Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman: Do you sleep with a snorer?

Does snoring ruin your relationship?Photo / Thinkstock
Does snoring ruin your relationship?Photo / Thinkstock

My only encounter with a snorer was on a long-haul Air New Zealand 777 flight when the man in the seat behind me performed a sustained postprandial symphony. Easily audible over the sound of the engines, his snoring wasn't conducive to anyone nearby getting to sleep.

Of course, there's a profound irony in the fact that the person who is effectively denying others sleep is himself asleep and blissfully unaware of the consternation he is causing. It's beyond irritating. Thank goodness for those airline earplugs.

According to Helpguide, common causes of snoring are: being middle-aged or older, being male, being overweight, alcohol consumption and sleeping on your back. The gentleman I encountered certainly ticked the first three boxes and he'd enjoyed plenty of red wine with dinner.

I was lucky my snoring companion was effectively a one-night stand. Some people endure it in their own homes.

In Snoring is Ruining My Marriage! one woman wrote: "Aside from smothering my husband with a pillow, is there something I can do to fix this night-time terror ...? .... Most nights, I have no choice but to seek refuge in the spare bedroom or on the couch."

Gosh, what's wrong with that picture? So this woman's husband snores and keeps her awake, yet she's the one who must face the inconvenience and discomfort of shifting to an alternative room? Well, that's her first mistake. Where's his incentive to sort out his snoring if he's not the one suffering for it? If he's a known snorer, the short-term solution is surely simple: banish him from sleeping in the bedroom until he's at least taken steps to curb this antisocial habit. Just think of it as tough love.

Apart from the obvious potential remedies such as losing weight, stopping drinking and sleeping on the side, there are plenty of products that purport to ease this age-old problem. There are anti-snoring mouthpieces, nose strips, decongestant nasal sprays and special collars. There are CPAP machines if the snoring is associated with sleep apnoea.

Sweet dreams: is Snorelab the answer to a good night's sleep? reports on an app that analyses snoring patterns, measures "the impact of special factors such as alcohol, baths and caffeine" and is said to "help to pinpoint the right remedy or trigger".

7 Easy Fixes For Snoring suggests taking a hot shower before bed, getting sufficient sleep, banishing pets from the bedroom, regularly airing pillows and staying hydrated. My favourite potential cure for snoring is about as low tech as it gets. It involves "[t]aping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas" to prevent sleeping on your back. Like many anti-snoring interventions, it's definitely not a sexy look but I imagine it could be very effective. Perhaps the airlines should supply tennis balls to high-risk passengers. Then we could all get some sleep.

Do you share a bed with a snorer? How do you put up with it? Does it cause difficulties in your relationship?

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Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman is a truck-driving, supermarket-going, horse-riding mother-of-one who is still married to her first husband. As a Herald online blogger, she specialises in First World Problems and delves fearlessly into the minutiae of daily life. Twice a week, she shares her perspective on a pressing current issue and invites readers to add their ten cents’ worth to the debate.

Read more by Shelley Bridgeman

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