Your partner may be snuggly, cuddly, and cozy in bed. But once the lights are out,  instead of falling into blissful dreamland, you lie awake enduring snoring, teeth grinding, and kicking. It's not your partner's fault, of course. But admit it: you do feel a tad irritated in the morning when you're so tired you can barely drag yourself to the coffeepot, while the sound sleeper on the other side of the bed is chipper, cheerful and ready to greet the day.

Before you give up and buy ear plugs, move to another room, or figure out a way to build a daytime nap into your routine to make up for the sleep deficit, follow these tips for successfully solving your partner's most annoying sleep habits ever.

Teeth Grinding

Stress is frequently cited as a cause of bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, which besides being annoying for a partner to listen to can cause a range of problems like headaches, earaches, teeth sensitivity, and damaged teeth. While clenching can occur during the day, too, when it happens during sleep the person doing the grinding is completely unaware of it.

The best strategy is to encourage your partner to see a dentist for an evaluation, says Elizabeth Blair, MD, associate professor of surgery and an otolaryngologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Your dentist will probably prescribe a mouth guard that is worn at night.

"Even though the person may still clench their teeth, they are no longer grinding them," Blair explains. "It's helpful for the person who grinds and for the partner."

Splints made of hard acrylic may also be prescribed. These are usually more costly than mouth guards and they fit over the lower or upper teeth. Another treatment is stress management. Professional counseling, meditation and learning relaxation techniques all go a long way toward reducing the stress that may be causing the grinding in the first place.


When air moves past the relaxed tissues in the airway above the voice box in the throat, the tissues actually vibrate and can cause the annoying sounds of snoring. Think of snoring as an alarm system, Blair says. It may be due to an underlying health disorder such as a thyroid disorder or obstructive sleep apnea, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.

But there's help for snorers. Losing weight and avoiding alcohol right before bedtime can help. Also, avoiding sleeping on your back will alleviate some of the nighttime motor noise. Obviously, it can be difficult for a person to remember this when they're asleep, so Blair recommends the tennis ball technique. Get a pocket T-shirt and put it on backward so the pocket's in back. Put a tennis ball into the pocket, and when you roll onto your back, you'll hit the tennis ball and roll back onto your side or your stomach.

Another remedy is to use a decongestant, says Richard Westreich, MD, director of facial plastic surgery and assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology at Long Island College Hospital in New York City.

"I tell people to try this out and see if it has an impact," he says. "There is also a special mouth guard that you can have made to reduce snoring."

Kicking and Hogging the Bed

Maybe you find yourself shoved to the edge of the bed, or off the edge of the bed, in the middle of the night. Or perhaps your partner wrestles away the blankets and pillows in his sleep, leaving you with a distinctly chilly feeling. The best defense may be a body pillow. Pick up one of those long pillows and place it in between you and your partner before going to sleep. One final solution is to each have your own sheet and blanket when you drift off. Once your partner's warm and wrapped up in his own soft blanket, he'll be a lot less likely to come after yours.

Sometimes the kicking and thrashing can be due to restless leg syndrome, explains Blair. Encourage your partner to see a doctor. While medications are available, there are a number of home remedies for this as well, such as taking a warm bath to relax the muscles, and trying relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.


Restless Leg Syndrome: Lifestyle and home remedies. The Mayo Clinic staff. Mayo