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Co-Living Advice

What To Do If My Roommate Snores

“Reddit, my new roommate snores with an inhuman force. I’ve tried earplugs and music, but I can’t block it out. Any suggestions?

Once I’m finally able to fall asleep, I find myself waking up 5 or 6 times throughout the night as a result of the tumultuous noise emanating from my roommate. I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in weeks. It doesn’t matter if he’s sleeping on his back, sides, or stomach, the result is always the same: it sounds as if an army of 10,000 Sasquatches is roaring in fury every time he falls asleep.

Aside from smothering him with a pillow, does anyone have any helpful advice or creative suggestions?”

Sound familiar? If, like reddit poster SPQR_XVIII, you’re suffering the consequences of a roommate that snores, what can you do about it?

Assuming you’ve already taken the first steps to drowning out the problem, such as earplugs and music, here some other things you can do to reclaim your quality of sleep – and quality of life.

Try not to get annoyed

We get it: disturbed sleep night-after-night can really take its toll on your lifestyle and can even affect your grades. Before you unleash the fury on your noisy roommate, remember that this is not their fault and there’s every chance they’re pretty embarrassed about the issue.

Bring up the situation gently, so you can explore solutions together and hopefully move forward. Try saying something like, “hey, do you know you snore pretty badly?” rather than, “why the hell are you so loud when you sleep?!”

Explore anti-snoring solutions

There are some affordable products on the market and it’s worth giving them a go. While they don’t work for everyone, you might just get lucky. 

  • Nasal strips: Nasal strips are relatively cheap and comfortable to wear. They’re simply an adhesive strip that’s attached to the nose at bedtime, designed to relieve congestion in order to reduce or even eliminate snoring.
  • Sleep apnea mask: Sleep apnea is a condition that affects breathing during sleep. It can cause snoring and be potentially dangerous. Sleep apnea masks or machines could be a solution to the noise, though they are generally expensive and your roommate may be unwilling to fork out for one.

Discuss whether this could be a medical issue

Often, snoring is an indicator of a temporary issue, such as alcohol consumption or a blocked nose. But if your roommate is snoring chronically every night, there could be another driving force behind all the noise. In some cases, snoring can point to a more serious medical issue, such as sleep apnea, obesity or a deviated septum. There isn’t always a simple “fix” and you should approach the issue with them gently. Remember that you’re (probably) not a doctor, so don’t share your free diagnosis with your roommate. 

Instead, suggest they visit a doctor, since none of the at-home remedies seem to be working. Be patient while your roommate researches the problem and tries to get to the bottom of it. Before they shared a room with you, they may not have even been aware of the problem and the entire thing could come as a shock to them. Be considerate. 

Explore a more permanent fix

If nothing changes, you’re still sleepy every day and are struggling to focus during class, it could be time to find a new roommate. Talk to your resident advisor (if you’re in a college dorm) or your landlord about finding a new roommate. Explain the issue and tell them about the steps you’ve already taken to try to solve them.
Quality of sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and although your roommate isn’t intentionally harming you, you might want to consider looking after number one by searching for a new sleeping situation. By handling the situation delicately and avoiding turning to passive-aggressive behavior, the two of you should be able to maintain a positive relationship – roommates or not.