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22 May 2008

Sounding like a chainsaw?

It's 2.30am and your partner has thumped you in the ribs for the umpteenth time, growling the old refrain, "Turn over, you’re snoring".

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It’s 2.30am and your partner has thumped you in the ribs for the umpteenth time, growling the old refrain, “Turn over, you’re snoring”. How do you restore harmony and silence to this unhappy scene before your significant other commits a chainsaw massacre?

Many people snore. It’s a hugely irritating habit to their partners, but if you’re responsible for the noise, what’s to be done, other than waiting for them to club you to death with furniture? Firstly, you have to ask yourself whether you suffer any of the following during you waking hours:

  • Chronic drowsiness;
  • Headaches;
  • Decreased libido;
  • Irritability;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Forgetfulness;
  • Nodding off at work.
If you have these symptoms you’re probably suffering from sleep apnoea. This happens when you stop breathing while you’re asleep. It usually takes place when you’re sleeping on your back and your throat closes, blocking off your breathing. This causes you to stop breathing – for around 10 seconds in some cases – and then you make a flatulent snorting sound and wake up.

It’s a common ailment. It means that you get by on diminishing amounts of sleep and that you end up feeling like an extra from Night Of The Living Dead. See your doctor.

Other factors that can aggravate snoring include heavy drinking, eating just before going to sleep, or being overweight. So you can cut your chances of sounding like a chainsaw by:

  • Not chugging away on draught beer or inhaling six Big Macs less than three hours before supper. And get to the gym. Improve muscle tone and less lard will help you to sleep, as well as being physically tired from working out.
  • Learning to sleep on your side. Some people do this by sewing a marble or a tennis ball into the back of their pajama jacket, or whatever passes as a pajama jacket. Others find it’s easier to sleep on a couch for a couple of nights until they get into the habit.
  • Elevating the head of your bed, so that if you do sleep on your back there’ll be less likelihood of sleep apnoea developing.
  • Ridding your bedroom of potential allergens such as dust, and down-filled pillows or bed linen.
  • Wearing a nasal strip. Not everyone likes them, but it’s worth a shot. - (William Smook)
     
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