Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sleeping with the Enemy

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Not that long after Brandon and I got married, I discovered this dreadful noise that he makes right after he drifts off to sleep.

He breathes through his mouth, which wouldn't be a problem...if he kept his lips parted. Instead, they're clamped shut which means that I get to listen to these bursts of air try and escape his lips all night. The air is mostly successful and forceful enough to part his lips...but not all the way...not enough to create a silent haven in which I can fall back asleep. Instead, only a tiny part of the seal that is his lips give way, which leads to this putting, raspberry sound.

For those of you that don't know (and most who have spent time around me do) there is almost nothing worse to me than a repetitive noise. In college, table tappers were my nemeses. As soon as I heard the first few annoying taps or drums on the table, my eyes would dart around until I found the culprit. And then I would proceed to either stare a hole into the back of his/her head (they were usually guys) or give them the stink eye until they looked over at me. My professor’s words would slowly drown out until all I could hear was the horrendous, rhythmic tapping.

Back to the bedroom...Now, I've tried many tactics to silence this...snore(?) unfortunately none have been successful and all have been discovered. I've tried the fake, loud cough. I've tried laying there staring at him willing his lips to open. I've tried slowly and stealthily trying to push on his bottom lip so it would open all of the way. My favorite, go-to tactic is the bed shake. It starts as a little one - just me wiggling around in bed, or turning over on my side in a clumsy, over-exaggerated way. If this isn't enough to stop the lip demon, then I start moving my body around (yes, as if I'm convulsing) in quick jerks enough to shake the bed and bring Brandon out from his deep sleep. At which time I would lay still and silent hoping he wouldn't know what woke him. This worked well for awhile. I would hear the breathing stop, he would lick his lips and roll over on his side. His glorious side! (The noise is not quite as defined when he's on his side.)

Not too long ago, "the shake" was discovered and he shouted (and by shouted I mean raised his voice which felt like a shout since Brandon never raises his voice to me) "Gooosh, STOP" and huffed and puffed and rolled over on his side. I was left laying there feeling like I had annoyed him!


Annoyed the lip vibrating monster that had been destroying MY sleep for months upon months.

My feelings hurt, I rolled over on my side and tried to fall asleep before the noise returned...which it did...but now I was in a pickle. Did I want to shake the bed to stop the noise but get yelled at in return? I laid there for what felt like hours listening to the lip raspberries next to me, eyeing the clock that revealed how tired I would be in the morning, and contemplating whether I should just go sleep in the guestroom. Would that mean that our marriage was going down the tubes only one short year into forever? In my delirium I envisioned us sleeping in separate bedrooms for the rest of our lives and I began to panic.

Things got better in the summer because we had a fan that I always ensured was on the highest, loudest level and it would drown out some of the noise coming from the man on my left. (*Now, this in itself was a battle, let me tell you, because the noise maker my husband doesn't want to sleep with a fan. He doesn't like air blowing on him while he sleeps, he "doesn't like the noise". I tried buying a noise machine app for my phone and he scowled at me and acted like I was trying to torture him on purpose. I never did get to use it for a full night. I tried an oscillating fan so that it didn't blow directly on him, he still hated it. As it stands today, I have a fan that I face towards the wall so it doesn't blow on the bed but I still benefit from the noise.

Sadly, it is now November and it's just too cold for the fan and the sleep that accompanied it. The raspberries woke me up this morning at 5:30 am (a tragic 30 minutes before my alarm) and I hated their guts. I spent some time this morning googling "How to sleep with a snoring husband" and these were some of the suggestions I found:

1. Ask your husband to avoid certain foods before bedtime that can increase the snoring problem. Caffeine, dairy and alcohol can all aggravate the problem. Also, sleeping pills can increase snoring. (DONE, no more late night ice cream B!)

2. Play a noise machine when you get settled into bed. Noise machines can play a number of sounds, like rolling beach waves or sounds of the rain forest. These sounds may drown out your husband's snores and help you focus on the more pleasurable noises. (Hmph, tried that one already.)

3. Attach a tennis ball to the back of your husband's pajama top, using masking tape. The tennis ball will be uncomfortable if your husband rolls onto his back, which will encourage him to sleep on his side. Sleeping on one's side can reduce snoring. (HA! Yeah, sure. I'll try this one tonight - I'm sure I won't get any complaints at all.)

4. Wear a pair of earplugs if all else fails. Earplugs designed to expand in the ear can be purchased at most drug stores or home-goods stores. (I think this may be where I am headed this winter).

Does anyone else have any techniques for surviving the night with a... snorer? (because I still don't know what else to call it.)

Sleepless in Encinitas


Melissa said...

LMAO! We are so alike, I think I had the same story go through my mind when we were a week into our marriage. I had been with Jim for seven years and he never snored. We moved into our house and what do you know, he started. I told him I didn't marry a snoring man! I hate repetitive noises as well, especially during college exams. bahhh!!! It's 2:30 am and you have me cracking up! :)

Amira said...

Haha Melissa, that's what I'm saying! I didn't marry a snoring man, where did this come from? Old age, I guess ;-)

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