Friday, May 2, 2014

A Snore Subject

Every night, two or three times a night, I wake JT up using a variety of techniques. I clear my voice. I sigh dramatically. I whack him with a pillow then roll over super fast so he assumes it wasn't me (logic! I use it.)

Every time he wakes up, he asks the same question. “What?”

The answer is ALWAYS the same. It’s not as if my response will vary along the likes of, “Oh, I just thought 3:36 a.m. was a good time to talk about what color you’d like to paint the bathroom,” or “Hey, I’ve been wondering, what do you think Crystal Gayle is up to these days?” It’s the same every time. I’m waking him up because he’s woken me up. And he needs to shut the eff up.

JT snores. I know he has no control over it. I’m very aware of that fact, as he reiterates it to me each and every time I wake him up.

But when it’s 7:25 a.m. and my alarm is set to go off any minute, the last thing I want to do is spend my final precious moments of allowed sleep time awake, angry and imagining what my new duvet will look like once I finally convert my office into a separate bedroom. The near alarm-time wakeups are the worst, but the middle-of-the-night episodes aren’t much better. I end up playing the, “If I fall asleep NOW I’ll get 3 hours and 17 minutes of sleep…...OK, two hours and 12 minutes… 27 minutes….DAMMIT” game all night, with JT’s log-sawing providing the soundtrack to my descent into madness.

Yes, I know one of us can go to another room to sleep, and trust me, we both have. The couch in our living room is perfectly comfortable and works fine on nights when I just can’t take it any more. However, JT travels a lot so when he’s home, I actually want to sleep in the same bed as him. I like falling asleep next to him, and I like when we wake up together (sans snoring, of course). I don’t think I’m quite ready for separate living quarters just six months into my marriage. Save that for at least year two, amiright? 

We’ve tried Breathe Right strips to no avail. They don’t do much other than leave his nose all red and blotchy in the morning. And his snoring is not quite at Scary Sleeping Face Mask Thingie level. Truth be told, his snores aren’t really that bad and probably wouldn’t be a big deal for any normal person to deal with. But, as I think I’ve clearly established here, my level of neurosis bypassed “normal” years ago.

In my defense, JT’s snoring is no mere repetition of loud breathing or even a faint nasal rumbling - something one could get used to and block out as ambient noise after a certain amount of time. No, JT’s snores are far more theatrical than that. They have the element of surprise. 

The sounds he emits each night are rarely something expected, nor do they stay consistent from one inhale to the next. One moment I will be sound asleep, the next, his ca-ca-ca-ca-CACACACCA Jackhammer Snore rips me awake, full of fear that my bedroom is being demolished. I’ll calm my racing heart with a few deep breaths and brace for the next one, when a stretch of silence will encourage me to hover over JT to make sure he’s breathing. This is when he occasionally pulls the old switcheroo from Jackhammer to what I like to call “Pa!” so named as it involves him sucking in a huge gush of air, holding it in until his cheeks pufferfish, then spitting it out in one explosive, “PAHHH!!” There’s the Single Snort. The Whistling Boogie. The Abrupt Exhale. All night long, I never know what to expect. I can never acclimate. I can never prepare. It’s like sleeping in The Hunger Games.

I will admit that I have, on RARE occasions, been faulted for the same offense. If I’ve had one too many glasses of wine or my sinus are being especially bull-shitty that day, I can snore EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE. But when I do, at least it’s just normal snoring, not this evil game of Guess Your Own Torture.

I’d been trying everything I could think of to cancel out the noise, until I realized blocking JT out has its own side effects. A few nights ago, I woke to the sound of him sawing away. It was a new snore featuring a series of short gasps and a longer exhale, as if he was practicing Lamaze. I kept my eye mask firmly in place and started to play my go-to snore situation game - pick an actress and think of every movie she’s ever made ever. Sometimes this distraction is enough for me to turn my focus away from the snoring and fall back to sleep. I was combing through my recollection of Sandra Bullock pics, but before I could get passed “Gravity,” I realized JT was not actually snoring. He was shaking.

“Babe!” I exclaimed, and reached out to touch his clammy skin. “I think you have a fever!”

“I c-c-c-can’t stop sh-sh-shaking,” he said, eyes still clenched tight.

I bundled up him up the best I could, then ran to the kitchen for some water. He took a few sips, lurched out of bed, leapt into the bathroom and proceeded to yak up everything he’d eaten in at least a week and a half. OK, probably not really, but he was in there for a while and the soundtrack was NOT PLEASANT. When he finally emerged, looking pale but at least not shaking, he climbed back into bed and within a few minutes was sleeping peacefully.

The next morning, I called my nurse mom, who identified his ailment as textbook food poisoning. I felt so guilty about not realizing right away my hubs was so sick and even more so about how initially annoyed I’d been.

Suggestions welcome. For now, seeing as how I’ve done nothing but bitch about JT for 1,000-plus words, I’ve decided to let him have his say on the whole snoring thing. (Watch how he magically makes it all my fault. It’s impressive). My comments (a.k.a. the truth) are in bold:

Yes, I snore. Everyone does occasionally. I try to do as much as possible to not disturb her with something that that I can't control. (Aha! Once again, we're going with the Not My Fault defense. Wise).

I usually go to bed after her. This means she gets some guaranteed sleep AND I just might have to settle into a bed occupied by the sound of a lawn mower. Yes, she snores, too. But when it comes to waking her up to tell her about it, bad idea. Have you ever seen a peaceful person morph into a rabid badger? Do you want to? Then wake up a sleeping Rachel. (You want to see that right now? DO YOU?)

I, however, am easy to wake up, and I go back to sleep peacefully. I’m not a fan of facing anyone who is in a bed with me (LOL! “ANYONE WHO IS IN BED WITH ME.” Hey JT – give me your girlfriends’ numbers so we can make fun of you behind your back, mmk?) so I always end up facing the edge of the bed with my back to her, rendering it impossible for me to be snoring right in her face, UNLESS she wanted to cuddle (So…never). I prefer to stick to my side of the bed and will talk to you in the morning.

All I know is this: I sleep well until she wakes me up with these tales of snoring. I guess it’s all practice if we ever have kids and our child keeps waking us up because of the monster under the bed. I just have to say, “What? It’s not real. Go to back to sleep.” (Best future dad ever.)

Question: If I snore in the forest and only Rachel heard it, did I really snore?

(Answer: YES. And why are you sleeping in the forest? Oh right, because I’ve kicked you out because of ALL THE DAMN SNORING.)


Love you!

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