How to Deal With a Snoring Dorm Roommate?

Congratulations, you finished high school! You made it past the SATs and ACTs, and now you’re stuck with a loud, snoring roommate at college. Don’t despair, though. Many people don’t even know they snore until they start sharing a room with someone. It may very well be your roommate doesn’t even know that they’re snoring. Both of you need some solutions.

Snoring is typically a sign of a serious medical issue, so in bringing up this important issue with your roommate, it could mean prolonging their life.

Snoring occurs a few different ways, but typically it can be attributed to a partially-blocked air passage. Sometimes it’s related to a deviated septum, but it could also mean that their tongue is sliding too far back in their throat.

Aside from the medical issues of snoring, this can also affect your sleep. It can keep you up late at night or wake you midway through sleeping. This will impact your health and your grades, so this is a serious issue. Research has also shown that the sleeping partners of those who snore can have hearing issues, if close enough in proximity. Depending on how your door room is laid out, you may be just across from their bed or you may be above or below them in a loft bed.

There is help, however. You can take several steps to reduce snoring and sleeping issues including:

  • Nasal Strips or Dilators
  • A Specialty Pillow
  • Ear Plugs
  • Medical Solutions

Nasal Strips and Dilators

The easiest thing to try is nasal strips and dilators made from brands like Breathe Right, AIRMAX, or Mute. There are other brands besides the three listed here, so a quick check online or at the store will give you an idea of the type you’d prefer.

Adhesive strips lie across the nose and force the sides up causing a larger passageway for breathing. Nasal dilators fit inside the nose to widen nasal passages, and this works to stop snoring by reducing vibrations in the airway.

Usually this solves about 25% of snoring issues for about $10-15 a box, so it can be an inexpensive solution.

Specialty Pillows

In some cases, the snorer’s head is not elevated enough and their tongue may be sliding back into their throat, thus causing air blockage and snoring. The options range from angled wedge pillows to pillows with weird cutout shapes. A simple starting point is to have them sleep in bed with extra pillows thus causing their head to be more elevated than normal. If, during the night, they unconsciously move their pillow to obtain their typical sleeping position, they may begin snoring again.

If extra bed pillows don’t solve the snoring, a specialty wedge pillow is a great solution. The special shape usually has a 30-degree angle, and it’s made with foam or memory foam and will force them to sleep upright. There are dozens of weird shapes and sizes for pillow solutions. In most cases, they force you to sleep at an angle or on your side.

These pillow tricks may address another 25% of those typical snoring issues.

Ear Plugs

Even if one of the two options above fixes some snoring at night, you may still have to deal with an occasional bout, so grab some good earplugs. A good pair may cost between $20-$30, but it has the added advantage for ear protection at concerts and from noisy neighbors. Just be careful as the earplugs may block important residence hall warning bells and alarms. A good pair of ear plugs can cost $20-$30.

Medical Solutions

If the above solutions don’t work, you may want to seek medical help. Snoring is serious and correlated with high blood pressure, heart issues, being overweight, and a number of medical issues, so medical help could be key in not only getting restful slumbers, but also a healthier lifestyle.

You may have to wear a CPAP mask, continuous positive airway pressure, to help you sleep without snoring. While it may sound scary, snoring in the long term is serious and it’s better to have to wear a weird mask each night than to spend the rest of your life with medical issues.