Sleep Depravation

The bane of my existence, a mouth breather…

Our daughter will be married this year. My husband and I looked at this departure with empty nest sadness, but also anticipation. Contrary to my husbands thinking, my anticipation had nothing to do with the ability to run around the house naked (sorry dear).

Along with gaining a son-in-law, we’d regain a room in our house. The bedroom was small, but I had big plans for the reclaimed space. Morning Mist would rise from the walls. The trim work would sport Gossamer Glaze, a cheery departure from the red and black walls of teen angst.

I’d situate a comfy chair next to a book case, add a small desk to my new home office, and be able to actually eat in the dining room. That was the plan.

I loved my husband, loved sharing a bed, but some nights it was impossible to sleep with him. Reality had me impersonating Medusa. One look at me, and I’d turn you to stone. Not only did I look like hell, but I also had the temperament of hydrochloric acid. If I could stuff a sock in my husband’s mouth without suffocating him, I would’ve bought a desk.

My husband’s snores used to be cured with a slight poke causing him to turn on his side. Now, I could probably punch him in the arm and knock him off the bed without a skip in the noise. His snores rumbled loud enough to cause vibrations which could be picked up on a seismograph.

To keep us a cuddling couple, I tried earplugs and putting a pillow over my head. I wouldn’t be able to hear the smoke alarm go off, but I could still hear my husband’s snores.

The problem was with my husband’s mouth. When he used it to breath instead of his nose, all manner of sounds came out along with breath. I’d thought to bind his head and chin with a kerchief like the ghost of Jacob Marley in a Christmas Carol. But I feared the hideous noise, guaranteed to wake the dead, if the cloth binding failed. And my husband wouldn’t let me do it.

The real problem with my sleep depravation was the husband’s unwillingness to address his snoring with a doctor. My husband imagined himself wearing a mask and hooked up to a machine to sleep. He’d said, “I’m a carpenter by trade not a scuba diver, forget it.” Maybe he’s right. The machine might be louder than his snores, but I doubt it.

I offered that the solution might be as simple as the doctor yanking something out of his sinus cavity. There’d be no need for a mask. He didn’t care for that option either.

If my husband’s snoring began on the couch, I left him there. My daughter gave me a half an hour head start on sleep before she woke her dad to go to bed. Some nights this worked unless my bladder betrayed me. Then I tried to fall back to sleep during the blitzkrieg.

Blitzkrieg means “lightening war.” During WWII, this lightening military force was based around tanks and supported by planes and infantry. In his diary, a French soldier commented, “When the dive-bombers come down, the French stood it for two hours and then ran with their hands over their ears.” I heard you buddy, but the French were way more tolerant than me. I could barely stand ten minutes.

When our daughter moved out, my sleep depended on two options.

1) The dog not waking my husband when she jumped up on the couch to sleep with him. (She was born on a farm and was used to hearing ruminating animals such as cows chewing cud.)

2) Never getting up to pee in the middle of the night. (Yeah, right.)

I purchased sheets, a blanket, and a cheerful comforter for the soon to be vacant spare room. My husband and I could cuddle over dinner in front of the TV, naked if we wanted.

I really need a good night’s sleep.

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