Make sure you take only enough melatonin and avoid taking it every single night. Herbal tea should also contain NO caffeine whatsoever.
Another way to cope that requires a bit of mental effort and commitment is to change the way you think about the noise. It can be an enemy to your sleep or a soothing ally that can lull you to dreamland.
It sounds silly, and it might not work at first. The best way you can do this is to write about it and ask yourself questions that help you understand what facing this challenge means to you. For example, what it means to you from a personal growth standpoint to cope appropriately with the noise, what your partner means to you, and why you might be willing to put up with the sound.
Bring your partner to a sleep specialist
Snoring tends to be indicative to sleep apnea, which is a severe sleeping disorder. It affects the heart, cognitive performance, and day-to-day living. The way to help those affected by sleep apnea is to use a doctor-recommended CPAP machine for sleep or surgery to fix if it is severe enough.
There can also be underlying conditions that cause the snoring not yet known to you or your partner. Going to the family doctor and getting checked out, either routinely every six months or for the snoring problem, can help you catch any serious health conditions early.
What can you expect at a sleep specialist?
- When you first visit a sleep specialist at night time to run a test, they will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and get comfortable for bed.
- You can unpack any necessary items you may have brought to the clinic to help you sleep. A good book you can get lost it might be a good idea! You might also bring medication, comfy pajamas, and morning bathroom supplies for after you wake up the next day.
- When it’s closer to your bedtime, a nurse will hook you up with electrodes with tapes, belts, or gel to hold them in place. Very likely, they will be placed throughout your entire body including the scalp, chest, legs, and arms. A microphone might be placed near your throat to record any night time noises or verbal requests.
- From this point, it’s merely a matter of going to bed. Fluff up that pillow, pull the blanket over you, then relax and drift into dreamland. This is when the test begins. The sleep specialist will be awake throughout the entire night to monitor your activities and to help you in any way (to the bathroom for example) if you wake up from your slumber.
- When you wake up the next morning, they will unhook everything from you, and you can run to the washroom to prepare for your day. Before you leave, you are asked a series of questions or asked to fill out a form so they can better understand how you slept for the night.
- After you leave, you should hear back from your doctor or should visit your doctor after some time. The sleep specialist should tell you how long it can take to send over and analyze the information they have collected on your sleep.
How Snoring Works
Have you ever tried to squeeze through a small hole, and halfway through the hole you can make a high-pitch squeak like a mouse?
Snoring occurs when our airways are collapsed just enough for the flap at the far back of our tongue covers our breathing passage. Known as the epiglottis, this flap prevents food and liquid from going down our windpipe and into our lungs whenever we swallow.
There are several reasons for the blockage of the airway:
- We have gained enough weight that the flap tissue becomes big and heavy enough to obstruct our windpipe as we lay down
- The muscles around our neck can be too relaxed either because of alcoholic consumption, the use of sleeping pills, or from naturally deep slumber
- Our tonsils (found in the back of our mouth) and adenoids (located in the nasal cavity) are larger than usual or swollen
- The dangling tissue at the end of our mouths is too long and narrow, which obstructs breathing and causes the vibrations and noise we know as snoring
So what does this mean for us? We might not be able to do anything about dangling tissue or our partner’s weight immediately.
If our partners can avoid alcohol and sleeping pills, that can reduce the degree of noise. Of course, there may be an underlying reason for consuming alcohol and sleeping pills in the first place, so this should be looked into further by a medical professional.
If they can also work on cutting weight (diet and exercise), which is easier said than done, then a positive change might be in order. Consulting a physician and nutritionist can help with the planning process so weight loss goals can be realized.
Our Final Thoughts
No one likes snoring, especially if it makes falling asleep difficult or interrupts us in the middle of the night.
Snoring can be extremely emotionally distressful as those who have to bear the noise go through it every single night. Luckily, there are ways to prevent, minimize, and even block out the noise.
Our favorite method is the use of a white noise machine, which mothers find themselves using to help their infants sleep well at night.
Give each method a shot, and do so one at a time. You can also reasonably expect to use more than one method together.
We hope this guide was helpful, and that you can get some good snoozing starting tonight.
What method has worked for you? What is your best anti-snoring tip? How do you cope with the noise? Let us know in the comments below.