First up, take it seriously
Snoring isn’t a minor irritant in a relationship like forgetting to put the bins out on Wednesday nights, it’s a big issue for your health, and your relationship. Frequent, loud snoring is reported by 24 per cent of men in Australia, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. And as well as disrupting your partner’s sleep, if left untreated snoring and sleep apnoea are linked to a host of health issues, including diabetes, stroke, poor memory and lack of concentration, headaches, depression and impotence. The good news is there’s a fix.
Cut back on booze
After a night on the beers you probably notice your partner gets even crankier about your snoring. That’s because the sedative effect of alcohol relaxes your jaw and throat muscles, making it more likely you’ll snore. Excessive alcohol is also linked to weight gain (hello, late-night kebabs on the way home), which is another factor that makes snoring worse.
Get a Sleep Health Check
If the thought of seeing a GP about snoring gives you the heebie-jeebies, the good news is Amcal Pharmacy offer a complete Sleep Health Check with a highly trained pharmacist who can assess if you are at risk of sleep apnoea or obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). If you are at risk, they can also recommend undergoing an overnight sleep study at home. Amcal provides the equipment for this and the cost is lower than the typical cost of sleep studies through a GP or sleep lab. They can offer you ongoing support and expert advice for sleep issues and get you on the road to better health.
Don’t treat your bedroom as your lounge room
If you regularly watch Netflix on your laptop in bed before passing out after putting in a 15-hour day at work, your poor sleep habits, or ‘sleep hygiene’ are probably having the same effect as drinking alcohol on your snoring. Getting enough sleep – and enough good quality sleep – means you won’t hit the sack falling into the kind of exhausted slumber that encourages snoring. Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy with your partner – that means booting out the TV and laptop and any other electronic devices, making sure the room is dark and quiet at bedtime and doing some kind of relaxation or wind-down exercise in the hour before bed to encourage a more restful night.
Change your sleep position
Sleeping flat on your back makes snoring worse as the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back of your throat, triggering snoring. It’s the reason your partner rolls [shoves) you on your side during the night. Try training yourself to sleep on your side – stack some pillows on either side of you for your body to lean on if you’re not used to this position.