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Sleep Matters by Deb Herdman


“He snored so much I just snapped!”

This one thing sent me insane EVERY NIGHT! It was his snoring, and EVERY NIGHT was the same!

I’d be woken by my husband’s snoring. It was so loud, even the kids could hear it, which meant they had broken sleep too! I elbowed him, I poked him in the ribs, until he rolled over, I called out “For God’s Sake STOP SNORING”, I pinched his nose, I shook his arms, I tossed and turned and put my pillow over my ears.

I even slept with earplugs EVERY NIGHT and after years of that had chronic tenderness from earplug pressure. They didn’t work because I could still hear him but the snoring was worse without them.

If I did manage to get him to turn onto his side, it didn’t last for long.

Then one night I was desperate for sleep and put a pillow over his face and held it there. Now I wasn’t trying to kill him but I was desperate, exhausted, and needed the snoring to stop. THE VERY NEXT MORNING when I reminded him he was snoring yet again, I asked him did he know what I did. His answer…’ you put a pillow over my face’… He was NOT amused!

Snoring is the third leading cause of divorce in the USA

Snoring happens when the airway is narrowed as the tissue in the throat, soft palate (roof of the mouth at the back) and tongue relax as you enter a deeper sleep phase. The airflow then has a narrower passage and becomes more forceful. The result is the tissue vibrates causing that familiar snoring sound.

Around 70% of snorers suffer OSA – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Characteristically the snoring is loud and then silent as breathing stops or nearly stops. Increased carbon dioxide initiates the body’s desire to take a sudden breath which may accompany a loud snort, gasp, and awakening. This pattern can be repeated many times throughout the night and multiple times every hour.

Do you have OSA?

Some things which may alert you to the fact that you have obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, excessive sleepiness in the daytime, waking with a dry sore throat, chest pain, high blood pressure, and your partner reporting that you stop breathing for short periods.

What you can do about snoring…

If you are the snorer, losing weight can help as less fatty tissue around the neck eases pressure on the airway. Alcohol close to bedtime is best avoided as it relaxes muscles and can contribute to a floppy airway. Your mouth anatomy may show a large uvula – that triangular piece of tissue hanging from the centre of your throat and narrows the space in your throat. Blocked sinuses, allergy, and nasal deviation can all contribute, too. Family history of sleep apnoea is also a part of the diagnosis.

Sleep studies are the best way to find out if you have OSA and treatment via at-home CPAP may well be your answer to a good night’s sleep.

As for me, he didn’t have sleep apnea but I had insomnia from his snoring. What I didn’t know way back then, was that I was going to become a nurse sleep specialist. How I wish I had developed the nigh nigh sleepband. It would have drowned out his snores (or CPAP machine) and saved my sleep and my marriage!

Sweet Dreams!

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Picture of About the Author

About the Author

Deb Herdman is a certified sleep practitioner specializing in infant, child, teen, and adult insomnia and sleep rhythm disorders.


The 3 R's to Sleep Success

Follow these 3 Simple Steps to have your baby start sleeping better

The 3 R's to Sleep Success

Follow these 3 Simple Steps to have your baby or toddler sleeping better in less than a week.
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