The Quest For A Good Night’s Sleep

snoreMy husband snores. Badly. Eruptive, thundering refrains that torment me throughout the night. Worse are the periods of silence, during which he stops breathing, followed by violent, gasping-for-air inhalations that startle me awake – if I’m able to fall asleep in the first place – and have me fearing for his life.

Then there’s the matter of our mattress. It’s the absolute pits, as in it belongs in a pit. We’ve never had good luck with mattresses. Once we slept on the most comfortable mattress for two nights at an inn, bought the exact model, and that’s the one we currently own. We went so far as to have a mattress custom made once, and even that turned out awful.

Between these two things, I’m in the midst of a sleep crisis. Constant exhaustion. Eyes with perpetual dark circles under them. I’d go so far as to say that I feel like a zombie, but I’m pretty sure zombies don’t feel things, like aching shoulders, sore backs, and stiff necks.

This is no way to live. I love my husband, but enough is enough. And that mattress has to go. At my age, I need beauty sleep more than ever.

My husband’s sleep apnea was diagnosed when he spent the night at a sleep clinic. They recommended a CPAP, but he tore it off, claimed it made him feel like he was suffocating. He left the clinic and never looked back, and so his snoring continues. It is ruining our health, our quality of life, and our sofa. Most nights, he starts off in our bed, but after being elbowed several times by moi, listening to my grumbles of, “Will you shut the hell up?” and outright, “Please go sleep on the sofa”, he usually heads downstairs.

Part of me feels sorry for this, but mostly I’m too relieved he’s gone to care.

Then there’s the mattress. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I had it to myself and still woke up tired and sore. We have attempted some mattress shopping recently, but with so many choices, how does one decide? Yesterday, it seemed we’d found the perfect solution; two extra-long twin gel foam mattresses (pushed together to look like a king-sized bed) with separate adjustable frames that can be fitted to our individual bodies. The salesman suggested that being able to raise his upper body might help my husband snore less.

The mattress felt comfy and I almost fell asleep right there in the store while testing it out. Not wanting to rush into a purchase, however, we thanked the brilliant salesman and went home to do our research. The mattress reviews were mostly positive, but the adjustable bed frame reviews were bad.

Other models with rave reviews cost up to three times more. While a good night’s sleep is priceless, and I’d be glad to invest in a high quality adjustable bed frame if it means a great night’s sleep, past experience has taught me there are no guarantees – in life, in mattresses, or in my husband not snoring if we purchase a new bed.

So what to do?

I’m considering separate bedrooms (gasp!). Most articles say it can be good for a marriage because both spouses are sleeping well and have their own space. Even sex can be better because you have more energy and it’s kind of fun going off into one bedroom or the other. More couples want to do it, but are worried about the stigma. One lone article said that sleeping separately is awful for a marriage and a sign of poor communication. Does the author not realize that when you’re chronically exhausted, communication is whittled down to grunts?

Something’s got to give. We both need sleep. I’m thinking of taking a chance and getting the twin mattresses and adjustable frames, despite the reviews. Maybe we can also do separate bedrooms on weeknights, when having to function at work the next day is critical, and sleep together on weekends. Kind of like a slumber party, only better.

But I worry, will we be setting a poor example for our children? Will they think we don’t love each other anymore? Will we grow apart? Do I even care about all this as long as I’m getting a good night’s sleep?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on snoring, mattresses, and spouses sleeping apart!

33 thoughts on “The Quest For A Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Of course you know (but he may not really realize) that sleep apnea is pretty serious. If he had truly been diagnosed with it and is ignoring it, he may really suffer down the road in the long run. Not getting enough Oxygen to his brain, night after night and stopping breathing is very, very bad. Oxygen is the key to life after all. I used to tell my patients on the ambulance that it was our most powerful drug. It may be uncomfortable for a while, but he will find after a bit, he will feel a lot better over time. I would really encourage him to use it. Look up google reports on sleep apnea and the long term effects. As for not sleeping together: you also know how a good nights sleep is critical to our well being. I haven’t slept well for like 40 years. It sucks. I have pets that bother me, most likely septal deviation that makes breathing difficult and a totally light sleeper. Add to that 20 years of a job where I was woken up at all hours of the night…well, I have never had good sleep habits. I do everything I can now to minimize my sleep discomfort: dark room, noise machines, nasal strips, the least amount of pets in the room as possible, melatonin some nights etc. If sleeping separately, even some nights would help, I say go for it! Just explain to your kids why…kids are smart and understanding. Do they share a room? If not, then say that Mom and Dad need to not share their room for the same reason, they need some privacy while sleeping too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry you’re sleeping so poorly, too. It’s truly awful being exhausted all the time and waking up in the morning unrested. I and my mother who is a nurse and many others have pleaded with him to use the CPAP for all the reasons you state and he still refuses. Just like he won’t lose the 20 pounds the doctor wants him to lose, and all he has to do is stop with the ice cream and soda and it comes off! He isn’t making his health a priority and I’m tired (literally) of also having to pay the price.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Tough situation, Kim. I know people who wear the CPAP and others who have tried it and have difficulty with it but they at least tried. They have improved the mask and there are other alternatives….appliances and surgery, but if he refuses to acknowledge it, that’s a very different story.
    As for mattresses, that’s a very personal thing. We got a temperpedic a few years ago and I like it but it does take some getting used to and it’s not cheap. But it’s not for everyone. Different strokes/ different folks..:)
    Eventually he may have to choose the CPAP or you in bed with him. The kids will understand if it’s a health issue.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi George, you’re right mattresses are personal. That’s why it’s tough to ask for recommendations because one person’s bliss can be another’s stiff back lol. Yes, my hubby is driving us both crazy with his stubborn refusal to even give the CPAP a try simply based on one time at the sleep clinic. I keep telling him how wonderful he’d feel with a good night’s sleep under his belt. Must have been traumatic or something wearing the CPAP. Thanks, George.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bun, I’ve tried ear plugs but they always end up falling out. I wonder are there brands that work better than others. I’ve been known to snore, too, but usually it’s limited to pregnancy and fortunately I won’t be doing that anymore 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • Once I went to get a hearing test and they put these little things over my ears that looked like mini-shower caps (like you put over your hair to keep in dry when you shower – so that the earphones weren’t directly touching my ears). I can’t sew at all, but I tried to get my friend who quilts to make a pair and put some cotton in the liner (for sound proofing) for us to test out as a new invention “ear caps” instead of ear plugs. She thought the idea was dumb 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Bun, forgive my delayed reply. I was taking a blog break that lasted longer than expected. I don’t know if it worked because my friend who can sew and quilt didn’t seem game for experimenting with the design. Total bummer. I suppose I could learn to sew.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I live on my own, Kim, and have done so for several years, so don’t have to suffer this quite common complaint. About four years ago I had to share a bedroom with a relative and it was almost impossible to sleep due to their snoring — it was the worst night I’d had, pretty much ever, sleep-wise, in fact. What I found really difficult was my anticipating when the next roll of thunder would occur, because it was irregular, and yet I knew it was coming at some point. Horrendous! In your unenviable position, I personally wouldn’t hesitate in occupying a separate room; at least until a remedy was found, and which latter surely must be possible. I too have heard that weight loss is a tremendous help, so maybe that’s your leverage in the situation — until hubby loses 20lbs. then you’re away (or he’s away) in the spare room?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hariod, you described this so well insofar as anticipating the next roll of thunder (love that phrase). I, too, find that when we go to sleep at the same time, and he’s not yet snoring, I lay there waiting for it to begin and so can’t relax. It used to be that as long as I fell asleep before him, there was no problem. But lately his snoring is so bad that he literally startles me awake from a sound sleep with the eruptions. That had never happened until recently. It could be that things are preventing me from sleeping as deeply as I used to, as well. I don’t seem to be able to relax like I used to. Ah, well, life could be far worse. I guess if this is one of my biggest problems, I don’t have much to complain about, especially since it’s totally resolvable with separate rooms.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, boy can I relate to this one! My husband snores horribly as well, has periods when he seems to stop breathing, and just to keep things interesting, also jerks and thrashes randomly throughout the night. I made him go to a sleep clinic, and they said he had not problems! I asked him how much he bribed them to say that, but he swears he took the test and the results were negative. All I can think of is he never fell deeply asleep at the clinic, because he said they had him hooked up to all kinds of stuff and it was hard to sleep.
    For the snoring, we keep a very noisy box fan right next to my side of the bed, turned on high. (We travel with it, and when we fly somewhere, our first stop is a hardware store to buy a fan.) But when he snores so loudly or thrashes so badly that I still can’t sleep, I usually request that he head off to our spare bedroom. We start out the night together, but half the time, he ends up in another bed before the night is over.
    Given your sleep deprivation, I see nothing wrong with separate rooms! You can still get together when you want to (when did sleeping and sex become the same thing?), and just tell the kids the truth. I have a good friend who says she and her husband have separate rooms now, and they couldn’t be happier. Their marriage is still strong, and both look remarkably well rested.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ann, I’m so sorry about your husband’s snoring and thrashing, but I have to admit that I was cracking up reading your comments. I can’t believe they said he didn’t have apnea! Though I suppose if he didn’t stop breathing technically that’s not apnea then. We had a box fan, but now our nine year old has it in his room (which is next to ours) because he said he couldn’t sleep due to the noise from downstairs after he goes to bed (TV and talking I guess). And you’re correct, sex and sleep are two different things. I have to admit, though, that as relieved as I feel when he leaves the room and I don’t have to listen to it, I do feel a little lonely without him. I wish I could better understand his resistance to trying the mask again or losing weight, but ultimately it’s his decision to never feel rested and I see no reason for us both to suffer over his choice. Thanks for sharing your friends’ situation, Ann. It helps to know I’m not the only one considering (or doing) it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I honestly believe that every couple has to do what is right for them. And I know what you mean about missing him when he’s not in your bed. There are times when I just want him next to me, and then there are also times when (after he’s woken me up for the twelfth time that night) when I want him the hell out of my bed! Flexibility is the key, I think.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing this with me (and for stopping by and commenting!). I’m glad you’re both sleeping well. Sleep is so vital to our well-being in many ways. It’s funny, but my husband’s really bad snoring started this year (or within the past six months or so) too. Actually, he was in a freak accident when a tree fell on his truck and at first I thought it was the meds for the concussion causing it, but he’s not on them anymore and he’s still snoring badly. I had forgotten about this until now, so thanks for helping me to remember. I think I’ll mention it to him.


  5. I feel for you Kim. My husband snores too. He’s been away interstate on business for weeks and quite honestly it’s probably the best I’ve slept in years. No tossing, no sounds like a steam train coming through. I would seriously consider separate bedrooms if you’re able to. I’m sure the kids will understand once you explain the situation. I hope he manages to lose that weight too, it might make all the difference in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Miriam, I’m so glad you’ve been sleeping well. What a gift! As for the weight, he’s obviously not too concerned because otherwise he would. If we want something bad enough, we find a way to make it happen. I guess I should apply this principle to my quest for a good night’s sleep. With that said, I love him just the way he is, whether he has the 20 pounds on or not, but for his health’s (and the snoring) sake, I wish he’d lose it. Keep enjoying the sleep while you can, though I’m sure you miss your hubby 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m hearing you Kim. We can’t make these men of ours do something they don’t want to do. Can’t be easy for you though. I know if I’m sleep deprived for a long time (and I’ve been there) it affects everything. Hope you can work through this. xo

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kathrin. I think I just have to let go of feeling like something is wrong or bad if we sleep separately, especially given he won’t do anything about the problem. On the bright side, the mattress issue can be solved and we have a spare room!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, my god, I completely feel for you! My husband and I dealt with this for YEARS. I’ll tell you what finally worked for us. (Btw, we did get him tested for apnea, and he does NOT have it.) He started wearing Breathe Right nose strips. They are so helpful, I can’t even tell you. Even the strips on their own almost completely eliminated the problem.

    Also, though, he lost 30 pounds. It was a battle, because he was in denial about his weight for years. He always got mad at me for kicking him out of bed when the snoring was so bad, but if I suggested he lose weight (as so many websites and doctors do…), he would immediately get defensive. But eventually he kind of just owned it, started eating differently and exercising regularly, and dropped 20 pounds in three months. No joke.

    I’m sending you hugs, because I know how hard this situation can be. Good luck finding a solution that works for both of you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your reply! Please forgive my own delayed reply. I was taking a blog break! He tried Breath Right strips to no avail! It is the weight. I understand the defensiveness. I have explained that I love him no matter what his size, but truly losing 25 or 30 pounds would be best for everyone! I’m so glad your husband chose to take care of his health. Despite his initial resistance, I’ll bet he is feeling really good physically and in all ways. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope your husband will give a workout and achieve the results! Not only to change the figure, but also in order to maintain a strong family relationship! Such a problem is very settled, I hope you will be able to overcome it!

    Liked by 1 person

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