Family Secrets Revealed….#5: The One About the Stertorous Breathing

Lean in closer. It’s time for another family secret. I’m not asking you to come closer so that I can whisper it to you but so that you’ll be able to hear me over that obnoxious sound coming from the couches and chair in the living room. No, that’s not a dinosaur barbershop quartet singing a paleolithic classic. That horrific melody you hear is coming from the snores of my husband, mother, father, and brother. Ladies and gentleman, I have lived my whole life as the sleep-deprived loved one of chronic snorers.

Growing up, I always enjoyed family vacations….until it was time to go to bed in our shared hotel room. The goal was always to try to fall to sleep before my parents did because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get the chance. Not only are they snorers, but I’m an extremely light sleeper who at times has trouble initiating sleep. The more stressed I am about falling asleep, the more difficult sleep is for me. I remember crying as a little girl because I couldn’t get to sleep first. I have “slept” in many a hotel bathtub lined with towels. I have spent an untold number of hours reading in the bathroom once I finally gave up on ever getting any rest.

One year, my parents chaperoned a youth choir trip to Mobile, Alabama. One night the girls slept on the gym floor of one of the churches we were visiting. In the middle of the night, I heard one of the girls near me say fearfully, “Did you hear that?! What is making that noise?” I shook myself awake enough to try to discern what she was hearing. In seconds, I was fully awake because I knew without a shadow of a doubt exactly what that sound was and its origin. My mom, who had set up camp far away on the opposite side of the gym, was snoring. In the dark, I crawled across the floor and shook her awake. “Mom, you’re snoring. And embarrassing me. Please, please, stop!”

My mom was actually diagnosed with sleep apnea and has a sporty device that she’s supposed to wear every night called a CPAP. It “reminds” her to keep breathing through the night. I’ve discovered that continuous breathing is a good and healthy thing.

In 1996, I moved away from the snorers of my family to begin my happily ever after with the man I love….who snores. Actually “snore” is too mild a term for whatever it is that K does. At times I have clung to my side of the bed with all of my strength because I was sure that he was going to suck me, the furniture, and all the air in the room into his mouth during one of his particularly impressive suction snores. When we were newlyweds, I would cough, aggressively turn over, or clear my throat, hoping he’d think he woke up on his own. After a few years of marriage, I’d pretend that one of my arms or legs had inadvertently wandered to his side, hoping the brush of skin would wake him. A few years ago, I’d gently tap his arm or sweetly shake his side. “Sweetie, I think maybe you’re snoring.” Lately I’m resorting to full-on combat mode. A swift kick to the leg, a jab to the side, whatever it takes.

A couple of years ago when my youngest two were sharing a bedroom, I noticed that every morning I’d find my daughter sleeping in various places throughout the house. I thought she was just an early riser until one day she confessed that her brother snored. Et tu, Brute? He was having some other medical problems at the time and he ended up having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Now he’s a reformed snorer who only “breathes loudly” in his sleep occasionally.

K’s been to the doctor, too, and we’ve been told that a lot of his issues are due to allergies and sinus problems. I really try to be understanding, but I find that the closer to 3 a.m. it is, the more my sympathy wanes. What can I say? I enjoy sleeping!

So I poke, kick, prod, and on occasion, wear earplugs.  And pray that we never decide to do an extended family trip that involves everyone sleeping in one room.

Do any of you live with snorers? Do you snore? Any good “living with people who snore” tips you want to share?



Filed under Family Secrets

9 responses to “Family Secrets Revealed….#5: The One About the Stertorous Breathing

  1. Katherine

    Snoring…..Dad had a window shaking snore and in the summers we slept with windows open, bedroom doors open, attic fan running…..but still Dad would be what was heard over the evening birds and attic fan.
    I married a snorer and as I have aged, I have become a snorer. I too have to fall asleep before my husband or he keeps me up. There have been many mornings where he has sore spots from elbow jabs that he just doesn’t know from where they came.
    But in my family of 6 – all 4 children snore to some extent. The cat snores, and our indoor dog also snores. My oldest twin’s then GF (now fiance) had to stay on our pull out sofa 2 Christmas’s ago and she found it hilarious that we ALL snored.

  2. Gretchen

    Actually, I had a dream one night that a giant kitty was purring. In my twilight sleep, I dream walked all over the house ( we were living w/my gma & gpa at the time). I awoke disappointed b/c the purring kitty was my grandparents–in tandem, no less.

    Funny you should post this, b/c Big is having major anti-snore surgery on Monday. Pls pray for his recovery & that we might boot that c-pap to the curb someday.

  3. Oh…the blasted snoring. I’ve never resorted to sleeping in bathtubs, but there have been many a swift elbow jab to the ribs. I ain’t sceered to take down a grown man at middle-of-the-night-o’-thirty.

  4. I am soooo sorry, Whimzie. That’s the worst. My dad snores. And my uncle (not related by blood) is the loudest snorer EVER.

    My hubby snores too, but I can usually kick him awake and try to fall asleep before he’s back at it. Sometimes it takes many, many kicks.

    He swears I snore when I’m really tired. He’s probably right.

  5. I snore when I have sinus issues. As far as I’m aware, that’s the only time! My husband used to occasionally snore, but it’s getting worse and louder. It keeps me awake a lot lately. I wish I knew some tips! He wears breathe right strips and they helped for a bit, but he’s back to snoring again.

  6. Marie

    Your snoring stories reminded me of waking up on the first morning of a pilgrimage to Israel…with all (slight exxageration) of TelAviv looking down on me. My dad’s snoring was awful to say the least and so I pulled the cot out on the balcony for a night of peace and quiet. My mom was a little hesitant but i did it anyways. I was a freshman in college…I was extremely smart!! Anyways, my parents and I had arrived at the hotel late in the night and so I had no idea that we were strategically located at the bottom of a terraced hill of houses and winding roads full of locals looking down on me in my pj’s. I found that I could put up with the snoring after that.

  7. Chris

    Ok…I wish snoring was the only problem. Nothing will freak you out more than to walk into the bedroom to see the person you just married on her hands and knees, in the bed, rocking back and forth with her head banging against the wall! Not kidding at all…I wish I were. Apparently she’s done this most of her life and her family seemed to think this would be considered as normal behavior by anyone else because no one ever bothered to inform me of this (better yet, “warn” me) before we were married. Either that or her dad thought it might be a deal breaker and this was his last chance to get out from under the student loans. I promise you…there’s nothing much freakier than hearing a bumping noise on the other end of the house at midnight and following the noise to your bedroom and walk in to see this. Also … it never wakes her up! She doesn’t know until I tell her the next morning, and then she says “oh, yeah…sorry”…as if it was as normal as waking me up from her snoring. Got any tips for that? (btw…tried breathe right strips?)

  8. carpoolqueen

    Mr. CPQ peels paint. I, too, have given up the gentle reminders and now come just shy of homicide.

  9. Hanna, the “baby”, snores like nobody’s business. Ashley can’t stand for her to sleep with her because she keeps her up. So sorry for your sleep deprivedness due to snorers.

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