The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Perhaps

The moment I first saw the commercial I loved it.  It was a Zen moment because I realized I don’t have to look at this to relate; I’ve lived it.  What’s more, the fact that it even aired means that maybe now the topic isn’t as taboo as it used to be, perhaps?  I mean, it’s not every day that you broach the topic of snoring with horrendous sounds coming out of a pretty woman’s mouth.  We are truly becoming enlightened.

Like I said though, I’ve lived it; along with I’m of a mind, more than a few other men out there. The Mayo Clinic estimates that as many as half of all adults snore at one time or another.  They define snoring as harsh or hoarse sounds occurring when breathing is partially obstructed during sleep.  This happens as air flows past relaxed tissues in the throat causing them to vibrate.  The Clinic suggests that lifestyle changes, avoiding alcohol at bedtime or sleeping on your side can alleviate the problem.

Now, all that’s well and good; except that there’s little mention of the propensity this sleep disorder descends into the more genteel gender.  Because that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?  You just don’t expect such things from the opposite sex.  It’s ironically funny.

Imagine if you will, you’re in that in-between nether world of wakefulness, just about to drift off.  Your wife or mate is next to you in the bed, on her side, facing you.  The two of you snuggle closer, an idyllic scene of couple’s bliss.  You’re lying there soaking in the moment when suddenly, Bam! she lets loose with a sound uncharacteristic for the body it’s emanating from.

It’s funny because it’ll startle you-I know I was the first time-and at the same time you’ll marvel at the range of reverberations coming from one so pretty. Personally, I happen to think that there’s a direct correlation between the size and attractiveness of a woman and the vast assortment of tones she’s able to level at you.  The smaller and prettier she is, God help you.

Snorting Famous Folk

And that’s ironic, too.  When you look at famous people who history says had the sleep disorder, many if not all were overweight or with other ailments.  Most were men although they say Queen Victoria had the issue as her weight increased with her age.  It’s said that her handmaidens were instructed to jostle her, “move her pillows”, so she didn’t fall asleep in public and snore.  Beautiful people, not so much.

Stars That Honk

It’s not all fun and games though, right?  Beneath the levity should lurk legitimate concern.  The biggest issue with snoring is that it’s a symptom of the more serious condition Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA.  The symptoms of OSA are numerous and include making noise during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, morning headaches, sore throat, restless sleep, gasping or choking at night, high blood pressure, chest pains at night, loud snoring and waking up choking or gasping at night.

A very dangerous condition, the breathing of a person with OSA may stop or slow at least five times a night during every hour of sleep.  Troublesome complications include excessive frustration and anger, poor concentration, risk of onset high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease and increased occurrence of motor vehicle accidents due to lack of sleep.  And on the emotional front, it often comes own to either seeing a doctor or sleeping in separate beds.

Speaking of which, an article published in the New York Times laid out some interesting numbers concerning that particular phenomenon.

Nearly one in four American couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds, the National Sleep Foundation reported in a 2005 survey. Recent studies in England and Japan have found similar results. And the National Association of Home Builders says it expects 60 percent of custom homes to have dual master bedrooms by 2015.” – Married, but Sleeping Alone; Bruce Feiler, July 23, 2010.

Hmmm, I can see that.  It gives a sense of adventure, a taste of the hunt to the whole evening; it’s sexy.  But when it becomes a strategy for a good night’s sleep, it’s an open door to a troubled relationship.  Match.com offers some suggestions for such circumstance.  Beeswax earplugs?  Hey, if it gets that bad, why not?  Or you can do what I do when I feel a boundary’s been stretched because of her snoring and my annoyance.

I grovel, of course.  Seriously, I apologize.  Matter of fact, how I got on this topic was via an apology.  I apologize for telling her to turn over multiple times in the night; I know how I am when I’m sleepy.  I let her know that no matter how bad it gets-and sometimes it can get pretty damn bad I’m telling you-I always want her next to me.  See, I’m taking my own steps to keep love alive although there are times when that suggested white noise machine sounds really, really promising.

The National Sleep Foundation – Women and Sleep Apnea

The National Sleep Foundation – Sleep Disorders

 

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Filed under Health & Welfare, Love and Relationships, Love and Sex

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