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Raise Your Hand If Noise Regularly Wakes You Up At Night
Peace and quiet, where you at? Sixty-seven percent of respondents said unwelcome sounds regularly shock them awake, according to a survey byWomen's Health, the , and . And whether the racket is external or coming from inside the house, research links noisy nights to bad moods and brain fog. Time to clear those up.
Twice as common in men, snoring can hit 90 decibels—as loud as a food blender! Major ear ouch for the 24 percent of you who have a gurgling bedmate.
First step: Determine whether he's sawing logs from the nose or mouth. Then: Hold your ground. Guys sometimes don't want to address their own snoring until they see it's impacting their relationship, so women need to be direct, docs say. These fixes go from least to most effort—and efficacy.
Nose (caused by congestion, inflamed nasal passages, or a deviated septum)
Bare Minimum:Nasal Spray Decongestant
These shrink congested blood vessels, letting air flow through clogged passages for quick relief. (But overuse can cause chronic sinusitis, so don't spray for more than five days in a row.)
Lifting a Finger: Stick-On Breathing Strips
The strong adhesive on study-backedBreathe Right strips( for 26 strips, ) pulls your nasal passages open from the outside.
Nicest Guy Ever: Nasal Stent
This small contraption looks like a plastic nose ring and gently expands the nostrils by pushing them out from the inside. TryMute Nasal Dilator System( for a trial pack, ).
Related: How I Got My Husband to Finally Stop Snoring
Mouth (caused when the tongue relaxes into the throat)
Bare Minimum:Side Sleeping
Because snoozing on his back encourages his tongue to loll backwards, and the result is loud.
Lifting a Finger: Back-Pocket Pajamas
Kinda bizarre, but clever: You put a tennis ball in the back pocket ofTennis Ball T-Shirt(.50, )—or any pocketed shirt flipped backward—so when the snorer rolls onto his back, he gets a bumpy reminder to roll onto his side.
Nicest Guy Ever: Mouthpiece
It works like a seat belt to hold the tongue in the proper position all night. Feels like wearing a sports mouth guard. Our experts likeZyppah(0, ).
(Kick-start your new, healthy routine withWomen's Health's!)
Do You Hear Me Now?
If it's come to earplugs, at least get a set that's right for you.
Lightweight and marshmallow-soft, foamies are easiest to find and cheapest to replace—ideal if you tend to go through lots. Our pros likeQuiet Please by Flents, made of PVC, a synthetic latex (.15 for 50 pairs, ).
If you're allergic to latex foam, hypoallergenic silicone is here for you. Bonus: These may work better for women's small ears, since silicone doesn't expand like foam and won't lead to achiness when worn all night. TryMack's Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs(.76 for 6 pairs, ).
Some survey respondents said earplugs make their ears itch, which experts attribute to trapped moisture that can't escape. Vented plugs let ears breathe. TryAlpine SleepSoft Vented Earplugs(, ).
Find out how your bedroom could be making you a sh*ttier sleeper:
Fight Noise with Noise
The whir of a fan or the hum of an AC unit can create soothing white noise—a steady buzz of ambient sounds that helps mask, say, a car door slamming outside. It's been proven to help stop nighttime wake-ups and increase the total time spent asleep.
Research shows that pink noise—a balanced mix of high and low frequencies (imagine waves crashing on a beach or leaves rustling)—enhances deep, slow-wave sleep and also improves memory and learning.
Which Hue to Choose?
The sounds you like best will work best. Experts recommendiHome Zenergy(, ), a device that offers both white and pink noise options. Or stream either on your phone or tablet from theNoisli app(, and ).
Related: The Best White Noise Machines To Help You Sleep Through Anything
Home Soundproof Home
Rain drumming on your roof is a natural sedative, but creaky doors and clanking gutters? Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! How to dial down the creepfest (and wakefest).
To muffle footfalls and whiny floorboards, use thick carpets and rugs made of dense wool or berber. Or install sound-absorbing padding under rugs (look for an IIC, or impact insulation class, of 65 or higher).
Treat door hinges with WD-40 every other month to keep them from squealing.
If upstairs sounds are the problem, drape a sheet across your ceiling, tacking it up at the corners. Search "fabric ceiling" on Pinterest for ideas. Think: chic boho den.
Have trees trimmed so branches don't scrape your house. Clean gutters every fall and spring so water flows through without gushing or rattling.
Related: 5 Body Odors You Should Never Ignore
SOURCES: Michael Breus, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan; Michelle Drerup, Psy.D., behavioral sleep medicine specialist, Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center; Cathy Goldstein, M.D., neurologist, Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; Conor Heneghan, director of research algorithms, Fitbit; Jeanne Kenney, R.N., holistic nurse, Montefiore Health System, New York; Neil Kline, D.O., sleep medicine specialist and spokesperson, American Sleep Association; Elika Kormeili, M.F.T., licensed sleep therapist, Los Angeles; Marc Leavey, M.D., primary-care physician and sleep specialist at Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Jeffrey Levy, D.V.M., House Call Vet, NYC; Clare Rathjens, D.V.M., Tranquility Veterinary Services, Washington D.C.; Robert S. Rosenberg, D.O., sleep medicine physician and author of The Doctor's Guide to Sleep Solutions for Stress & Anxiety; David O. Volpi, M.D., otolaryngology surgeon and director of EOS Sleep Center, NYC
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!
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