Sleep Disorders

Updated 11 August 2014

Snoring partner: are you desperate?

Lying awake while your partner sounds like a pneumatic drill? There are solutions besides divorce. Here's more about them.

Snoring is extremely common and can lead to sleepless nights for you and your significant other. The love you share will turn into hatred when at 2:30 in the morning your partner thumps you in the ribs for the umpteenth time, growling the old refrain, “Turn over, you’re snoring again”.

  • chronic drowsiness
  • headaches
  • decreased libido
  • irritability
  • poor concentration
  • forgetfulness
  • nodding off at work

If this is the case, it means that you are getting by on diminishing amounts of sleep. You most probably feel like death itself and it is advised that you consult a doctor on treatment methods.

  • Not chugging away on draught beer or inhaling six Big Macs less than three hours before bedtime. You should also get to the gym. Improved muscle tone and less lard will help you to sleep, as will being physically tired from working out.
  • Stopping smoking - this is a good idea even if you don’t snore!
  • Learning to sleep on your side. Some people do this by sewing a marble or a tennis ball into the back of their pajama jacket, or whatever passes as a pajama jacket. Others find it’s easier to sleep on a couch for a couple of nights until they get into the habit.
  • Elevating the head of your bed, so that if you do sleep on your back there’ll be less likelihood of sleep apnoea developing.
  • Ridding your bedroom of potential allergens such as dust, and down-filled pillows or bed linen.
  • Wearing a nasal strip. Not everyone likes them, but it’s worth a shot. Nasal strips are basically flexible plastic put onto a sticky surface that widen the nasal passage and are drug free. They can be brought at almost any local pharmacy at a reasonable price. 
  • Snoring can also be a sign of enlarged adenoids and/or tonsils. So if no success comes out of a lifestyle change you might consider seeing a pharmacist or doctor about your physical health. There are also throat sprays that are available to help your situation, but you should be careful of gimmicks that are sold on infomercials.


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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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