A few weeks ago, we shared a link from Reddit’s AmITheA**hole subreddit about a woman wanting to know if she was in the wrong for snapping at her husband over her snoring. While that post was somewhere between annoying and funny, this one is pretty heartbreaking.
In this post, the redditor in question, u/povao, wants to know if she’s in the wrong for sleeping in a different room than her husband due to his chronic snoring. Reading between the lines, you can tell she would really prefer to sleep in the same room as her husband. But her own health is suffering. She was hospitalized before Christmas, and she has multiple sclerosis and is on disability. And as they have two children, she needs to be firing on all cylinders as much as possible.
So when asked by OP to see a doctor to seek treatment, how does the husband respond? He sidesteps the question, promises to call a doctor but never does, and generally just doesn’t want to deal with the issue.
Well, while he might not want to deal with the problem, OP has been dealing with it every…single…day for the last few years. And as a mother and one suffering from chronic pain, she’s just had enough of being woken up multiple times every night when her husband starts doubling as a chainsaw.
As you might imagine, redditors are piling on the husband in the comment thread, confirming almost in unison that OP is not in the wrong. But as a clinic that specializes in treating obstructive sleep apnea, here’s what we would say to the husband.
It’s a generally accepted principle of life that your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. It would be one thing if you were the only one negatively impacted by your particular case of sleep apnea. But you are not. Your wife is also suffering badly due to your chronic snoring. And indirectly, so are your children.
Look, obstructive sleep apnea is really unpleasant. (There’s a reason Dr. Krish left a career in dentistry to specialize in treating it.) But you are responsible for your own health. And given that this particular condition is depriving your wife of fifteen years – who says this is one of the biggest issues she’s faced in your marriage – of a good night’s sleep, it lands on you to find suitable treatment.
Source: AITA for not wanting to sleep in the same bed as my husband? (Reddit)
Reddit aficionados may know something of r/AmITheA**hole, a subreddit where users can go and get feedback as whether they were in the wrong in a particular disagreement or argument. Last week, a redditor asked if she was off base for telling her husband not to wake her up…because of her snoring.
She made it clear that she dislikes being woken up, even if she’s snoring. She went so far as to disclose that she has informed him, repeatedly over the years, that she does not want him to wake her up because she won’t be able to get back to sleep. And then there was this showstopper:
I do not want to sleep separately all the time just because of it, but he is welcome to go sleep on the couch if he wakes up because of my snoring (probably AH-ish on my part).
Sleeping on the couch for thee, but not for me? Wow. Just wow.
As you might imagine, redditors had a field day with this post. Here are a few of the sparklier gems from the comment thread:
So you waking him up by snoring is ok though? I think YTA
So it’s an issue and you snap when he wakes you up because you snore but it’s 100% ok to wake him up because…you…snore?
How is that fair OP? You know you snore but your husband has to be punished more?
Oh, the entitlement here. Synopsis: I can snore and do nothing about it, even thou it’s a huge sign that something is wrong with my breathing, but it’s not okay for my husband to wake me up to reset my issue, even though I can wake wake him up endlessly. YTA, duh.
If he is waking you up because you are snoring then you are missing the fact that you woke him up first with your snoring. So, to turn your argument on its head he has every right to wake you up because he can’t sleep with you snoring.
You need to talk to your doctor about you snoring. You could have sleep apnea or some other underlying condition that could be treated (maybe your adenoids need to come out). Also apologize to your husband for waking him up because you snore.
Nobody wants to spend their entire adult life *not* getting a good nights sleep because their partner snores so much, and then being told they’re an a**hole when they try to address it. Have you considered that your husband is trying to cause you some discomfort in order to incentivize you to solve the problem? You say it’s been years that this has been an issue so to me that sounds like he’s tried to address it the “mature” way, and you just aren’t doing anything about it so at this point, what else is he supposed to do?
Fortunately, several other redditors chimed in with the suggestion that the woman who posted (“original poster,” or OP in Reddit slang) is suffering from sleep apnea and could probably benefit from a sleep study. Hopefully she seeks treatment soon so that she – and her husband – can get back to a good night’s sleep.
There’s a popular saying: “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.” If your partner is suffering from chronic snoring due to obstructive sleep apnea, you suffer from it too on some level, as it impacts you as well as them. So what do you do if your partner’s snoring is reducing your quality of sleep?
In our first blog post in this series, we discussed short-term fixes to address snoring, but as we stated in that blog post, those address the symptoms, but they don’t represent a cure. In our second blog post, we suggested some ways to encourage your partner to remain on their side throughout the night to help reduce the odds of snoring. Again, this can help quite a bit, but it’s not a long-range answer to the underlying problem.
So what are some specific things you can do to address the underlying issues related to chronic snoring?
- Encourage your partner to maintain a healthy weight. Overweight individuals often have excess fatty tissue in the neck, which can partially obstruct their airway and cause snoring. Encouraging a healthy diet and regular exercise may help with weight management and reduce snoring.
- If your partner smokes, encourage them to quit. Smoking can irritate and inflame the airway, leading to snoring. Quitting smoking may help reduce the frequency and severity of their snoring.
- Get specialized treatment to address the underlying cause of your partner’s sleep apnea.
Treatments for Snoring: Your Partner’s Options
Generally speaking, sleep apnea occurs due to the airway becoming blocked or restricted while your partner is asleep. In many cases, it’s because the tissue of the soft palate is loose enough that it drops in front of the airway, constricting your partners breathing and causing them to snore.
To address the challenge of your partner’s airway being obstructed by the soft palate, Dr. Krish offers the NightLase laser treatment for snoring. A gentle laser tightens the tissues of the soft palate to raise it up and out of the way. It’s fast, noninvasive, and produces immediate results.
In many cases, individuals have a naturally constricted airway due to an oral cavity that is too narrow. In response, Dr. Krish can fit your partner with a custom oral appliance. Used in conjunction with myofunctional therapy, the interior of your partner’s mouth can be reshaped over time, opening the oral cavity and creating an open airway. It doesn’t merely address the symptoms: this is a complete cure from snoring.
In conclusion, there are several steps you can take to help reduce or eliminate your partner’s snoring. Encouraging healthy habits and seeking medical treatment for underlying conditions can make a significant difference in reducing snoring.
In our last blog post, we discussed some short-term fixes to address snoring. One of the quickest can be to get your partner to sleep on their sides, but that can be far easier said than done. Even if they start out sleeping on their sides, they can roll on their back in their sleep without realizing it. But there are some things you can do to encourage them to stay on their sides.
- Use a body pillow. Encourage your partner to use a body pillow to keep them in a comfortable side-sleeping position. The pillow will physically block them from rolling onto their back.
- Sew a tennis ball into the back of his pajama top. This technique can be effective, as the discomfort of the tennis ball can discourage them from rolling onto their back in their sleep.
- Try a special pillow: There are specially designed pillows that can prevent them from rolling onto their back. Some have curved shapes that support side sleeping, or others have straps that keep the person in a specific position.
- Adjust the bed: If your bed is too soft, your partner may sink into it and roll onto their back. Consider getting a firmer mattress or adding a mattress topper to provide more support for side sleeping.
None of these are long-term fixes for OSA, but they can help your partner reduce the odds of severe snoring in the night.
Coming up in part 3: long-term fixes that you and your partner might consider.
Snoring can be a major problem, for both the person snoring and their partner. But if your sleep is being constantly disrupted by your partner’s obstructive sleep apnea, you don’t have time for long-range treatments to kick in – you need to get the symptoms under control.
If your partner is a snorer, here are some immediate steps you can take to help reduce their snoring.
- Get them to sleep on their side instead of their back. When people sleep on their back, gravity becomes the enemy: the tongue and soft palate can fall to the back of the throat and partially block the airway, leading to snoring. Sleeping on their side can help keep the airway open and reduce the odds that snoring will occur.
- If your partner is a back sleeper and no amount of convincing will get them to sleep on their side, try to see if they’re willing to sleep on an incline. This might help the tissues of the soft palate to not completely close off the airway. It’s not as effective as side sleeping for stopping snoring, but it’s something of an upgrade.
- Encourage them not to drink too close to bedtime. Alcohol consumption before going to bed can also contribute to snoring. Avoiding alcohol in the evenings may help reduce the frequency and severity of their snoring.
- If you live in a particularly dry area, consider using a humidifier. Dry air can cause nasal dryness, which can lead to snoring. Keeping the air moist can help reduce nasal congestion and reduce the chances that snoring will occur.
- Try to get them to use a thinner pillow. Sleeping on a thick pillow can elevate the head and partially block the airway, leading to snoring.
Encouraging them to use a thinner pillow may help reduce their snoring.
There are several other long-range steps that you can take to permanently address snoring, but taking these steps can help contribute to reducing the symptoms so that you and your loved one can get better sleep at night.