My husband snores. It isn’t a little, cute snore that a puppy would make, it is loud and alarming. It’s like a foghorn going off every five seconds, as I try to drift off to sleep. I think it’s getting louder every year. I’m serious. I’ve been with him since 1994, and what was once a sweet, soft grumbling that could be jostled away with a shoulder shake is long gone. And it doesn’t get better when he lies on his stomach, either.
This is serious business.
Last night, I turned on the light to watch him sleep. His tongue was rolled up into the roof of his mouth, and his chin was tucked. So, I decided to call him on his office cell-phone, record a message of his snoring, and see if that will convince him that I am not making it up when I say he was in rare form.
Oh, I know. Who does things like that? I do. Do you want to know why? Because he doesn’t believe me. He can’t imagine that he is that loud. Unless I show him proof, I feel like a sleep bully. “Oh honey, it’s not that bad,” he says every time I bring it up.
Um, yes it is. And the only way to convince him is if he hears it himself. “Just listen,” I’ll say and smile as he plays the recorder. “Oh honey, that’s awful,” he’ll say sheepishly.
I have jostled his shoulder, kicked the bed, pretended to cough and awakened him over and over again, and now I just feel like I’m harassing the poor guy. He needs some sleep. He’s tired.
I want to sleep in the same bed and tough it out, but it is killing me. We’ve tried everything short of an oxygen mask. I can’t do the ear plugs because of the kids, he’s worn the Breathe-Right strips, even though they tear his skin off in the morning, and I have even resorted to Ambien when it is really bad.
But now, as tired as I am from the pull of work, motherhood, bills, money and lack thereof, my siblings, problems and a hundred other things, I am just dog-tired. I need a night of uninterrupted sleep. I would rather get a good night’s sleep than tough it out against the roars. I’m surrendering. His schnoz has won.
So, I’m going to grab my pillow and sleep in the guest room for a while. It’s nice in there. It’s quiet.
I know I’m over-reacting. But I’m tired. I need more rest. I need less stress in my life. I need to go to bed earlier. It’s after midnight right now. That’s not healthy.
I figure that when my husband wonders why I’m sleeping in the guest room, I can say I have “sleep debt.” Honestly, it’s an actual term. WebMD says that “the amount of sleep a person needs increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a ‘sleep debt,’ which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need, while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time and other functions are still impaired.”
Too little uninterrupted sleep may cause: memory problems, depression, a weakening of the immune system, increasing the chance of becoming sick and increasing the perception of pain, among other things. Wow, I don’t want any of that to happen.
Perhaps, if I fill my sleep bank up in the guest room once in a while, I won’t have to move in permanently. It might be quiet and heavenly, but I’d really miss sleeping next to that big bear, my husband – even if he does snore.