Are you a closet snorer? 

No one likes to think they snort, snuffle and wheeze like a congested walrus once their head has touched the pillow, let alone admit that they make a variety of annoying sounds on a nightly basis that become a distinctive form of aural torture for their partners and anyone within the vicinity!  

 ‘Skuttle me Skippers’ or ‘Who moved my slippers?’, my husband is quick to point the finger of judgement accusing me of being the one who is keeping him, and the neighbours awake depriving them of their beauty snooze and rendering them unable to make sensible decisions once the birds begin to sing and the alarm goes off!  Keen to shrug off any responsibility I am presented with the DIY rosette as front runner in going for gold in the snoring stakes within our household. 

I cannot believe it is me!  I am the bed beast!  How was I to know once I had completed my cleanse, tone and moisture routine, brushed my teeth and sufficiently applied my overnight cure for wrinkles, crinkles and fine lines I would be capable of producing noises reaching decibels on par to a power mower or a low flying jet plane?  Was it true? Could it be true?

But now at 3am, wide awake I notice the left-hand side of the bed has been replaced by some heavy-duty machinery a mere 2 inches away from my right earhole, my pillow is vibrating with each raspy noise escaping from the hole in the middle of this metal face.  It dawns unlike the day that I am the victim of a deep injustice, just a snoring scapegoat!

It's official - Snore Wars!

As I lay in bed thinking, I realise that it has been many moons (literally) where I have been in the same position listening to a strange array of grunting, spluttering, choking, rumbling and mumbling whilst it is him who snores like a grizzly bear driving a bulldozer fighting with a chain sawing warthog who happens to be passing by on a freight train! 

This is without the regular flopping around like a mackerel demonstrating some very odd repetitive moves carrying out an annoying RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) routine causing the sheets to join in and become noisy too as they rustle around, and the bed moves in unison.

I note on average it is approx every 3-5 minutes that he wakes himself up due to choking or due to the ultra-loud noises described only akin to those farm animals make that escape into the room or his rendition of a rasping gasping old man with emphysema. 

Granted there have been moments where I have helped to stir him with a loving backwards kick of a sleep deprived mule or after administering an elbow sharply to the ribs as he lets out another echoing snore around the bedroom or maybe when yanking the pillow allowing his head to thud against the mattress and bring him to, only to be met with a stout denial of ever having been asleep at all.

Not only has the wrong person been identified but also, I recognise the mad little rituals I have injected into my life courtesy of snoring. 

For example, the need to either get to sleep before him or wait it out until the worst is over and then creep up the stairs and fall into bed so tired that even wild horses wouldn’t be able to drag me away from the land of slumber!

Isn’t it infuriating when you are with a person who falls asleep immediately leaving you to try and convince your brain and body to succumb to sleep!  The minutes turn into hours as you try to mentally overcome the hurdles of the noises omitted loudly from the other side of the bed.

But I am not naïve to think that I don’t snore on occasion but it’s hard to take ownership of something you can’t hear yourself doing.

There have been many a time where I have been awakened by an angry voice saying ‘Stop snoring!’ when deep in a dream. Another rude awakening is the not so dulcet tones expressing the command “Roll over!” 

As much as both do work in bringing me round, they prove to cause me to struggle to get resettled.  The most worrying aspect of my snoring is when he confesses to holding my nose and placing a hand over my mouth (I am sure this is dangerous!).

But whoever the culprit is in your relationship or whether it is both of you, it is always helpful to get some tips on how to stop or prevent it.  But why does it happen in the first place?

Snoring occurs when the upper airway muscles relax and constrict air flow through the throat, forcing air through a small space and causing a vibration.

To make everyone feel better, an estimated three million Britons snore regularly and more men than women are snorers (surprise, surprise!).  There is, however, a noticeable difference between the sexes as when a man snores, people crack jokes and yet when a woman snores, no one wants to talk about it. It’s just not feminine. 

Snoring is something happening in bedrooms across the nation and a recent study found many of us lose the equivalent of three weeks’ sleep every year not to mention the negative impact and toll it takes on our well-being and relationships.

Also, we snore more as we get older as our breathing passages narrow.

It makes sense for many people who suffer from snoring to look to unusual remedies to make it stop and there are already many alternative options to prevent snoring,  Here are a few;  

Ear Plugs are always a great back up/Plan B to snoring and I strongly recommend them and have a pair tucked away in my bedside top drawer just ready and waiting, the very same ones I got free from St John Ambulance whilst attending a Justin Bieber concert.  The noise was so loud I thought my head was going to explode!

Why not sew some random buttons into your partner's pyjama top making it too uncomfortable for him to sleep on his back?  Research confirms that sleeping on your back is likely to increase snoring.   On this theme, another suggestion is tennis balls which can also be sewn in or duct taped to the back of a T-shirt or top that gets worn to bed, forcing sleep to commence and stay whilst lying on their side.  If this is done for at least two weeks, this should be enough time to be able to retrain side sleeping instead.

Learn to play the didgeridoo, an aboriginal wind instrument that some say can cure snoring.  By learning a wind instrument, this too shows a reduction in the likelihood of developing sleep apnea.

Certain singing exercises have also been shown to strengthen the throat muscles and also reduce night time snoring so Baa Baa Black Sheep come on down!.   

In a nutshell remember no back sleeping, lose weight, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, practice good sleep hygiene, open nasal passages, change the pillows and stay hydrated.

You can also find a plethora of over-the-counter products: nasal strips, chin straps, mouthpieces, nasal sprays, supplements, pliable nasal breathing aids. 

Some work, some dont but one thing that is clear is everyone no matter who all snore using the same language.

As a last resort as more hotel chains launch ‘Snore Monitors’ And ‘Snore Absorption Rooms, I might just book myself in!