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Dear Dave: Snoring Husband Causes Heartache

Dear Dave: Snoring Husband Causes Heartache


Scranton, PA – This is a common problem from spouses all across America. It affects rich and poor, black and white, Republican and Democrat. It’s a question about snoring.

Dear Dave,

I love my husband. That is, I love him during our waking hours. At night, I have often thought about smothering him with a pillow just to stop him from his one-man trombone section! He snores all night long, waking me several times a night. We’ve tried many contraptions, but none seem to help. Is there a position or easy fix that is best to help lessen the trombone sound to maybe just a small toy horn?

Thank you, Edith and her one-man band


Dear Edith,

This certainly is a problem that I hear about often. Snoring, for those that sleep next to an individual that snores, can be unbearable. Let’s take a look at what can cause snoring in the first place.

Snoring is produced by a sleeping individual in which the soft palate and the uvula (the skin tissue that hangs down in the back of the throat) vibrate during breathing. It is a sign that the breathing airway is not completely open. This often annoying sound associated with snoring comes from efforts to force air through the narrowed passageway.

Most snoring poses no known serious consequences, is not life threatening, and does not cause chronic fatigue in the sleeper. Snoring can, however, cause fatigue and extreme annoyance to another bed partner. It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of adults snore. The majority of snorers are men.

It sounds to me that you may have tried devices such as nose strips or mouth guards, which sometimes help.  Here are a few other options that may help or may be combined with other treatments.

• Weight Loss – Many snorers are over weight. Weight gain deposits fat into and around the soft palate, tongue and neck structures. Weight loss can reduce these fat deposits and enlarge the airway size.

• Nasal Dilators – Internal or external devices that dilate your nasal passages may help your husbands snoring.

• Limit Alcohol, Smoking – Alcohol and most sleeping pills relax the muscles of the throat and can worsen snoring and sleep apnea. You should avoid alcohol for at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. Smoking can also worsen snoring and sleep apnea, due to swelling of the nasal tissues.

• Change Sleep Position – Elevating the head of your bed and avoiding sleeping on your back may be helpful. Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this. A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) will help to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a big difference.

• Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids. Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated and cause more snoring.

• Change Your Pillow – Allergens in your bedroom and in your pillow may contribute to snoring. When was the last time you replaced your pillows? Dust mites accumulate in pillows and can cause allergic reactions that can lead to snoring. Allowing pets to sleep on the bed causes you to breathe in animal dander, another common irritant.

I hope this helps you find some relief.  There are many of different types of pillows that we carry that may help eliminate dust mites and assist in better sleeping position. Stop by The Better Sleep Store and let me help your one-man band.

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Dave E. McCord
The Better Sleep Store
Scranton, PA


Photo by Nick Wilkes.

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