‘On The Couch’ With Jasminda


Dear Jasminda,

My husband snores. He snores every night, but he snores less when he is on his side. The problem is, when I wake him to tell him to roll on his side, he gets annoyed that I have woken him up. What is the solution?

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Mrs WK, Shoal Bay

Dear Mrs WK,

This is one of those dilemmas that creates incredible angst. If left unchecked it can bubble over into outright hostility that extends into waking hours. No one likes to have their sleep disrupted and snoring is a particularly irritating issue.

First of all, you should check that it is not a medical issue. My husband used to snore like a chainsaw, but he had a deviated septum (that’s an issue with the nose, not some weird perversion). Once he had surgery, it improved dramatically.

If there is no medical reason, you can sometimes put it down to intoxication. Both men and women seem to snore if they’ve been on the turps, so there’s a good reason to pace yourself.

I’ve found a gentle nudge helps, or, if that doesn’t work, a soft pillow. Just place it gently over his face and say a few encouraging words. You know, something like, ‘If you don’t stop snoring, for the love of God, I’m going to suffocate you . . . ‘ No, no, sorry, Mrs WK, I don’t know what came over me then. Do not do that. No matter how sleep deprived you are, violence is never the answer. That advice could get us both in a lot of trouble. There is more than a little irony in the fact he gets annoyed that you have disturbed his sleep. A surreptitious recording of his nasal symphony might wake him up to just how frustrating it is to endure the noise.

How about noise cancelling headphones? Earplugs? The spare room? There are many options available. I sincerely hope things improve soon.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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