Is your partner’s snoring making it impossible to sleep? Can earplugs for snoring help?
Getting enough deep, restful sleep every night can be difficult, with everything from stress to lifestyle choices to background noises disrupting your ability to sleep well. One of the biggest deterrents to sleeping well is having a snoring partner. Even gentle snoring (or loud breathing) can be enough to compromise your sleep and cause issues for you in terms of your health, your mood, your safety, and your relationship.
Most of us sleep best when our environment is quiet, peaceful, and has limited background noise. The lightest sleepers can be bothered by something as benign as a humming refrigerator or a fan – so you can only imagine how negatively impactful a sleeping partner who breathes very loudly, is very restless, snores, or has obstructive sleep apnoea can be.
What are Earplugs for Snoring?
Earplugs are made for several purposes – including to protect the eardrums and hearing from industrial noise and loud music; to prevent water from entering the ear canals while swimming; and to block noise for more comfortable sleep.
Anti-snoring earplugs can be quite effective for blocking some of the noise of a snoring partner. They are generally affordable to purchase and are easy to use, and they can also effectively block other night-time sounds like a barking dog, traffic sounds, noisy neighbours, etc.
There is a variety of different types of earplugs from which to choose. They range in affordability and material. Some are designed to rest in the outer ear canal, while others are designed to be compressed for insertion deeper into the ear. These then expand for a tighter, more customised fit.
Some earplugs are disposable while others are reusable.
Materials vary too:
- Wax earplugs are waterproof and easy to mould for a tailored fit. They are good for use for both swimming and sleeping.
- Foam earplugs are readily available, affordable, and usually quite soft and comfortable for most people. They are, however, vulnerable to bacteria growth due to their porosity and need to be replaced often.
- Silicone earplugs are cleanable and reusable, and while many people find them very comfortable, others do not.
Are Earplugs Effective for Blocking Snoring?
Sleeping with earplugs to block out snoring can be very effective for some people.
There are a few things to consider:
- Which material is going to be right for you? Foam earplugs can be an affordable option, and while they tend to be comfortable and soft, foam is a porous material. As such, harmful bacteria can quickly thrive in them and may cause ear infections. This means that foam earplugs must be a disposable option.
- Not all earplugs are intended to be used during sleep – and not all are going to effectively block out snoring.
- Using ear plugs can force wax further into the ear canal and this can lead to infection, hearing impingement, or even hearing loss.
Which Earplugs for Snoring Are the Best?
The right earplugs for snoring will:
- Comfortably mould to fit the ear canal or pinna
- Not cause pain or tinnitus
- Be comfortable to wear all night
- Be easy to clean
- Not foster bacterial growth
- Be reusable
- Block out snoring and other ambient sounds but still enable a small volume of sound to be heard
NZ audiologists recommend using soft silicone earplugs which are both comfortable and easy to custom-fit to your ears. The best results may be found with snoring-specific noise-cancelling earplugs as recommended by a professional audiologist.
Some highly recommended products include Snorblok Beeswax sleep earplugs, which are comfortable to use and are not inserted into the ear canal. Cheaper options include Macks or Snorblok foam earplugs.
The American Sleep Foundation recommends the SoundOff Noise Masking Ear Plugs specifically for snoring.
Why is it More Important to Treat Snoring than Block it Out?
Blocking out snoring completely is impossible. The volume of moderate snoring is in the range of up to 77 dB, while severe snoring can be up to 100dB or more. The best snoring earplugs are rated to only around 33dB – so they will not block anywhere near all of the noise of snoring. Achieving this would require additional use of noise-isolating earbuds, a white noise machine, and/or noise-cancelling sleep headphones.
Sound is conducted through the skull. This means that even if all sound through the ear canals is blocked, sound can still enter your head through your nose, mouth, and skull itself.
Earplugs can be uncomfortable for some people. They can also be unsuitable for people who need to be able to hear small children or alarms through the night.
Snoring itself has significant health implications that must be addressed. Snoring is not normal – it’s a sign that something is not right, and it has much wider ramifications than just disrupting a partner’s sleep. It needs to be assessed and the cause managed – masking the noise of snoring is not enough.
By making better lifestyle and sleep hygiene choices and understanding the reasons for the snoring itself, you can achieve better outcomes and you may lead a healthier, longer life.
Prevent Snoring at its Source with ApneaRx
The right earplugs for snoring are a good investment for people who:
- Commute on public transport
- Travel on a plane
- Work irregular shifts or night shifts
- Are studying
- Are meditating
- Need to sleep in a loud environment
Preventing snoring itself is very important – and while we don’t negate the benefits of using ear plugs for snoring, we also highly recommend that you address the cause of snoring to reduce or prevent it.
ApneaRx is a great option to help prevent snoring and alleviate the symptoms associated with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. It is affordable and easy to use. Its unique adjustability feature allows the user to gently reposition their lower jaw slightly forward, opening the airway to allow for a more peaceful and healthier night’s sleep.
- Safe for use by adults
- Fully adjustable
- Made from medical-grade silicone
- Compatible for use with CPAP