My head

A users guide to sleeping with a snorer

August 26, 2015

sleeping with a snorer

There are few things more infuriatingly annoying than sleeping with a snorer. Whether it’s someone who snuffles like a truffle pig or roars like a rhino, for someone who sleeps as lightly as myself it’s all fairly suffocation worthy.

In fact, there have been occasions where I’ve imagined beating someone to death with a frozen chicken rather than enduring one more cacophonous slumber….of course, when the first rays of dawn gently lit the sky all was forgiven, and no chickens or bed buddies were harmed.

Naturally, I don’t snore.

There has been vicious rumours circulated that if I have a cold I may snuffle suspiciously like a little pink piglet but as far as I’m concerned I’ve never witnessed it so I’ve deemed it utter bollocks.

I’ve mostly been fortunate with bedmates who only snore lightly when sick or two sheets to the wind and can be silenced with a non-subtle shove to roll them over, but this does not mean I’ve never endured an endless night listening to a chronic chainsaw.

Let’s not even talk about sleep apnoea, where the chainsaw is punctuated by silence and you fear your loved one has finally kicked the bucket due to vibrating respiratory structures…. or perhaps as the minutes listening become hours you pray for it.

This guide is for the long-suffering amongst you who is partnered with someone who snores like an elephant in heat.


Get to sleep before them

If you see your slumber buddy stetching and yawning and beginning to look like they are heading for bed you need to hightail like FloJo and get your speedy butt to bed.

First prize is to be catching zeds before the offending snorer falls asleep and begins driving the freight train express.

Buy earplugs

No one likes to look like Shrek with candy coloured buds sticking out of their earholes, but the secret to getting a modicum of rest when your sleepy partner roars like a sick lion is earplugs.

I can still hear snoring through earplugs, because I’m a ridonkulously light sleeper, but at least they sound like they’re asphyxiating across the hall instead of right next to me.

Gentle roll over

At the first sign of a rumbling snuffle gently roll your truffle pig onto their side where they will resettle and quit the noise if they know what’s good for them.
This only works if your snorer only snores on their back. If you are with a back, side and front snorer I suggest you get a granny flat. Or a divorce.

Rib jab

If the gentle roll is ineffective you need to get serious or you will never catch any shut eye. The trick with the rib jab is wait until they are inhaling and mid-snore elbow them hard in the ribcage. This way, they will have no idea it was you and if they wake up you must feign sleep immediately and plead ignorance if awoken and questioned.

All is fair in love and snore.

Pillow over the head

This can be interpreted in one of two ways. The pillow can go on the snoree’s head to help reinforce the earplugs, or you can put the pillow over the snorer’s head, weighted down with telephone books and tape it with duct tape. Obviously, caution must be used with this method. Don;t get caught out out with a suffocated sleep-mate and duct tape in your bedside drawer. Everyone snores in jail, I’m sure of it.

 Spare room

If all else fails you may need separate rooms, which is fairly bloody awful for your sex life. If you can still hear them from another room, perhaps once a month you should go and stay at a hotel for the weekend and catch up on sleep, watch some pay per view movies and catch up on calorific room service.

Your snorer owes it to you.


PS On a serious note, snoring – big, proper apnoea type snoring- can be dangerous and really affect your health. If you’re waking up exhausted, and you’re driving your partner nuts – go chat to your GP and see if you can sort it out. You’ll feel much better for it.


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  • Reply Gary Lum August 26, 2015 at 7:37 am

    While I technically do not have sleep apnœa I have multiple hypopnœas. I’ve found sleeping with a continuous positive airway pressure device to make life so much better in terms of sleeping. I’m sure if I had someone else in the bed the relative quiet compared to the noise and bed vibration would be a welcome relief. The health benefits are also really important.

    • Reply Danielle August 26, 2015 at 8:08 am

      I don’t actually know what that means, but I totally agree on the space mask thing. I have a friend who found such relief using one. He was shattered all the time because it a really unrestful sleep when you are chronic. Pleased you can still see the humour in it….. everyone is fodder for me 😉

      • Reply Gary Lum August 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

        Sorry I should have explained. Sleep apnœa means you have periods of more than ten seconds when you don’t breathe and then you get a loud snoring noise associated with drawing in breath. Mutiple hypopnœas are episodes of not breathing but for less than ten seconds. In my case this happens more than thirty times a night and I’ve been told by family and friends that I snore like a train and shake the room. CPAP has changed my life.

  • Reply Glen August 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

    What away to start the day. You are so hilarious honey. The tears are rolling visualising your antics and tactics. You have such a gift with words. I’ve tried an iPod with rock playlists, but have probably damaged my hearing. Audiobooks are excellent, at least someone else is talking to you as a distraction to a chainsaw (definitely doesn’t go with flutes ). Funnily the worst I’v e ever heard is my sisters cavalier who can rattle the windows from three rooms away. Lol great post Danielle,

    • Reply Danielle August 26, 2015 at 8:09 am

      I can hear my cat snoring under a bed in another room…. but my daughter? She’s the one.

  • Reply Peachy Keen Mumma - Jess August 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I definitely sleep with earplugs. And even have the dehumidifier on next to me on the dry nights. I do the rib jab and the hard push-him- over

    • Reply Danielle August 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Ha, then you got this!

  • Reply raphaela99 August 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I had a sleepover with a group of friends. We ate cheese from Costco and drank copious quantities of wine. Apparently I snored all night! The kids were upstairs having their own sleepover and they could hear me! I was astonished! Didn’t think I had it in me to make such a ruckus! I’m not even five foot tall!

  • Reply Val August 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I have slept with earplugs for years now. Keeps us both happy as long as I am asleep. If I wake up then they are useless. Of course ladies don’t snore so it’s only one way!!!

  • Reply Jennifer Adams August 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Ummm…. separate room does not equal bad sex life. It just means get creative and intentional about your sex life. (It can also ‘spice’ up a sex life). Thousands of couples sleep in separate rooms because of snoring (and blanket stealing, and heavy breathing, and restless legs, and room temperature disagreements, and….. so many more reasons) and they do it because they need to sleep. They do it for their health, and the health of their relationship AND there’s nothing wrong with it. Great if you can share a bed with your loved one, but not a disaster if you can’t.

    • Reply Danielle August 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      This is my favorite comment in ages. You are so very right, my dear. I actually think the couples that live in separate houses are interesting and the dynamic seems to work brilliantly.

  • Reply nicole - Champagne and Chips September 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Er gawd I have a snorer and getting to bed earlier than him is impossible. Combine that with a dog who has whiffle dreams and grunts and I am learning to get by on 5 hours… ergh

    • Reply Danielle September 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      5 Hours!!!! Ew. Are you cranky?

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