I am the perpetrator, I am the snorer! You might have been expecting me to have a rant about my hubby snoring, given the title. But it’s quite the opposite; I am the Queen of Queens when it comes to snoring. Sounds like I’m proud, but I’m not, it’s blighted my life since I was a child. My snoring can be heard across the other size of a large house when I’m going full throng.
One night stands never came into the equation for me, and not that I was ever that sort of girl either, but even if I was – can you imagine?! Some poor guy wakes up in the early hours of the morning with a terrible hang-over to be frightened near to death by the sound of the human fog horn in female form.
Shared sleeping arrangements have definitely been something on my list of things to avoid, and my friends for that matter. One night in the same room as me is enough to last you a life time. And I’m even noisier if I’ve had a drink (alcoholic), am over tired, am to warm and dehydrated. Quite a few years ago hubby and I went trekking in the Spanish Pyrenees, spending one night in a hostel (refugis) in the mountains, sharing a dormitory with about 50 other people. After getting totally sloshed on brandy, I stumbled late at night into my top bunk and dropped soundly asleep – that’s when everyone’s nightmare started. I snored my head off all night. Everyone woke up the next morning seriously grumpy with dark rings around their eyes, but not me. And because I don’t look like the stereotypical snorer, I got away with it. It was far more likely to be the big burly Austrian guy in the bunk below me, or the crazy haired Dane just a couple of bunks along.
There are only a couple of people who can sleep through my snoring without concern, and that’s babe – because she’s not known anything different, and my sister because we shared a bedroom for years. In fact when we got separate rooms, at first she found it really hard to sleep and even resorted to sleeping on my bedroom floor some nights until she adjusted.
Joking aside though, I do have a medical condition called ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnea’. This means I stop breathing lots of times in the night, and make a hell of a lot of noise doing so as I gasp for air and re-wake myself again. I’ve got it under control now, using a special brace that looks a bit like a boxers gum shield (very attractive – not). This effectively stops my throat collapsing and stopping me from breathing, by pulling my jaw ever so slightly forward and keeping the airways all clear. Its way better than the horrendous breathing apparatus they tried me on first, that had a full face breathing mask linked to a machine that made an awful whirring noise – that was a passion killer I tell you.
I am far from the traditional sufferer which is typically male, middle-aged and over-weight. Main signs of sleep apnea are:
Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs
Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat
Daytime sleepiness and feeling un-refreshed by a night’s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times
If you know someone you might think has sleep apnea, get them to go to the doctors and be referred to their local respiratory department. If left untreated it can be life threatening. In fact apparently 90% of people who have it don’t realize they’ve got it. It took me years to find out this was the source of all my teenage fatigue.