Chronic snoring is a very personal issue for all parties involved. Just as your partner is embarrassed by the subject, you probably also feel very awkward about bringing it into casual conversation.
So, it should go without saying that no matter how grouchy you are feeling (due to sleep deprivation, of course), the topic should be approached with tact and sensitivity.
Discussing the snoring issue is imperative, though. It’s not something that can be avoided forever. If the problem is not addressed, your relationship with your partner can suffer. (How many times have you heard of couples choosing to sleep apart, due to an untreated snoring problem?) Rather than allowing this to happen in your home, you can come together with your significant other and work toward a solution that suits both of you.
There are also pretty serious long-term side effects and health issues that can be caused by snoring if it’s ignored.
Of course, you don’t ever want to be crass at the expense of a loved one. However, if there is a way to laugh about the issue without hurting you partner’s feelings, this is a great method to use. Laughing is a natural way to ease tension, and it may give you the opportunity to discuss this very serious issue in a more lighthearted way.
Almost every time you have said something that you did not mean, it was because you did not have enough time to think it through. Give yourself enough opportunity ahead of time to turn your thoughts into words that adequately (and sensitively) describe the problem to your partner.
When speaking to your partner about the snoring problem, of course you will need to mention that your quality of life is suffering due to lack of sleep. However, you should avoid making this the entire focus of your conversation. During your discussion, try to remember that he or she is going to feel some degree of guilt for causing your sleep deprivation, and sometimes these feelings of guilt can cause a person to lash out in a negative way.
Your partner does not mean to snore, and he or she is certainly not intentionally ruining your life. Try not to allow your bitterness and resentment about your lack of sleep to punish your partner for something that he or she cannot control.
Remind your partner of the reasons for this conversation. Of course, you are concerned for your partner’s well-being, and you’ve already said as much. More importantly, though, is the reason for your concern. You care deeply for your partner and you want him or her to be well, and you are obviously committed to improving your relationship with your partner if you are having this discussion. Remind your other half of these sentiments, and share them as freely as you share your frustrations.
There is an appropriate time for everything, and that includes the snoring discussion that you intend to have with your bed partner. We mentioned earlier that sensitivity is of paramount importance, which also applies to the timing of your talk. Keep the following tips in mind as you plan your conversation:
Some things are better discussed in private. One of the worst and most humiliating things that you can do to your partner is to broach the topic of snoring for the first time in the presence of company. Show your respect for your loved one by discussing this very sensitive issue in private.
The most productive conversations happen when both parties are well-rested. The idea of being “well-rested” may sound like a foreign concept to you, which is something that any partner of a chronic snorer would understand. What we mean to say is that if your partner’s snoring wakes you up in the middle of the night, you should not consider this an opportunity for discussion. The same applies to early mornings and just before bed.
Don’t make a bad day worse. Okay, you’ve been practicing your talk in the mirror all day, and your partner has just arrived home from work. Great timing, right? Well, that depends on how his or her workday went. If you can see that your partner has already had a terrible day at the office, it might be wise to postpone your discussion until he or she is not so tired and overwhelmed.
In almost every serious discussion that you will ever have, it pays to have true data to support your concerns. If you present facts to your partner in a way that also shows how concerned you are, your partner is likely to be more receptive to how you are feeling.
Any information that you can find from a reliable source (such as a medical journal or textbook) is good to have. In addition to relying on facts, try putting the following tips to use during your discussion with your partner:
1. Invite your partner to actively participate in the conversation. If he or she is being quiet while you speak, ask questions, such as:
2. Show empathy as you move forward through the discussion. Explain that you understand how difficult this is to talk about.
3. Reassure your partner by explaining that there is no reason to feel embarrassed.
4. Remind your partner that this is an uncomfortable conversation for you, as well.
5. Focus on the bigger picture. Your partner should know that while your sleep deprivation is a factor, your overall concern is focused on his or her long term health.
It’s very important that you are also very receptive during your conversation with your partner.
Allow your loved one to vent his or her own frustrations, and never react with judgement or anger. Listening is the most important thing that you can do during any conversation, and it is a way of actively demonstrating to your partner that you are truly interested and care about what he or she is saying.
I hope this has been helpful. Please, feel free to ask questions and share your experiences in comments below. And if you want to read more on how to deal with snoring partner and snoring in general download the full Ultimate Partners Snoring Guide here.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!