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Snoring Spouse? Best Earplugs for Sleeping with a Snorer

How to sleep with a snorer

Most people snore to some extent. However, when you have a partner that makes it seem like a freight train is coming when they are asleep, it can be a terrible thing. It may seem like they are snoring the entire night. At least it breaks up your sleep enough so that you never feel rested.

But don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do to finally get that good night’s sleep – without resorting to moving to another room.

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In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Which are the best Earplugs For A Snoring Spouse?

For A Snoring Spouse, the best ear plugs are Premium Concert Ear Plugs.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music, or Answer Your Phone.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

I am the snorer myself, and my girlfriend hates it. So I have done a lot of research into this topic and can help you find the best products and methods to get that good night’s sleep.

I’ll be covering earplugs you can use yourself to block out the noise, and things you can get for your partner to stop the snoring

When you have a snoring spouse, the snores may seem incredibly loud, but they will never be loud enough to actually damage your hearing. Well – that is not precisely true…. Let us just say it is very unlikely that your partner can snore that loud.

Guinness World Records state that the loudest snoring was recorded in 1949 by Kåre Walkert of Sweden, who suffered from the apnoea breathing disorder – They were recorded as snoring at 93dB. (For comparison, 95 dB is about the same volume as a motorcycle engine running).

Normal Snoring

“Normal” snoring usually falls between 60 – 75dB

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that if you are regularly exposed to noise of over 85dB in your place of work then you should be provided with ear protection. But snoring this loud is incredibly rare – even though at 3 am it seems like your spouse could break the world record.

When you are looking for ear plugs, you are still going to want them to block out as much of the noise as possible!

When buying ear plugs, their effectiveness is measured by the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). The higher this value is, the more noise they block out. One point of NRR reduces the volume by 1 decibel. So if your spouse snores at 70dB, and the earplugs are rated at 25 NRR, then the effective volume will be 45dB. (This volume is rated a faint. Similar to a soft conversation in a library)

Wax Ear Plugs

Moldable wax ear plugs are an ideal solution for someone who has to deal with a snoring spouse. This type of ear plug is considered by most to be the most comfortable type of plug. It is molded to the exact shape of your ear.

The warmth of the ear keeps the wax slightly soft so that it is super comfortable. As it is molded into the shape of the ear, nothing protrudes, so they work great for side sleepers as well. Also because they are an exact fit, they do an excellent job of blocking out sound.

The disadvantages are that you can only wear each pair a couple of times, so they are not great for the environment. Also, when you first wear them, they can be a bit fiddly to put in. But after a few days you will be easily using these plugs.

Advantages

  • Comfortable
  • Side Sleeping
  • Blocks a lot of sound
  • Low price

Disadvantages

  • Not great for the environment
  • Can be fiddly when first used

Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask

This is the complete sleeping aid, blocking out light and playing music to help you sleep. If you look at the independent reviews on Amazon, you see that these have really transformed some people’s lives, helping them to sleep far more easily than they ever could before.

The speaker is very slim, so they are not uncomfortable when being worn. The play-time is about 9 hours, so be able to wear them for an entire night’s sleep. They are, of course, Bluetooth compatible and will easily connect to your android, IOS, or other Bluetooth enabled device.

The device also has a built-in microphone allowing you to talk on your phone hands-free while in bed. (Remember to put your phone into silent mode when sleeping!). Your phone’s alarm should sound via the speakers once it is time to wake up.

This device only masks the sound of snoring rather than blocking it. It plays music, etc. into the ears, and does not have any inserts to block sound.

Advantages

  • Bluetooth Music
  • Alarms
  • Phone calls
  • Blocks light

Disadvantages

  • Only masks the sound of snoring

Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Ear Buds

These are like the above sleeping mask, and you put them in your ears when you are going to sleep. You can then connect them to your IOS, Android or any Bluetooth enabled device. Music, audiobooks or white noise is then streamed to you while you sleep.

As they are noise-canceling, they actively block any noise from a snorer while they are on. So they are better at reducing any sounds that may disturb you. As they do not have a microphone, you cannot make calls using this item, but you will still hear any alarm from your phone.

These are not held in place with a band like the sleeping mask, so if you toss and turn a lot in your sleep then they may become loose.

Again, if you follow the link to Amazon, you will see hundreds of independent reviews for the product, and from these be able to see if you think they will suit your needs. However, should you sleep with a spouse who snores heavily, find these are great for helping you sleep, and they can be used at other times to listen to music – unlike the sleeping mask.

Advantages

  • Noise-canceling
  • Can be used for multiple situations
  • Alarms
  • Bluetooth music

Disadvantages

  • Easier to dislodge when sleeping

Soft Foam Ear Plugs / Reusable Ear Plugs

Both are very similar, you put them into your ears, and they block the sound. The fundamental difference is that the foam plugs are not reusable (well maybe once or twice), but they become dirty quickly and need to be replaced. The reusable ear plugs can be cleaned and reused. Reusable plugs are more expensive but are good for the environment, and after a few months the higher price will be offset as you are not continuously replacing them.

This type of plug can be used in many situations, not just for blocking the sound of a snoring partner. For example, shooting, yard work, noisy factory, they provide a great level of protection for your hearing.

They are not the best plugs for sleeping in, as they can protrude from your ears. This means that they are not great for side sleeping, and the plug will put pressure on the ear. As they stick out, they will be easy to dislodge when you move in your sleep.

This type of plug is probably a good “starter” sleeping plug. See if you can sleep with a snorer with these plugs in, and if it makes for a good night’s sleep, get some “better” plugs.

Advantages

  • Cheap
  • Readily available
  • Can be used in a lot of noisy situations

Disadvantages

  • No good for side sleeping
  • Easily dislodged

Why do snorers not hear themselves

One answer is that the sound is travelling through the moist mucus membranes in the nose or throat and then it comes out as vibrating air instead of sound.

This vibration has a similar effect on people as a whirring, roaring, humming or ringing noise. It can even make it difficult to understand what someone is saying because nobody wants to talk when they can't hear themselves.

Do skinny people snore?

It is true that being overweight increases the chance of snoring. However, it is also true that simply being skinny can cause people to snore as a side effect: when people lose a lot of weight quickly, some areas of fat in the throat will be removed.

This can leave the throat muscles more exposed and in need of protection.

How many Americans snore?

90 Million Americans suffer from snoring. This is a staggering number that rises every year because Americans are getting more and more overweight. These figures include both men and women. 

Do anti snore pillows really work?

The anti-snore pillows are indeed very effective. Studies today prove that they really do work on fighting snoring. They should be used not as a cure, but as a supplement to regular sleeping.

The best way to use the pillows is to lie on them with your head turned slightly downward, so that you will be able to breathe normally from your nose.

For the most comfortable sleep possible turn your pillow so that it is under you and not over you.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Conclusions - Best Earplugs For Snoring Spouse

Living with a snoring spouse can, at times, seem like a nightmare – Just ask my girlfriend. But there are a lot of things that you can do to reduce this sound.

The quickest and easiest relief for the sufferer (the person who has to hear the snoring at 2 am) is to pop in a pair of earplugs. These come in several varieties, and the kind you want will depend on you and your budget.

However, if it were me, I would go for either the moldable wax earplugs, which are comfortable, allow side sleeping, and block a lot of the noise. Or the wireless in-ear Bluetooth noise-canceling earbuds that will enable you to side sleep and can play soft music / white noise to help you sleep.

 

Recommended Products – Best Earplugs For Snoring Spouse

Below are the recommended products, one from each of the major categories. Personally, I would go for either the wax earplugs, or one of the Bluetooth music playing items.

Sleeping For Side-Sleepers

I am a side sleeper myself, and I have had no trouble sleeping due to noise. But, I am currently traveling around Asia, and some places are very noisy. Here in the Philippines, people think it is OK to sing Karaoke in their rooms at 6am.

So I bought some earplugs. The first type were the cheap foam plugs, which stopped most of the noise. But I had to sleep on my back or on my stomach, as when I was on my side, the plug applied too much pressure to my ears.

Lying on your back is the best position for your body when sleeping. It provides the best spinal support. But most people prefer to sleep on their side, which is also an excellent way to lie. (Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your body to rest!)

When you are looking for a suitable earplug for sleeping, most of the criteria that apply to other scenarios do not apply here. What you are looking for is something that will block out all the sound. Except for something loud, like an alarm clock or a smoke alarm.

The other thing that you are looking for as a side sleeper is something that will not stick out of your ear. Anything sticking out makes you uncomfortable during your night’s sleep.

We can rule out the more expensive electronic ear protectors. The extra features they give are not required. Earmuffs and headphones are no good as they with be bulky on the head. This would mean that you could not sleep properly on your side.

We are left with two of the cheaper options, which just block the ear passages. Foam plugs and wax/silicone plugs.

Using Foam Plugs

Are not recommended by doctors in this situation. You will sleep on your side, and the pressure of your head onto the foam plug could damage your ears after a while. This pressure would also make you feel uncomfortable.

Using Wax Or Silicone Earplugs 

Turn out to be ideal for this situation. You start by rolling the plug into a ball. This is placed into the ear and gently moulding it into the shape of your ears. The plug will block the passage to sound, stopping most of it. You will not be completely deaf, should an emergency arise.

As they are moulded into the shape of your ears, the plugs will not stick out of your ears. Now you will lie on your side and still be very comfortable.

This type of earplug reduce sounds by approximately 25 decibels

We can use this type of earplug several times. They are slightly sticky as they have to stay in your ears. Because Of this, they will accumulate dirt as they are pressed on your pillows. Their life span can be increased by cleaning your ears before you put them in. Still, be sure to buy several pairs as they will not last a long time.

About Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, with almost 75% of people sleeping in this way. It is nearly as healthy as sleeping on your back, as long as you have the correct support from your pillows.

Sleeping on your left side is the best position should you be having any digestion problems. (on your left side will mean that your stomach is the right way up, reducing the amount of acid reflux you may get)

Sleeping on your left side is also recommended by doctors for pregnant women.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to sleeping on your side. You put a lot of pressure on the arm that is under the body. This can lead to pressure on a nerve or reduced blood flow to that arm. The pressure will not cause any permanent problems, your arm will get “Pins and needles,” and you will wake up.

man snoring woman cushion0

Why Some Doctors Do Not Recommend Side Sleeping

Some doctors do not recommend side sleeping as you can damage your rotator cuff in the shoulder. You put a lot of pressure on these tendons when sleeping on your side, so need a pillow with excellent support.

I have hurt my rotator cuff, and it was not fun. The doctor told me it would heal itself in about four weeks, and he was right. But for that month, I was in no pain, but could not raise my right arm more than a few inches.

It seemed funny at the time. I would forget I had a problem, go to pick up the TV remote, or something similar and not be able to do it. The biggest challenge was not being able to raise a beer to my mouth with your right hand… I guess that is why we are given two!

Pillows And Mattresses

This problem is usually made worse by bad pillows and mattresses. The pillows are essential. You want your neck to be aligned as straight as possible with your spine.

If you side sleep, you need your spine to be straight. You want a mattress which supports your shoulders and waist. Your body heals itself while you sleep; this includes your back muscles and ligaments. The healing works better with a good sleeping posture, and spine alignment is crucial.

Side sleepers need two pillows. They should support the curve of your neck, which should be straight, neither curving up or down when you sleep. Your ear, shoulder and hips should be aligned while you are lying down.

The best type of pillow for a side sleeper should be adjustable, so that you can get the perfect height.

If you are a snorer, then sleeping on your side will reduce the amount you snore compared to sleeping on your back. Doing so should allow a much better sleep to you and your partner. It also helps ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.

I will write another article on snoring and earplugs

A Side Sleepers View Of Earplugs

I live in downtown, and it’s so noisy outside even with the white noise machine I have. I still need earplugs. I just want to explain to you guys why they are so good.

You can just mold them into the shape of your ear, and they block out almost everything! Normally they tell you, you can use these up to around three times, but for my ear sake I use them once, and I toss them.

So I don’t use these to their full potential, but what you’ll find with these is that dirt sticks to them really quickly. So you kind of don’t want to use them three times in your ear, you want to just use them once.

The cool thing about this is you roll it up into a ball, and then what you do is you kind of flatten it out once it is in your ear.

A lot of times with earplugs, the problem with your plugs is that they stick out. This applies pressure if you turn to your side. The standard cone ones, you put them in your ear, and you try to sleep on your side and it’s not comfortable.

You feel like there’s something sticking in your ear all the time. But with these, you see it conforms to your ears' shape. When you flatten it outright, it kind of just naturally forms a seal. Because of this, many people use these for swimming too.

Some people are used to the cone type of plugs. But don’t make a cone, then flatten it out. You want to make it into a round shape, then you put it in your ear and you kind of gently flatten it. Otherwise, starting with a cone, you could put too much pressure inside your ear.

When you sleep on your side now, it is very comfortable, since it’s naturally conforming into your ears. It doesn’t feel like you have an earplug anymore, so it makes side sleeping much easier. Since I sleep on my side about 80 percent of the time, this is what I need.

They are great for reading books too; sometimes all the noise outside can get annoying. So what you want to do is when you’re outside, let’s say in a crowded area put in some earplugs, it actually makes it better.

The one side effect of these is that sometimes it ends up clogging your ears. If you put something so formed into your ear and you’re sleeping on your side or whatever, it jams the earwax in. So when using these, make sure you clean your ears every once in a while!

Is It Bad To Reuse Earplugs?

No, earplugs do not need to be replaced after every use.

However, earwax build-up may have accumulated in the ears and need to be removed. Ear plugs are not designed to clean the ears.

How Do You Know If My Ear Plugs Are Too Old?

Some ear plugs come with a lifespan indicator molded into the plug that will change color when it has reached its expiration date.

Can I Still Hear Out My Partner If I Use Earplugs?

In some cases, earplugs are designed to allow enough sound to get through so one can still speak and hear each other if they choose.

Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Better Than Earplugs?

Noise Cancelling headphones offer protection from ambient noise by bringing the volume of ambient noise to zero, which is not the same thing as earplugs which reduce sound levels. Noise Cancelling headphones can provide all the protection from noise of earplugs at a higher cost than earplugs.

man snore woman awake0

No Noise Earplugs For Sleeping

So you want to block out snoring without using earplugs – this has been the thought of every a person who stuffers with a snoring partner. When living with a snorer, using ear plugs to stop the constant noises waking you from your sleep for the rest of time seems like a life sentence.

Surely there must be something that the person who is doing the snoring can do to make your life easier, i.e. Quieter!

There are two ways to Block out Snoring without using earplugs that the snorer can try:

  • Changes to the person (e.g., changing sleeping position)
  • Using anti-snoring products (e.g., Nasal Strips)

It is not a simple task to make someone stop snoring. If it was, there would not be so many people who are suffering with a partner with this problem. However, there are a lot of things that you can try. With perseverance, hopefully you will succeed. Remember that everyone is different, and what may have worked for one person, may not work for you. Just keep trying.

Block Out Snoring By Making Changes To The Person

Keep Hydrated.

Make sure that you drink water before you go to sleep. Dehydration causes the mucus in the nose, mouth and throat to become thicker and stickier. The surfaces inside become dryer and can stick together, causing snoring to become worse. There are sprays that work for some people that reduce this stickiness.

Limit Alcohol.

Alcohol is a sedative and relaxes the muscles in the neck, jaw, and throat. This relaxing makes the airways smaller and increases the chances that a person may snore. Alcohol also dehydrates you. (See Above)

Stop Smoking

This can be one of the fastest ways to stop snoring as much. The smoke from cigarette irritates the membranes of the nose and throat. This makes them sticky and possibly swelling to reduce airflow. Both effects increase the likely hood of snoring.

Antihistamines.

This is not a long-term cure, as someone cannot take antihistamines for the rest of their life. However, for a short period, taking these pills may stop or reduce snoring. It does this by reducing nasal congestion. If this turns out to be what is causing the snoring, then medication to reduce the swelling or a humidifier may be a long-term solution.

Closing The Mouth.

Sleeping with the mouth closed will stop a lot of snoring in most people. If you still snore with your mouth shut, you may have a defect in the nose, like a deviated septum, or be very congested. See a medical fractional if you continue to snore with your mouth closed.

Check Allergies.

Allergies can cause nasal congestion, reducing the airways, and increasing the likelihood of snoring. Decongestants, antihistamines can lessen these symptoms. If you think allergies may cause congestion, then it may be worth getting yourself tested.

Surgery.

In the most severe cases, surgery may be involved to help stop snoring. These operations could be – Somnoplasty, procedure to remove some soft tissue in the nose or throat. Not very invasive. Taking out the tonsils or adenoids may also stop snoring.

If you are considering any of these options, you would need to speak to your doctor to find out whether this procedure would be suitable for you

Snoring anatomy

Products Available To Block Out Snoring (Not Including Ear Plugs!)

There are also lots of products on the market to help stop snoring. The reason that there are so many is that they do not work in every case. So you may have to try a few before you find one that is right for you. Luckily, the products are not expensive.

Note that the reviews show that the physical products (nose vents, chin straps, etc. work a lot better than the pills and spray at stopping snoring)

Nose Vents.

This is inserted into both nostrils and acts as a filter, removing all the impurities from the air as it passes through. Five-star rating with over 600 reviews.

Anti Snoring Tongue Device.

This is a soft rubber device that is worn over the Tongue and stops it moving, which reduces snoring. Five-star rating, with 60 reviews

Chin Strap.

This is a device that goes over the head, and under the chin to keep the mouth closed. When the mouth is shut, a person will snore far less often. Five-star rating with over 120 reviews.

Anti Snore Clip.

The snoring cap promotes the enlargement of the nostrils by improving the breathing through the nose. This stops snoring in many people. Rated five stars with 30 reviews.

Nasal Strips.

As used in a lot of sports nowadays. These strips go on the nose to increase the airflow. When the air flows easier, snoring is less likely. Rating of 4.3 with over 90 reviews.

Nasal Drops For Clear Breathing And Lubrication Of The Nose.

These drops clear the nasal passages, making breathing easier. Reducing snoring. Rating of four with almost 350 reviews.

SnoreStop Tablets.

Tablets designed to be taken before bedtime to reduce snoring. Rated at 4.4 with 16 reviews.

Saline Nasal Mist.

A spray that is put in each nasal passage before sleeping. Should clear out all the excess mucus and dirt, making breathing easier and snoring less likely. Rated at four out of five, with 300 reviews.

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Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

People Also Ask

Can Snoring Ever Cause Divorce?

Loud snoring by a spouse over some time will put a strain on a relationship. Lack of sleep in one partner leads to tiredness, and tiredness often leads to frustration and irritability. It can cause couples to sleep in separate bedrooms, interfering with sexual and emotional intimacy.

Can Loud Snoring Reduce Your Life Expectancy?

According to research, people who snore loudly have a shorter life expectancy than those who sleep quietly – and not because they are killed by their spouse!

Snoring is linked to elevated blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and heart attacks. There is no clear evidence of how much the life expectancy is likely to be reduced if you are a snorer.

Why Has My Spouse Started Snoring Loudly?

There are several factors that can cause a person to suddenly start snoring. These include:

  • Allergies
  • Colds and sinus blockages
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Lack of sleep
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Weight gain

And others. Any relaxants or depressants like medication or alcohol, cause your muscles to relax, especially when you are sleeping. This relaxation causes obstructions in the throat leading to those loud and sudden snores – which can wake even the snorer!

Anything which affects the neck, a sprain, injury, or weight gain can cause the sudden onset of snoring.

Is It Bad To Wear Earplugs To Sleep?

No, it is not. In fact, using earplugs is a very convenient way to block the noise in your surroundings that can interrupt a normal sleep pattern and allow you to have a peaceful sleep.

Earplugs are especially useful when you are trying to fall asleep in a noisy environment such as on a plane or if your room faces a busy street as they decrease the volume of sound entering your ears.

The only issue you can face if you use earplugs frequently is wax build up which can be avoided if you use good quality earplugs. And if you are a side-sleeper, avoid using hard silicon earplugs as they can be quite uncomfortable.

What Are The Best Earplugs To Sleep With?

The best type of earplugs are high-quality earplugs that fully serve their purpose. There are many types of earplugs available in the market depending upon the size, price, and material, but choose what works the best for you.

Both vented and non-vented earplugs can be used for sleeping. Vented earplugs have a small hole in them which equalizes the pressure in your ear so you can even use them while flying or scuba diving.

Wax earplugs are a type of vented earplugs which work great for sleeping as they can be molded into any size and are waterproof as well. Foam earplugs are also a good option, but they will need to be replaced frequently since their porous material provides a suitable environment for bacterial growth.

Are There Earplugs That Block All Noise?

As of now, there are no earplugs that completely block out all the noise because you don’t want to sleep through your alarm. However, high-quality earplugs significantly reduce the noise which otherwise wouldn't let you sleep. Such earplugs filter out the background noise and lessen the harshness of it.

They have the noise reduction rating of 39 decibels so decibels levels up to this NRR will be blocked, but anything above that will be heard.

How Can I Train Myself To Sleep Without Earplugs?

If you stay in a noisy area, and you’re having difficulty sleeping, then it’s advisable to get earplugs. However, earplugs can be addictive, such that you might not sleep without them later on. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn how to sleep without earplugs. How do you train yourself to without earplugs?

The tips aren’t hard to follow, but you have to be consistent for it to work. First on the list is using face masks with earmuffs. You can try using white noise; this is a powerful tool used to block any noise. White noise is a blend of all the frequencies humans can hear, though it doesn’t sound like anything at all.

You can also use soundproof curtains as bed canopy; this will go a long way in helping you sleep. Another great alternative to earplugs is playing a podcast or soft music.

Is It Better To Sleep In Silence Or With Noise?

It is always great to sleep peacefully without obstructions, especially from the sound. No noise environment is a 70% guarantee of a sound sleep. However, this does not apply to everyone, and so you cannot say what works. Although quite several people prefer sleeping in silence, there are people that would rather sleep with noise.

So what’s the way forward? We wouldn't advise one to keep sleeping with noise because it is not healthy in the long run. Instead, you can opt for subtle sounds to enable you to sleep if you must use noise. (like a fan)

How Much Noise Do Earplugs Block?       

Earplugs do a superb job in blocking many noises in the environment, making you have a sound sleep. But you might wonder how much noise do they block? Well, arguably properly fitted earplugs or muffs can reduce the noise of 15 to 30 decibels.

References

If you require more information, please check these references

Alcohol, snoring and sleep apnea , article, “jnnp.bmj.com”, retrieved on, Tue 29-October-2019

Snoring , article, “go.galegroup.com”, retrieved on, Tue 29-October-2019

Snoring , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Tue 29-October-2019

Mayo Clinic Snoring , article, “www.mayoclinic.org”, retrieved on, Tue 29-October-2019

About This Article 

Date : July 25, 2020

Author : Nick, Website Owner And Writer

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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