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December 22, 2008

Heavy Breathing

The idea for this post came to me in the wee hours of this morning. I woke up all of a sudden to the musical sound of my husband’s snoring. Now, we’ve been married for a while, and I have him well trained. I handle this snoring business in two ways.

1. I’ll put my hand on hubby’s shoulder and say in a firm voice, “Turn on your side.” Like a well-trained seal, he turns over on his side without even waking and the snoring stops. I go back to sleep and all is well in the world.

2. Hubby continues to snore and I’m tired. I get grumpy and that’s when I wade in with a well-placed elbow. It’s a take-no-prisoners jab, designed to shock a snoring husband awake. If I’ve got to suffer and be awake then so does he!

This morning I chose method number one and he did his seal flop. The snoring stopped and I went back to sleep. I’m lucky since this doesn’t happen very often.

The noise of snoring is caused by parts of the nose and throat – in particular, the soft palate – vibrating as a person breathes in and out. At night, the muscles that help keep your airways open relax and become floppy. This causes the airways to narrow and vibrate more, making snoring more likely. Alcohol, colds and allergies, being overweight, smoking and sleeping on your back can all contribute to snoring. Evidently more than 3.5 million people snore in Britain. That’s a lot of noise. I imagine the figures are similar in the US and New Zealand. I can only wonder what a spying alien might think about all the racket!

In the interests of transparency, I’d better add that I snore whenever I have a cold. As I tell hubby, I have to breathe!

Ways to treat snoring include not drinking alcohol before bed, maintaining a good weight for you, sleeping on your side, raising the head of the bed and using a humidifier. These days you can also purchase special nasal strips, which are said to help.

Do you have people who snore in your household? How do you cope?

Note: Just a reminder about the Bitten by Books – Naughty Nights of Christmas contest. There are lots of great books up for grabs. I’m on Night 12. Don’t delay because the contest will end very soon!


  1. Wylie Kinson

    Ah, yes… I am well versed at the two procedures mentioned above – but as my hubby is not so cooperative as yours, I’ve two more:

    3. gently place hand over hubby’s mouth and delicately pinch nostrils. When he
    a) jerks awake
    b) turns blue
    release hold and you’ll find that the snoring has magically ceased.

    4. turn sideways on the bed until your position in relation to hubby’s is that of the stalk in the letter ‘T’. Place the soles of your feet along his side (one on the rib cage, one on the hip – works best). Bend knees slightly, take a deep breath and extend your legs as hard and fast as your sleep-deprived state will allow. When hubby hits the floor, you shake your head drowsily and say “Wha? Where’d you go? Are you okay??” This will result in cessation of snoring and satisfy the devil that crept in your bones during the three hours you laid awake.

  2. Debora Dennis

    Ah, yes, the snoring husband… Odd if I’m asleep before him, he can snore up a storm and I’ll sleep right though it. BUT, if he’s asleep before me – I’m forced to resort to both your methods (although that well placed jab is the most effective!)

    Kicking works well too. LOL

  3. Christine d'Abo

    I think I’m weird.

    My husband does snore. Not like a train, but still a snore. I don’t mind it. Oddly enough, if I don’t hear him snoring, it wakes me up. My dad snored too, and I think growing up I’ve just gotten used to the sound.

    Like I said, I think I’m weird. :mrgreen:

  4. JK Coi

    Oh my God, my husband snores so bad :)

  5. Shelley Munro

    Wylie – on the odd occasion I try the nose squeezing thing, but usually I get the giggles and that wakes him rather than the nose squeeze.

    Debora – I haven’t tried kicking yet. One day! :grin:

    Christine – shaking head – how can you ever get used to snoring???

    JK – you have my sympathy!

  6. N.J. Walters

    I’m lucky. Hubby doesn’t snore.

  7. Karen Erickson

    My husband snores terribly. I use ear plugs – it’s the only way I can sleep. He sounds like a freight train comin’ through my house. Acckkk….

  8. Shelley Munro

    NJ – you’re very lucky!

    Karen – my hubby isn’t too bad. We can go for weeks or even months without any seal-rolls. You have my sympathy!!

  9. Deidre

    My husband does. I keep clearing my throat and squirming on the bed until he wakes up enough to turn over or something. LOL


  10. Dayanna

    You ladies have my sympathy my boyfriend thankfully does not snore, am too light a sleeper to deal with it. In fact, i refuse to marry someone who will snore because i can forsee many sleepless nights no matter how much i love him.

  11. Shelley Munro

    LOL – Deidre. Have you not graduated to elbow-jabbing yet?

    Dayanna – well, just in case, you have the strategies to deal with it now. :wink:

  12. suzanne

    Thank heavens I don’t belong to this bracket. lol lol… My husband doesn’t snore and if he ever does it’s a gentle snore and only lasts a few minutes. Thank heavens for that.
    Merry Christmas Shelly… Yes, I love the little christmas icons from myspace. And yes, telling the world to have a safe and happy christmas.
    All the best,
    Suzanne x :)

  13. Marissa Alwin

    LOL OMG My husband snores! I try to get to sleep before he does. if not, alot of the above methods are used… I have even resorted to ice cubes from my water glass.

    Unfortunately, I’m not the only one that has to deal with it… he went to France on business. One night during his stay, a neighboring woman started banging on his door. “Please please I can’t take it no more.” It gave him a new appreciation of what I can tolerate.*g*

    Thanks for stopping by you all ready for the next holiday feast?

  14. Cynthya

    My husband snores, too, and I do the same thing as you do–tell him to turn over. If that doesn’t stop it, I go in the other room to sleep. I do wear ear plugs, but that’s not always enough.

    Marissa, that was really funny! I guess he knows you’re not exaggerating now.

  15. Shelley Munro

    Suzanne, a gentle snore is okay. It’s the shake the rafters type that are the worst. My MIL is terrible, too.

    Mari – LOL He probably didn’t even believe he snored until the complaint.

    Cynthya – it sounds like a lot of us have husbands who snore!

  16. Gabriele

    Separate sleeping rooms.

    When I was a student I had hired a private room with a somewhat elderly couple whose kids had elft home (very common in Germany) and she kept sending her hubby down into the guest room when he snored. Since that was beside my room, I could listen to his symphonies then, but since I’m a night owl, it didn’t bother me much, and a wall in between makes a difference still.

  17. Kimberley C

    My husband does a clicking noise and snores…but even scarier he stops breathing, apnea I think, then gasp and continues the clicking and snoring. But the really bad thing is – I SNORE like a chain saw :blush: It has gotten so bad that I have been sleeping on the couch so he can get some sleep and be rested for work! I have even woken myself up on a few occasions..hehe

  18. Fedora

    My husband does snore sometimes; apparently I do on occasion, too, along with grinding my teeth. Ooops ;)

  19. Shelley Munro

    Fedora – I actually think that teeth grinding is worse. I’ve always ground my teeth. I don’t think I’ve done it as much recently (or at least hubby hasn’t mentioned it). I think it’s stress-related???

    Anyway, it’s not nice listening to it. I’d rather have snoring!

  20. Michele N.

    Hmm, snore?
    you bet!

    Pushing and talking to him doesn’t work, and if I jab him, I’d get jabbed back…without his knowing.
    Sooo, I jump on the bed a bit and it disrupts him..and..I’ve..played with his ears…
    stuck my finger up his nose….just a little, :wink:
    When he had a moustache, I’d flick his facial feathers until he twitched,
    I’ve…hmmm…bubbled his lips… like you know… babies do to make that razz sound?
    I’ve shifted his pillow, tugged his pillow, vigoursly fanned his sheets creating a loverly breeze…

    Yeah, I know, I have too much fun tomenting the unsuspecting man, who denies he snores.
    Unitl his kids started mimicing him around the house. LOL

    Thing is,… if he is snoring, I’m not sleeping. And I refuse to get mad at something he has no control over,
    So, I do things, and I giggle and when he finally stops snoring, I go to sleep in a good mood.

    That’s IF I can fall back to sleep. *sigh*