The premise of the recently released movie, License To Wed (which I have not and will never pay money to see), is that it is important to know your partner very, very well when embarking upon a long-term relationship. For my own part, I thought I had done my research thoroughly. Imagine my surprise when, not too many months into cohabitation with my then-fiancé/now-husband, I uncovered a truth so foul: my guy snores.
It’s not just gentle snurffs and gurgles. It's full on, window-rattling, mattress-shaking, 'hear it over the television in another room' nose-roars. After some weeks of study, I discovered that, since I am a heavy sleeper, the snoring would not wake me up if I fell asleep first. Of course, that almost never happens because he falls asleep by 9:00 and I stay up ‘til after 11:00. I also have a tendency towards “intermittent delayed sleep insomnia” which means that occasionally I lie there, staring at the ceiling for hours, wishing I could fall asleep but instead getting more and more infuriated with the person sawing wood next to me.
Over the years, I’ve had to develop some survival strategies for sleeping in such a hostile environment. The simplest, of course, is the basic jab. The pillow thunder is often diminished if the snorer can be induced to sleep on his side. In order of escalation, a quick jab with index finger, elbow, or knuckle (the last being particularly effective when applied in the middle of the back) can usually get him to turn over. A kick to the calf or ankle is an advanced option, being sure to make contact with the ball of the foot only as jammed toes will not help the situation at all.
The next thing I tried, since pointy physical contact was not doing the trick, was to employ props. I bought an “anti-snoring” pillow made of firm foam, curved to support the head and neck in a snore-reducing position. Some people have had good luck with that sort of pillow. Not us, not at all. I then moved on to earplugs (the foam kind you roll and squish into shape), more earplugs (a more expensive squishy foam kind), and finally a third set of earplugs that have lasted me for some time now (brand name AOSafety, which I first successfully used at the F1 Grand Prix in Indianapolis in 2000).