Having trouble sleeping? Hit Snooze is Mashable’s deep dive into the many ways to achieve a more peaceful slumber.
Imagine: You meet the love of your life (or at least the next few months) on a dating app. You hit it off during the first few dates. You really think this could be a bona fide relationship — not even a situation ship! You experience firsts together: first dinner and a movie, first double date…
Then, horror strikes. During your first night sleeping with them — actually sleeping with them — you discover that your new lover… is a snorer.
Cue somber organ music and a blood-curdling screech. Perhaps your new partner is a snorer or you’ve been sleeping next to one for years. Perhaps they recently started snoring and you have no idea what to do. If you want to know how to date a snorer, you’ve come to the right place.
First things first: You and your partner should make sure the snorer does not have a medical condition like sleep apnea. “The snorer can certainly try all of the tricks in the book to help curb snoring but first things first, make 100% sure apnea isn’t the cause,” said Keith Cushner, founder and certified sleep science coach of , a “complete sleep destination” site.
There are many underlying reasons someone may snore, but is a serious disorder that requires medical attention. While 54 million Americans have sleep apnea, 80 percent of them are undiagnosed and untreated according to Dr. Carlos M. Nunez, MD chief medical officer for . If the snorer has other symptoms, such as constant tiredness, poor concentration, and night sweats, they should see a doctor.
Sleep apnea is not the only medical issue that causes snoring; chronic allergies are another culprit. Once a serious medical condition is ruled out, there are several steps both the snorer and their partner can take to get a better night’s rest. Cushner suggests an adjustable pillow loft for the snorer, as well as nasal dilators. , a pillow insert, is another option for those who can afford the over $300 price tag.
For the partner of the snorer, there are also a few measures they can take. One that multiple sources repeated was using a white noise machine. “White noise can overlap with the surrounding sounds and muffle them so that the snoring won’t feel that annoying,” said Alex Savy, certified sleep science coach and the Founder of . You can buy a white noise machine online or, as always, .
Earplugs, which are readily available in drug stores or online, are another option. For those who want to spend a bit more, Dr. Kasey Nichols, NMD and medical contributor to rave reviews suggested . “They are made to fit comfortably in your ear and play soothing sounds that will help you drift off to sleep,” said Nichols. The sleep buds also have an alarm setting, so you don’t have to worry about oversleeping.
If you don’t want more tech while you sleep, there’s also a low tech option: going to bed before your partner. If you’ve been in bed for a half-hour by the time the snorer hits the hay — and is not even asleep yet themselves — you may be more able to sleep through the noise.
Worst-case scenario? Sleep separately until the snoring gets under control.
Above all, as with other aspects of a relationship, communication is key. Sleep can be awkward in general — think mouthguards, wanting to listen to a , and the like — so Cushner recommends being both compassionate and direct. “No question this can be a tricky subject to broach,” he said, “but it’s critical to the long term health of the relationships.”
So you don’t have to let the realization that your new bae is a snorer kill the honeymoon phase. Now you can get back to imagining other firsts together, all while being incredibly well-rested.