Is loud snoring keeping you awake at night?

15 April 2019

Mr Arvind Arya, consultant otolaryngologist at Spire Yale Hospital answers your questions about snoring and how to tolerate it.

Q. My partner’s loud snoring is keeping me awake so much I’ve recently had to start sleeping in a separate room. How can I help him to stop snoring?

A. The sound of snoring is not only irritating, it could lead to you as the bed partner suffering health problems. Our sleep is affected by around 40dB of noise. Snoring ranges from 50dB up to 100+dB and research has found that exposure to these levels will impact on the well-being of the partner.

Sleep disturbance, hearing impairment, mental health problems and negative social behaviour can all be symptoms of being subjected to loud noise over an extended period. Sleep deprivation can also have a negative impact on things like hormone release, glucose regulation and heart function, so it’s vital that your partner addresses his snoring, for your sake.

Snoring is said to be caused by overindulgence in life’s pleasures; overeating, alcohol and smoking. It may also be caused by an allergy or something as simple as a sleeping position. If your partner holds their breath at night or feels unrefreshed when they wake up then they may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA not only causes disturbed sleep and daytime sleepiness, it can also contribute to lung and heart disease as well as high blood pressure. Sleep apnoea is readily diagnosed with an overnight sleep study and the treatments are very successful and well tolerated in most people. Successful treatment of OSA not only allows people to have a good night’s sleep, it also eradicates the snoring so the partner sleeps well also.

There are some simple changes you could advise your partner to make:

  1. Lose weight/maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Encourage him to sleep on his side rather than his back.
  3. Avoid alcohol before bed time.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Breathe through their nose.


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Mr Arvind Arya is a consultant otolaryngologist at Spire Yale hospital.

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