A bit of this and that...with added frangipani.

Friday, February 25, 2011

10 Tips on How to Deal With the Chainsaw in Your Bed

On Tuesday, it was an anniversary for Will and me. It marked 19 years since the day we met.

It's quite amazing to me really. We've overcome plenty of adversity, but none so trying as the fact that Will has a sinus problem, and therefore sleeping with him is like sleeping with a chainsaw in the bed. We've had him checked out by a doctor, and the doctor said there's nothing actually wrong with his passageways, so surgery is not going to fix his problem.

So with my many years' experience, I thought I would share with you some tips on how to cope*:

1) Never go to bed at the same time. Will is a night owl and I am not, so this part was easy. Although at first, I was disappointed that there would never be the 'falling asleep in each other's arms' that you always see in movies. Now, I don't mind, because I came to realise that I really like my own space when I am sleeping.

If you happen to wake up sometime after your spouse has come to bed and the snoring is getting to you, the following are a few things you can do (or avoid) to help:

2) Get your spouse to roll over. When Will's on his side facing away from me, the snoring stops or at least seems quieter. He's so used to me poking him in the ribs to get him to roll on his side, that he doesn't even seem to wake up. Although, there is a distinct impression in his rib area from 19 years of poking.

3) Do the bed jiggle. By jiggling the bed ever so slightly, it wakes him up enough that he stops snoring for a little while so that I can get back to sleep before the snoring begins again. There is an art to the bed jiggle. It involves moving in the bed as if I am having some sort of fit. I make sure I do this only for a couple of seconds or I might risk waking him up fully or doing myself some damage.

4) Don't stuff tampons up his/her nose. Although I haven't attempted this personally, I have read somewhere that a woman tried this to stop her husband from snoring, and tragically it killed him. (This has just got to be an urban myth)

5) Don't wear earplugs. Although a tempting strategy, with children in the house, I never resorted to this. I always wanted to be able to hear if the kids cried out. And for those without children, it would be good to be able to hear the smoke alarm if it went off.

6) Sleep in another room. When things get particularly bad, I sometimes will crawl in with one of the kids and risk being injured by their flailing arms and legs, or I sleep on the couch or in the spare room.

7) Get your spouse to sleep in another room. This is not ideal, because then you become one of 'those' couples you see in the movies where their relationship is so cold and distant that they sleep in separate rooms. For us, this actually happens but not by design. Will often falls asleep wherever he is (it could be due to sleep deprivation from all the poking and jiggling going on when he does come to bed--did I just say that?) and will wake up on the couch in front of TV or in the spare room in front of the computer. Then he comes to bed for the hour or so before his alarm goes off. To be honest, I have woken up to get a glass of water and found Will sleeping where he lay, and simply turned off the computer or the TV and let him sleep. Our couch is comfy and the spare bed is too, and leaving him there means we both get some sleep.

8) Don't waste money on snoring relief products. I know one of them requires the snorer to have the forethought to spray something up his nose half an hour before going to sleep. Will can't even get himself to bed, let alone anticipate sleep half an hour before it happens.

If after trying all these strategies, you still can't sleep:

9) Get up and cut your losses. Stop trying to get some sleep and do something constructive with your time. For example, I wrote most of this blog post at 4:30 this morning after trying unsuccessfully to sleep through Will's snoring.

And if your spouse doesn't believe s/he snores:

10) Don't bother recording the event to provide evidence of the snoring. I tried this one time, and Will's response was that the recording could have been made of anyone's snoring not necessarily his--like I have access to so many other people when they're sleeping.

*Don't worry, I have sought Will's permission to share these with you, and he's fine with it, because you know, he doesn't snore. Houseguests and family members will corroborate my story, but he still doesn't believe that he snores.

It's FlogYoBlogFriday! Go on over to Where's My Glow to link up!



  1. Ha! I can totally identify with you, I've been sleeping next to a chainsaw for 33 years!! For me the answer is definitely wearing ear plugs now that we are empty nesters! Much better to muffle the sound a bit so i can fall asleep.

  2. Ha ha ha...very good post. Bet you get lots of work done in the wee hours of the morn. My daughter's with one who snores and they resort to separate beds a lot.

  3. OMG, Shelly you are me!!! Our connection is our snoring husbands and every step you mentioned has been done over here as well. You need to add this one: learn to take naps when you can to lesson the affects of your sleep deprivation. I haven't been sleeping so well either, but it's my mind buzzing this time and not my husband.

  4. Ha ha, so funny. I think I have tried most of those things (and more) not the tampon though... not worth trying? We'll see. :D

  5. Hmmmmm...I don't seem to remember hearing him snore when you were all here.....


  6. ha ha! anothe great list that had me nodding my head in agreeance :) my husband is a tragic snorer and remarkably he can snore on the way in and the way out...which means no breaks in the noise! i have tried most of the things on your list too - NOT the tampon!!! going to bed first is good but rarely happens so its mostly pokes in the ribs from me too!

  7. RCL: 33 years! And I thought I had it bad. I'll have to consider the earplugs more seriously when the kids are out of the house.

    Clipped Wings: Funnily enough, I don't get nearly as much done as I would like. I blame the internet as a huge distraction. But anything's better than tossing and turning.

    Susan: Ooh, I definitely like the idea of naps in the afternoon. Even just half an hour to re-energise me would be nice!

    Tiff: Not the tampon? If it weren't for the possibility of death, I would have considered it!

    Tish: No need to get on Will's good side; he already thinks you are a pretty cool sis-in-law. ;-)

    Rachel: Glad to hear I am not alone. I felt kind of guilty about the pokes in the ribs, until he started snoring again.

  8. i sleep with a chainsaw too & going to bed first works best. i also like to use a noisemaker machine. somehow the snoring gets somewhat lost in the noise & lets me sleep better.

  9. Hmmm, first comment for me, and I'm gonna tell you what to do, LOL!

    I also snore, and like your husband, there's nothing wrong with my nasal passages. I've recently been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, where my throat closes once I reach a certain level of sleep. It's a simple sleeping test to diagnose, and I now wear a mask which blows constant, positive pressure through my throat to keep it open. This means I get a good nights sleep and no longer fall asleep in front of the tv/computer/wheel!

    Could that be what your husband suffers from?

  10. The Fat Lady: I thought about that too. I am pretty sure that's what we were getting the doctor to check out when he went to see him, but I don't remember him having to undergo any tests. I'll check with him. It was so long ago.

    I know for certain, that his Dad had one of those machines, so perhaps it is hereditary? Thanks for reminding me about that. I'll have a convo with Will to find out exactly what was tested.

  11. Sherilin: I've never heard of a noisemaker machine. It sounds good, I'll have to look into that. Thanks!

  12. Gosh..Shelly, I'm literally wearing your shoes. I think it kinda sucks that your doctor says surgery's not an option. I have repeatedly asked mine to check his passageways out, but he hasn't.

    I once resorted to earplugs, because I was going batshitcrazy..and yes, I have three kids, and yes, it was a bad idea. I have now resorted to sleeping in a separate room. It's sad..but I was desperate for sleep and his noise wasn't helping. So..it's like we're in a unisex dorm.... :D

  13. Mott, Fat Lady says that she suffers from sleep apnoea. I asked Will and he said that the doctor never checked for that. But of course he is in denial, so it might be hard getting him to check this out.

  14. I totally have one of these husbands!! My daughter is three and she has our old queen size bed. It's the perfect size for mama to curl up in!
    PS I found your blog over at scary mommy's comments and the title of this blog post made me so curious I HAD to know what it was about!!

  15. Mom Went Crazy: Thanks for stopping in to say "Hi". I bet your daughter loves that Daddy snores, because she gets her mama all to herself. My little boys would love for me to cuddle up, but there isn't the room.

  16. Too funny! I dont have snoring to put up with but the bane of my existence is the fact The Husband cannot sleep without a noisy fan on. ARGH!

  17. Donna: I think I know another reason why hubby prefers the couch. I like to sleep with the fan on low, and he likes the airconditioner to be set to 'liquid-nitrogen'. By sleeping on the couch, he thinks I'll forget that the A/C is on, but when I come to turn off the TV or computer, the A/C goes off too. I am a wicked...and frugal woman!

  18. I'm the chainsaw in my house. It's so embarrassing. I refuse to sleep on planes or at anyone else's house because of it. Mine's sleep apnoea too but I'm resisting the CPAP machine.

  19. I completely feel your pain, the Big Tuna is kind of the chainsaws. Stopped over from the blog hop and now following you.

  20. Ha, I love this.

    One good thing about Tom being in Korea is that I get the bed to myself. It rocks.

  21. I'll admit it... I'm the chainsaw in my relationship! My husband is constantly rolling me on my side. He's very patient and understanding, (thank heavens) and is convinced that there is a demon living inside me that is making all the horrible noise!

  22. Enjoy your sleep quality with sleep Apnea Equipment. Sleep apnea means breath cessation, which is one of the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.

  23. It can be really difficult to sleep comfortably when you always woken up by this sort of roaring sound in the middle of the night. I’m just glad that you manage to deal with it for years. Anyway, number 2 seems effective, because it can actually stop his snoring. The only downside is that you have to be awaken from time to time to do this. Well, I believe there are some ways to treat this kind of condition if surgery isn't an option. Just look for the one that will fit his condition the most. Good luck!

    Sharon Woods @ Falls Park Dentistry


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