Help! My Husband Snores
What does a girl have to do to get a decent night’s sleep with a snoring husband? The sound and the fury.
My husband is a great guy. He’s smart, funny, handsome. A great dad. Knows his way around a grill. Will watch America’s Funniest Videos with me. Can catch and kill mosquitoes in mid-air with one hand. And for twelve years, night after magical night, I have lain beside him in bed, studying the strong curve of his face, watching the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest and mentally rehearsing exactly how I’m going to kill him.
Joe knows that he snores, and he’s really, really sorry. He’s tried nose strips, throat sprays, homeopathic remedies, palate guards and ergonomic pillows. The man agreed to shell out close to a monthly mortgage payment to spend a miserable night in a sleep clinic, where the doctors — upon vigilant observation — were able to rule out UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Eventually he was sent home with a diagnosis of MWCSBISS (My Wife Can’t Sleep Because I Snore Syndrome), otherwise known as NRMP (Not Really My Problem).
I was tooling around The Huffington Post recently and saw this headline: The Secret to a Happy Marriage: Separate Beds? I Doubt It. The author — also known as The Sleep Doctor, according to his byline — begins by acknowledging the fact that sharing a bed with another person can be hazardous to your health. Then he goes on to list the many and compelling reasons to ignore the risks and go for it anyway. In addition to the obvious benefits of co-sleeping (sex and spooning, essentially) he holds up the results of a study out of Australia, which found — and I am not making this up — that “men sleep better when they are sleeping next to someone.” Which simultaneously infuriates (what about me, dude?) and mystifies me (I find it hard to believe that my husband is getting a restful night’s sleep when I am punching him every ten minutes and hissing at him to roll the eff over, and frankly, I’d be sort of pissed if he was).
The Sleep Doctor points out that surveys show 23 percent of married Americans sleep alone, and that double master bedrooms will soon be the norm in new-home construction. While the author clearly intends to appall the reader with these figures, I find them strangely comforting. In fact, the next time Joe is sawing imaginary logs with his 15-amp nasal chainsaw, I will close my eyes and envision the brand new, all-mine, master-suite of my dreams, which — by the way — will be painted pale pink, filled with two dozen flickering candles and six hundred throw pillows, and have one of those Biltmore beds wrapped in 800-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Then I’ll try to figure out how I’m going to afford it without using my husband’s $200 postural-alignment pillow to snuff the last deafening breath out of him and collect the insurance money.
Jenna McCarthy contributes frequently to magazines including Self, Glamour, Parents, Ladies Home Journal and many others. She is the author of several parenting books and is hard at work on her next project, a practical guide to living with and continuing to love the TV-addicted, sex-obsessed, listening-impaired Neanderthal you married.