At first it was a just a little annoying. But after months and months of this business, my husband’s nightly snore fest is really taking a toll—–and not just with getting a good night’s sleep.
Did you know that according to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring affects 90 million adults, 37 million of them on a regular basis. That means that roughly 30% of adults over the age of 30 experience benign snoring, caused by “upper airway turbulence” that leads to vibrations of the soft palate and the uvula (that little flap that hangs down at the back of the throat), explains Joseph Scianna, MD, co-director of Loyola University Health System’s Nasal Sinus Center.
The largest group of snorers is middle-aged and older men. (I can vouch for that). That snoring increases with age makes sense because as we age, we lose muscle tone everywhere, including in our palates, which become flabby and thus more susceptible to vibration. Other factors may also contribute to snoring such as allergies, being overweight, and even drinking alcohol before bedtime, which relaxes the muscles in the airway.
It started almost a year ago and has become our nightly routine: I fall asleep and an hour or two later, I am abruptly awakened to the sound of my husband’s loud and crescendo snoring. At first, I would reach over and give him a shove to disrupt his snoring pattern, and he would stop. Then it took several punches throughout the night to get the same result. Now, it is to the point where no number of slaps, shoves, or kicks makes any difference. My husband just keeps on snoring away with no effect whatsoever on HIS sleeping. He wakes up the next morning fully rested, ready to start the new day. I, on the other hand, am experiencing more and more sleep deprivation from night after of night of snoring-disturbed sleep. When morning finally comes for me, I am exhausted, angry at my husband, and extremely frustrated. Not a good situation if one is looking for marital bliss.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again with the same result
At first I complained. Then I begged. “Can’t you do something about your snoring?” After a few weeks of nagging, we started trying out some well-known snoring remedies. I bought new, firmer pillows. Changing sleeping positions didn’t help (he snores on either side, on his stomach and on his back). He has gone back to exercising and watching what he eats to lose a few pounds. My husband tried nose strips. I tried ear plugs. (Both were quite uncomfortable). His doctor sent my husband to a sleep specialist to see if he had sleep apnea (he didn’t). The sleep specialist recommended a mouth guard. While the mouth guard helped with the snoring issue, it also totally messed up my husband’s bite, so no more mouth guard. We even tried essential oils that are deemed useful for stopping snoring. Nothing has helped.
So far, we have found only one solution: sleep in separate rooms. Being empty nesters has freed up two bedrooms and three beds. Whoever goes to bed first gets to pick where they want to sleep. I enter my no snore zone, close the door behind me (if not I can hear the snores from down the hall), crawl under the covers, and drift off to a quiet night’s sleep. And when I wake up in the morning, I am rested, happy, and ready to take on the day. Other than making husband-wife relations interesting, I have no complaints with sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Do you have the same problem with your partner? Have you been able to resolve it? Please share.