Sleep is my religion, but it's not his.
February 6, 2015 9:40 AM   Subscribe

My husband snores loudly (85db peaks). I'm a light sleeper, and have general anxiety and PTSD issues that are exacerbated by lack of sleep. I can't sacrifice my mental health to the snoring! I'm perfectly happy sleeping in another room, and this was part of the deal when we got married. Now he's really upset about it. I don't need solutions for the snoring, just for the anger and upset it's causing in our home.

We've been married about 5 years, and for good stretches he doesn't snore at all. Once he gains weight up to a certain level or gets congested, the snoring comes on. The snoring is not normal snoring. The inhaling part of the snoring is as loud (45db) as what's considered moderate snoring. The snoring part is 85 - 90 db from 5 feet away. I bought a db meter and stood in the hall to check. When he is snoring, there is no way for me to sleep in the same room as him. When we bought our house we specifically bought one with two bedrooms because I need my own space and want to be able to periodically sleep on my own - especially when he's snoring and thrashing.

The same things that cause him to snore cause him to thrash and turn in bed. He's asleep for this, so he thinks I'm upset and over sensitive over normal bedtime movement. No, I'm upset that he will literally turn over and lay on top of me and crush me. This is something he does not believe he does, and can not be convinced that he does.

We've been sleeping in separate rooms for probably 4 months, and that's fine with me. It's not OK with him. He's increasingly sad and upset about it. About a month ago, we were talking about it and I told him that I couldn't fall asleep next to him anymore because I'm so tense just waiting for him to wake me up again. Now, he feels like this is the reason we can't sleep together. To me, this is perfectly reasonable, as he is going to wake me up.

He really wants to sleep in the same room again, and insists that I am just as much at fault for this as he is. His reasoning is that if I weren't so anxious about falling asleep next to him, everything would be fine. It would not be. I am not magically going to be a heavy enough sleeper to sleep through the equivalent of a blender on the pillow next to me.

Things that work to curb his snoring: losing weight, netti potting, breathright strips, sleeping on his side. (A note about sleeping on his side: This only works some of the time, and he absolutely will not sleep on his side for the entire night. When nudged to turn over, he groggily raises his voice and refuses. I move rooms.)

These are not things he is doing, and the only thing that works when his snoring has gotten to this level is losing weight. He already take flonase. He had his tonsils out when we first started dating, and it cleared up the snoring for a year or two almost entirely. Before he got them out, he had sleep apnea, I don't think he does anymore. (There's no gasping or stopping breathing at any point, just noise and then MORE noise. But his mom does have a cpap machine, so maybe I'm just not noticing?) Earplugs don't work - they hurt my ears, and any ear plug strong enough to block out his snoring will cause me to sleep through my alarm. He doesn't wake up when the alarm goes off, and gets to sleep another 3 hours.

He's started wanting to have fights about the fact that we're sleeping in separate rooms, and when I insist that he needs to take care of his snoring he's angry that I'm not taking partial responsibility. From where I'm sitting, this is his responsibility. Yes, I have some anxiety about bedtime with him, but it's not going to be resolved until the source of my anxiety is taken care of. I'm also perfectly happy to get our snuggling done at other times during the day, and sleep separately. I also can't be having fights at 10pm about whether I am aloud to do what I need to do to take care of my own sleep.

This sort of impasse is totally unheard of for us. We're generally excellent problem solvers that do a good job of working through things like we're on the same team (because we are!). So, I don't really have any idea of how we resolve this.

My question: How do I get him to understand the severity of what he's asking me to put up with, and that it's completely unreasonable? Is it completely unreasonable? I just don't want to fight about this anymore, and I feel like the ball is 100% in his court.
posted by Bottlecap to Human Relations (57 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Has he had a sleep study, or at least an updated one that will document what you're experiencing? That might be a place to start so he can understand the extent of the problem. Even if he is sleeping through this, it's not restful sleep, and is going to affect his health as well.
posted by goggie at 9:45 AM on February 6, 2015 [23 favorites]

To my knowledge, he's never had a sleep study. How do we go about getting one ordered? I am suspect about whether he will take the initiative on this, but I believe he will go if I do all the legwork.
posted by Bottlecap at 9:47 AM on February 6, 2015

Could you record video of him when he's snoring and thrashing so he can see the magnitude of the problem?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:47 AM on February 6, 2015 [57 favorites]

You can take 100% responsibility for your part of the situation, even if your part of the situation is something like 8% of the total problem. Are you doing things to take care of your anxiety and PTSD in general (therapy, meds, exercise, etc.)? It's reasonable to go ahead and take those steps if you are not.

It's also reasonable to hold him accountable for taking 100% responsibility for his part of the situation and ask that he similarly take steps to take care of his part of it.

It's generally unproductive, however, to argue about how large of a percentage each person owns of the situation.
posted by jaguar at 9:48 AM on February 6, 2015 [9 favorites]

His primary care physician should be able to order it. It would be an overnight visit where they would measure his respiration, restlnessness, and EEG activity as he sleeps to see how much and what quality sleep he's getting.
posted by goggie at 9:49 AM on February 6, 2015 [9 favorites]

I would absolutely record it and play it for him. And I think he needs to take serious responsibility for the problem as it is 100% his issue, in that it's something you can do absolutely nothing about. He needs to go to the doctor. It's completely insane for him to expect you to sleep next to someone making a crazy racket every night.

That said, would it help him if you started off in bed together, like for some reading/cuddling time, and then went into the other room when it's time for lights out? My husband was having insomnia problems this past summer and slept in another room for a couple of months, but we always still had an hour or so of time together in the same bed before sleeping.
posted by something something at 9:51 AM on February 6, 2015 [14 favorites]

What seems unreasonable about this situation is that he is dismissive of your feelings and/or refuses to believe you. Have you talked about that underlying issue?

He may also be most sleep-deprived, and thus irrational and grumpy, on the days after the nights of snoring and thrashing, which doesn't make the conversation go easier. Could you sit down and talk about this issue on a day after you guys have both gotten a good night's rest?
posted by sallybrown at 9:51 AM on February 6, 2015 [25 favorites]

Sorry, not trying to thread sit, just want to not leave questions out there if the answer might be helpful for resolving this.

I am in therapy, and have been for about 3 years. I am making a lot of progress, but there's still a long way to go. It is very unlikely that that taking care of my anxiety will allow me to sleep through this, though.
posted by Bottlecap at 9:52 AM on February 6, 2015

and insists that I am just as much at fault for this as he is.

Yeah. No. One of you is making 85 db noises in the middle of the night. It ain't you.

I've been where you are with an Olympic-level snorer (but my husband was fine with us sleeping apart). What helped us:

1.) He needs a sleep study. He likely has sleep apnea. You can get a referral from his GP.
2.) White noise machines. I like this one.
3.) I took xanax as needed (rx from my doctor for general anxiety) around bedtime.
4.) Sleeping in separate spaces until this gets better. He's going to have to chill about this. It's not a reflection on your relationship or feelings for him. Sleep is just too damn important.
posted by pantarei70 at 9:52 AM on February 6, 2015 [14 favorites]

Sleep study, because strokes and car accidents and brain damage suck.
(No, you would not necessarily notice any stopping of breathing, etc. Lots of people don't have symptoms beyond occasional snoring.)

From my point of view, he's being unreasonable, but maybe he's insecure or scared about something (losing weight? having to use a CPAP? turning into his parents? who knows).
posted by wintersweet at 9:52 AM on February 6, 2015 [10 favorites]

I'm sorry you are going through this. A sleep study would be a good first step for dealing with the medical issues that he may be facing.

As far as the arguing goes, I would try and head it off in another way. Playing a recording of him snoring could just make him feel defensive, and I think it also puts you in an odd position of attempting to *prove* that your experience is legitimate.

For example, what if you agreed to cuddle with him (or whatever) for 20 minutes each night until he falls asleep and then you escaped to your own bedroom? This would give him part of what he wants and you most of what you want.
posted by girl flaneur at 9:53 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh - and I have tried recording and playing it for him, but I'm not sure how to make the recording loud enough that he gets it. I think that might be part of the problem actually - he hears it and thinks it's not that bad.
posted by Bottlecap at 9:54 AM on February 6, 2015

It is very unlikely that that taking care of my anxiety will allow me to sleep through this, though.

Right, but it's good to keep in mind that you are doing your part to resolve the situation. That can help with that feeling of being on the same team -- you're not just dumping this problem in his lap; you're doing your part and he needs to do his part. That's a much more "We're in this together" framing than "This is 100% his problem."
posted by jaguar at 9:55 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Your husband sound really unreasonable. Husbunny and I have separate rooms and we love and thrive on it.

We do a ritual at night called "Pride Time." We get in the big bed in my room, with the cats and we spend an hour watching tv and petting kitties. It's our ritual. Then, he gets sleepy and goes to his room to put on the CPAP and go night-night.

Why won't he compromise on this? I suppose you could hang out in his room until he drops off and then go to yours.

I'd request that my doc does a sleep study, your GP should be able to order this. I'd also put my foot down. It's not a thing.

"I love you, and I want you to be happy. Your snoring and movement disturbs my sleep. I have made an appointment for you to have a sleep study because I'm concerned about the loudness of your snoring and of the violence of your movements. Even if you get a CPAP, I may never sleep in the same bed with you because as I get older, it is more and more difficult for me to get a good night's sleep when sharing a bed. This just may be our new normal and it's something you should become accustomed to. Please believe me when I tell you that I love you and where I get my sleep has no bearing on that."

I find it annoying that he's suggesting that you HAVE to sleep in the same bed with him. I will also say stop making excuses. You are a person who needs her own room for sleep. There's nothing wrong with it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:55 AM on February 6, 2015 [31 favorites]

Wow - that is completely shitty. My husband is a snorer and for several years I ended up on our couch a lot in the middle of the night because I simply couldn't sleep with the noise. He never gave me grief about it - if anything, he would be super apologetic. I ended up recording him because I was getting so frustrated with the lack of sleep (and we had a baby at the time, so I was even more sensitive to my lack of sleep) and he was horrified to hear how loud he was. He went for a sleep study right away.

Turns out, he has sleep apnea - which I was surprised to learn because he never stopped breathing, either. But he does have it and he was missing out on a key stage of sleep (I can't remember which one, but all the stages are important and he was getting NONE of a particular one). He wears a CPAP now and said he couldn't believe how tired he used to be, and how he was so tired he didn't even realize it anymore.

Not once did he ever make me feel like it was my fault for being too sensitive. It's not fair for your husband to treat you like this. Sleep is vitally important for everyone, and it sounds like with some of your personal stuff, it's doubly so for you. This is NOT your fault. It is 100 percent on him to resolve it. If he's so upset that you're not sharing a bed anymore, why is he not trying to find a solution for his snoring and thrashing? Why is he putting this on you? It's not unreasonable that you want a good night's sleep.
posted by sutel at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2015 [28 favorites]

The problem with recording or videoing the sleep is that it doesn't get to the core issue. The core issue is that he is invalidating your experience.

Snoring doesn't need to be at X decibels, thrashing doesn't need to leave bruises. It just has to be a thing that keeps you awake, upsets you and impacts your quality of life.

He may be uncharacteristically defensive about this because it's not in his waking life, and that makes him feel powerless to change it. It's a short walk then, over to "it can't be all that bad", defense-mechanism-wise.

A sleep study could backfire if the problem is intermittent. I'm not saying he shouldn't have one for his health, but there is the chance it will give him "evidence" that this is your problem and there's nothing wrong with him, if he ends up having a good night during the study.

I think overall the best way forward is to continue with renewed vigor your campaign of "I'm sorry but you need to believe me." Because that is the main thing he needs to do.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 10:04 AM on February 6, 2015 [54 favorites]

Sleep study, like everyone else says, and a CPAP. If he's not willing to do this, you get to stay in the other room.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have to say that the CPAP has changed Husbunny's life. He's getting great sleep and his depression has improved dramatically. He is a different person. So much lighter and happier.

Sleep Apnea is a bitch.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't think proving anything to him via video or decibel recording or whatnot will help. If he were amenable to reason he would have already accepted that this is an easily solved logistical issue. He doesn't want you to be right, and unless this changes you can argue till you're blue in the face.

Have you tried finding out what makes him feel so strongly about you sharing a room?
Does he maybe think you are punishing him for his weight gain? Or does he see this as a symptom of marital problems? Is your sex life suffering and he os blaming this for it? Is he scared that there might be some medical issue he needs to address? Is he embarassed because his friends would find sleeping apart weird?
It could be lots of things and I think you might want to talk about that instead.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2015 [12 favorites]

Your husband thinks you're a liar, inventing a sleeping issue in order to...what? Does he just think you're fucking with him for fun? What is your alleged motivation for this?

How do I get him to understand the severity of what he's asking me to put up with

You can try a video camera and a doctor, but most importantly you should get a lawyer.

His behavior is beyond the pale, and he is either *so ill* from his own sleep issues that he cannot properly understand what is going on, or his desire is for you to suffer, presumably there is some sort of payoff for him if you are sleep-deprived, anxious, and devalued like this.

the ball is 100% in his court

You cannot make him care about you. About all you have control over is where you live in relation to where he lives.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2015 [14 favorites]

I think getting a good recording will help validate you if he's not able to get there on his own for whatever reason. It's faster than changing his beliefs about his nose. (I think snoring is also potentially embarrassing for the snorer. And if it's that bad, he probably really can't imagine it.)

I have tried recording and playing it for him, but I'm not sure how to make the recording loud enough

You need a good device, your cell phone won't do it. I know Roland recorders are good (might be a bit pricy for this purpose; do a bit of research on more affordable models). Alternatively, film your phone registering his dB levels (if you're using an app). And then show him that with a dB chart and sound clips of comparable noises. (A milling machine is one, fyi. That is loud.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2015

Your husband is 100% unreasonable. I snore loud enough to wake my wife up and we occasionally sleep in separate beds so that she can get some rest. I'm going in for a sleep study so that we can both get some healthy sleep in the same bed.

Is your husband owning up to any of this? I can't imagine being angry at my wife over this issue. It sounds like you have taken reasonable steps with earplugs and sleeping in separate rooms. If he doesn't want that to happen then he needs to see a doctor and get a sleep study done.

There might be something else going on with him if he's this upset and unwilling to do anything about his snoring.
posted by Diskeater at 10:11 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another possible reason: does he generally think you exaggerate your mental health issues , perhaps as a power play to trump his needs? Is he generally dismissive of your needs?
If so, you need to stand up for yourself much more harshly than if it turns out he's merely insecure about your sex life or something.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:13 AM on February 6, 2015 [10 favorites]

He is not entitled to your company. He is especially not entitled to your company if his unconscious behavior hurts you. I would tell him, "When you tell me I am making things up or that what I am telling or showing you isn't that bad, you are invalidating my experiences which is neither polite nor loving nor okay. Your sleep style HURTS me. It prevents me from getting what I need. Why are you determined to tell me I'm lying when I tell you what I want and need?"

He's being a petulant ass. Don't be afraid to tell him so.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:13 AM on February 6, 2015 [14 favorites]

I am an Extreme Snorer myself. I am a person married to a mostly non-snoring person.

So, like Diskeater above, I am ideally situated to declare that your husband is being horrible and you are a MILLION percent right.

Look, it is kind of awful to be "blamed" for keeping everyone awake, and it makes me a little bit mad when it's brought up to me, because I'm like IF I COULD CONTROL THE SNORING I WOULD STOP IT I SWEAR. It sounds like he feels hurt and rejected, and he is then losing control of reality.

But in the real world, once the snorer gets over that childish reaction, it's time to spring into action. Looks like someone's not springing.

The whole "maybe he would go for a sleep study if I set it all up" thing made me really sad. Why wouldn't he do that for you?

If this was going down like this in my house, literally everything would stop and I would sit him down and yell at him for a really long time until he felt bad and understood how bad I felt. That is not the best solution! Doing it without yelling would be better. I would certainly inform him that marriage isn't a valid excuse to pack it on—because it impacts his snoring, for the most part—and he needs to haul his ass to the gym.

(Here's my one other tip: California King.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:17 AM on February 6, 2015 [8 favorites]

He needs a sleep study. There's a reasonable chance that he has obstructive sleep apnea and that sleeping with positive pressure ventilation in the form of a CPAP mask may both curb the snoring and reduce serious risks to his cardiovascular health.

He should set up an appointment with his primary care doctor to discuss this.
posted by killdevil at 10:18 AM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

My widowed mother sleeps like a monster being tortured. She has sleep apnea that stops her breathing for (I timed it) up to two minutes at a time. She snores likes freight train. And, as if that weren't enough, she screams bloody murder, and I do mean horror movie screaming, throughout the night.

On an idyllic beach vacation where I was cruelly forced to share a room with her, I once ended up in a hammock on the beach at 5 AM after a sleepless night, sobbing "fuck you all, I'm getting on the next plane home" because they put me in a room with her.

Talking to her does nothing but piss her off, and she's normally not a defensive person. Even "you are going to die because you do not breathe" is poo-poo'd away as my silly worry wort ways.

My point being, even she, when my father was alive, happily slept in a separate room.

(I fell asleep in the hammock that morning, and woke to her brightly bringing me coffee a few hours later and chirping "you were just snoring, honey!" I love her, but the ocean was RIGHT THERE and ... was it time to end it all?)
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 10:19 AM on February 6, 2015 [13 favorites]

Sleep study, like, yesterday. His PCP can order it. Sleep apnea contributes to car accidents, stroke, heart attacks, and type II diabetes. I have severe sleep apnea (and am not overweight, incidentally) and I feel so much better since getting my CPAP. I now know what it's like to have refreshing sleep! (Bonus: I was able to go off of my sleep meds AND my antidepressant - what I had thought was chronic insomnia and depression was really sleep deprivation.)

I see your husband's behavior as bordering on emotional abuse. It's possible that he's so on edge from chronic sleep deprivation that he is not acting rational, but that does not excuse his actions. He's acting as if he only cares about himself, not about you. Please think carefully about this.

Could he be coming from a mindset of you using your PTSD and mental health issues to manipulate him (as Omomnom said)? Is he one of those men who thinks that women are crazy, hysterical, and manipulative?

You have every right to an uninterrupted night's sleep. Sure, it sucks to be known as the Guy Who Snores Like An Angry Bear, but he can do something about it by getting a sleep test. He has no right to ask you to sleep next to him while he's snoring. Stick to your separate bedroom guns. And insist on 1) a sleep test, and 2) he join you in couples counseling. Petulant, selfish men make terrible fathers, and you want to either fix your issues or get a divorce before children come into the picture.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:21 AM on February 6, 2015 [10 favorites]

Adding: I don't think you should have to record him and play it back to "prove" he snores. You are not in a court of law. If he doesn't believe you, and thinks you are being manipulative and/or a whiny crybaby, then your marriage has far bigger problems than snoring. A successful marriage needs to have trust and goodwill on the part of both spouses. If your husband thinks you are manipulative or a "hysterical woman," or that you don't love him or aren't sexually attracted to him, that is a fundamental attitude toward you that bodes ill for your marriage - and you need counseling as well as a sleep study.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:26 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I want to head this off at the pass immediately, as no productive answers can come from it. He and I have an amazing relationship. He's absolutely amazing and wonderful and caring about everything else except this. He has been there and supportive for me getting through trauma, and goes above and beyond for me. That's why this is so flummoxing. It's completely out of character. The people suggesting that he may be completely exhausted and so unable to deal with it rationally are probably on to something. His depression has been worsening the longer this bout of snoring has gone on.
posted by Bottlecap at 10:30 AM on February 6, 2015 [17 favorites]

Yes another vote for sleep study, CPAP - this is what stops this! In the meantime you could investigate very high-grade expensive noise-cancelling earphones with the soft earbuds, attached to a whitenoise app on your phone - the app I use has a built in alarm, so no problems sleeping through it. There are some earphones designed for sleeping in (on a kind of headband) but they won't do the noise cancelling and you might have to put the volume up too high on them to get effects ( which could endanger your hearing). There are also earphones you can get molded to your ear for comfort - but look at things like Bose quiet comfort, I can manage to sleep in them to an extent

But really - sleep study and CPAP is the only long term fix I know of.
posted by Flitcraft at 10:32 AM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

I wonder if he is feeling self-conscious about this, and is lashing out defensively. Has he recently gained weight? (which sounds like it exacerbates the snoring). Maybe he is really embarrassed by the whole thing.
posted by sutel at 10:35 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I almost guarantee that he has sleep apnea, causing both his snoring and his short temper and change in personality. (His breathing pipes may have initially collapsed due to those tonsils and taking them out did clear up the underlying issue but it is quite likely that now they are collapsing again due to the extra weight and the general aging of muscles throughout the body).

My husband's personality changed as he developed the sleep apnea, as did mine. Slowly but surely, we became more and more ornery, which is just so out of character for us. Now that his apnea is managed and we are both sleeping again, we are "back". No more picking fights over little things! Yay!

One thing I recommend if your husband does end up diagnosed with OSA. Mine had a terrible time with CPAP, which is the thing they immediately get you on post-diagnosis. I tried it as well, just to put myself in his shoes, and despite being a life-long olympic sleeper who could easily sleep upside down in a thunderstorm, I simply could not do it. (Most people cannot tolerate it and give up after trying for several months; it's such a common problem that health insurance requires that you rent the CPAP machine rather than buy it). Luckily, we found a dentist who specializes in oral appliances for OSA sufferers and the difference was night and day. A million times better than CPAP! I cannot recommend it highly enough. Feel free to email me for more info.
posted by rada at 10:40 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I know you said you don't want solutions for the snoring, but go to the pet store, buy the hardest rubber ball about the size of a tennis ball, and sew it into a pocket on the back of the shirt of his pajama. He will sleep on his side.
posted by Promethea at 10:42 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

This isn't answering the question, but there are wrist-based alarm devices out there that vibrate on your arm instead of making noise. I believe some of the popular fitness devices do this. This might help with earplugs not allowing you to hear your alarm.

I'm guessing you need earplugs whether you're in another room or not. I lived in a place where people screamed from 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM every. single. night. and I didn't think I could deal with earplugs either, but I got used to them because it was better than the lack of sleep.

I don't have specific advice for the actual question other than to wish you the best.
posted by cnc at 10:44 AM on February 6, 2015

I bet he is mortified, or would be if he accepted the reality of his ZZZs. No one wants to feel like their body is so out of control that its emissions (of sounds or other phenomena) cause other people distress. We do sometimes take it personally when our automatic behaviours are annoying to others, right? And it's affecting intimacy, you are (rightly) leaving the bed - easy to see how he's taking it as a personal rejection. If he's not getting oxygen, obviously, so much the worse for his reactions to pretty much everything.

Snoring in particular is sort of ridiculous - I don't know, you think of cartoon bears, don't you? It's not something anyone would want to be associated with. He's sleeping, he has no idea what it sounds like, and I am very sure, simply can't grasp how loud it is.

I really think the recording will help. Also, address his well-being in discussion of a sleep study ("Look, you're tired all the time, something's obviously not right. Let's at least see if this is it.") Good luck.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:03 AM on February 6, 2015

My husbands extreme snoring, and his refusal to address it fully, very nearly resulted in our divorcing.

Once he had his sleep study and started using a CPAP, his aggressive and angry behavior during the night disappeared. No more nighttime fights, no more half-asleep rage directed at me for poking him until he went back on his side, no more resentment on my part. When we both a started sleeping through the night, we started healing our relationship. I'm

His doctor can help him get signed up for a sleep study.

Good luck.
posted by waterisfinite at 11:06 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I only have practical tips for you, not for the snoring:

I got custom earplugs made ( originally for my work, but then ordered some for sleep through the same supplier). They take an imprint of your ear and then make earplugs geared towards specific decibel ranges. I'm in the NL so i don't think sharing the company name will be useful to you, but the same must exist where you live.

Because they are heavy duty i also slept through my alarm. Enters the Fitbit that i wear on my wrist and wakes me up with a gentle vibration. It's also way less brutal than alarms and i wake up happier.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 11:17 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

My parents had this problem. Mom recorded and played the audio to Dad, and he still didn't get it/believe the magnitude. Only when Mom recorded it on her iPhone (very high quality recording) and whispered over top of his snoring to demonstrate magnitude did Dad go for a sleep study.

Once he had his sleep study and started using a CPAP, his aggressive and angry behavior during the night disappeared.

Yup. Dad lost weight after a few months using CPAP and is noticeably less irritable, all the time.
posted by horizonseeker at 11:17 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Have you showed him the volume level you recorded? Have you showed him this chart? Or this one? Have you asked him how he expects you to sleep through a train whistle? Or a garbage disposal?

Have you straight up asked him why he is calling you a liar?? Or why he thinks you would want to sleep, in any capacity, with someone who is straight up calling you a liar?

I mean.. this some bullshit. He's being a baby and trying to blame your anxiety so he doesn't have to deal with it. There is anxiety and then there is SNORING LOUDER THAN A VACUUM CLEANER. He wants you to take "partial responsibility"? Fine, tell him either you or he will be setting up couples counseling. If he won't get off his ass and find someone, do it yourself, and make sure you talk to them first and feel out whether they will hand him his ass. If he balks at counseling for being too expensive or whatever, ask him why your daily functioning is worth less than (dollar amount) to him.
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:19 AM on February 6, 2015 [7 favorites]

Yup, sleep study. Some people dont' take well to a CPAP but if he does and that's the problem, great. Or post sleep study there may be another solution (Me, my mild sleep apnea is best treated by keeping away from congestion and keeping my room free of allergies).

Before I started adequately dealing with my allergy and related breathing problems, and also dating a previous ex- we used to get into bad fights because I'd keep him up at night. He'd specifically wake me up and say "you're breathing. it's keeping me up." (To which I basically thought wtf, do you want me to stop?) I don't think either of us realized that a sleep study would help (I finally went after we split, when another friend told me after a night in a tent that I stopped breathing a bunch and it was scary).

I also don't think his response was useful, and I was often really pissed that I'd been awakened.. after all, I was sleeping fine (I thought) until he woke me. One person getting sleep is better than none, yes? And he wasn't very nice about it either! And mostly didn't bring it up in the day, just in the night, when I was totally out of it from the bad quality sleep.

Don't do that. Much better to talk about this during the day (especially if he has actually slept well the day before). And do strongly suggest a sleep study. Even if it's not apnea, this isn't normal, and may well be fixable. Even if it isn't, doing a study will give him data on how bad the problem is, which should help him build sympathy for you sleeping elsewhere.
posted by nat at 11:21 AM on February 6, 2015

record sound and video - make the video of the dB readings as it is happening. adjust the volume as you play it back so your dB meter reads the same as the recording/video.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:35 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

You mention using measuring the db levels and recording his snoring, but I don't know if you have one of the apps that actually records and monitors your snoring activity and sleep cycles. My husband knew he snored and is very apologetic about this fact, but for me, it is mostly manageable. One day he decided that he wanted to track his sleep more accurately so he downloaded an app called Snore Lab, but I know there are other options out there. He was really surprised with the result and it was good for both of us to discuss our night experiences. I don't know that two of you are there right now, but I wanted to throw it out there in case this might be something he would be willing to try. The iphone or ipad needs to be right next to you all night to get an accurate recording, so I would recommend having him a part of the solution if you try this out.

Good luck, I really feel for you, sleep is super important to me as well, and I get the stress about wondering if snoring is going to happen. I don't know if it would be any help for you, but one result of my husband trying to be kinder to me was that he found sleep headphones (Acoustic Sheep) for me. I, too, cannot wear earplugs/earbuds, etc., but these are headphones inside a soft headband. The downside is that they need to be plugged into a device, and sometimes I get tangled up, and of course, it only works if the snoring isn't super loud or sustained. So this would be a recommendation in case the snoring is more controlled and you are trying to address your feelings of anxiety that maybe I might be woken up, but I would like to stay if I could.
posted by dawg-proud at 11:38 AM on February 6, 2015

I strongly suspect that you will not need scary hi-def recordings of your husband's snoring, now that you will be coming to him with a course of action ("get a sleep study, it's treatable!") rather than laying your suffering and exasperation at his feet, so to speak.

My husband is just like yours - amazing and wonderful and caring and goes above and beyond for me - and I think it was difficult for him to be on the receiving end of my frustration, especially in his chronically sleep-deprived state. (The main thing to realize about OSA is that an OSA sufferer gets NO deep sleep. He and you may think that he is sleeping through the night, however badly, but he is just cycling through light pre-sleep phases and waking up multiple times PER MINUTE as soon as he enters the deep sleep phase - that's what OSA is). So there he is, having had no real sleep in months, and there you are, telling him he is the source of your unhappiness. It ain't easy for a guy who loves you and wants you to be happy! I couldn't see that in my own sleep-deprived state at the time, but I see it now.

My advice is, don't record anything as it may antagonize him further and make it a "him vs. you" situation. I know I'd be feeling more than a little humiliated and antagonized if my husband recorded me at my ugliest. Just read up on OSA and go to him armed with facts and keep repeating that you are on his side and just want him to get better (the long-term side effects of sleep deprivation are no joke). There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you!
posted by rada at 11:44 AM on February 6, 2015 [6 favorites]

So, I'm going to ask about something people often do in a bed together that you haven't mentioned at all so far: sex. You can ignore me, I won't mind, but I wonder how all of this is affecting your sex life. More specifically, I wonder if his behavior is an attempt at expressing feelings of rejection or loneliness related to sex? When you tell your husband you don't want to share a bed with him, he might be hearing something more-- "I don't find you physically attractive," for instance, especially since it sounds like he has trouble with his weight. If he thinks you mean something like that, it may bring on all kinds of insecurity which might be expressed as anger and defensiveness.
posted by underthehat at 11:47 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

It is completely unreasonable for him to expect you to sleep next to a 90dB noise. There is no "meeting halfway" here; there is literally nothing you can do to be able to sleep through that. You could be the calmest person on Earth and you would still wake up. That is like having a motorcycle in the hallway.

To be honest, with all of the recent discussions of how women are expected to more emotional work in relationships, and how women's own feelings tend to be dismissed by their male partners, my thoughts went there immediately: why is he so dismissive and defensive, and expecting you to put up with extreme discomfort and stress because he prefers to have you in the room with him? I thought maybe he felt like you were rejecting something that he feels entitled to, and that is ugly even if you love each other very much. But you say that he's normally not like this?

In that case, I agree with the posters above that suggest framing this as a health issue for him. But also, I think you should stick to your guns: you have no obligation to meet him "halfway" on this issue because that is frankly a ridiculous and impossible request. What you can do is provide him the type of support a partner would normally provide to someone with a health problem: providing information, gentle encouragement, being understanding, etc. You might also be able to offer some kind of compromise, such as spending time physically close before it's time to sleep in separate rooms.

But no, you do not have to sleep in the same room as someone making that much noise. Your health is important, and you need good sleep for good health. It's distressing that he seems to want you to become magically less anxious about sleeping with him, when the type of sleep disturbances he creates are likely to make you more anxious. That is a catch-22, and totally unfair to you.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:59 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh please, please get him to go to a sleep study. I had almost this exact problem with my husband, except he was the one going to sleep in another room after I'd nudge him when he snored. His snoring could shake the walls, but he didn't believe me when I tried describing how bad it was. I too tried recording it to show him; he just got mad at me for "violating his privacy." He was so resistant to taking responsibility until his level of exhaustion and anxiety, and skyrocketing blood pressure, sent him to his primary doctor who told him he probably had apnea. Since the suggestion came from someone who wasn't the "nagging wife" he was more receptive (even though the doc basically repeated what I'd been saying for years). Being a geek at heart, my husband actually found the data from the sleep study gratifying to his math brain. Turns out his apnea was very serious, and he now has a CPAP machine which pretty much eleminated the problem. It took a week or two for him to get used to, but he now sleeps in the same bed with me every night, his noise doesn't shake the walls, and he gets plenty of rest. Then he has super-fun numbers and data from the machine's readout to calculate and play with. His daily moods improved DRASTICALLY and we argue much less in general, not to mention he reduced his blood pressure and anxiety meds. Your hub seriously, really, I can't stress it enough... needs a sleep study.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 12:01 PM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's completely out of character.

How abrupt are you talking, with the change in behavior? Like, he was fine one day and not fine the next?

Because that is "put him in the car and go to the emergency room, whatever it takes" territory. Abrupt changes in personality are serious - literally deadly serious - and are almost never the sort of thing that just gets better if you wait.

If what we are reading as abuse-level loathing for you is actually paranoia, he is in danger and you are also in danger. If my husband made that sort of very abrupt change in demeanor I'd be afraid of going to the ER because we can't afford it but I would probably at least take him to an Urgent Care to have his vitals taken (including blood oxygen and blood glucose) and a basic neurological assessment (like they might give to someone who bumped their head), in part to make sure he wasn't dying right then and also to impress on him that I am VERY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:42 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, your husband is clearly being unreasonable, and I think folks above have that pretty well covered. That said, I have some sympathy for him (even though he's wrong). I'm envisioning how I would feel if I put on some weight, and suddenly my partner was refusing to sleep in the same bed as me (for whatever reason). Even if your reasons are completely and totally valid (which they are!), I would still feel pretty hurt, embarassed, and rejected. I might recognize that it was unreasonable, but I'd almost certainly still feel that way!

This isn't to say you should do anything differently in terms of your sleeping arrangements -- no matter how your husband feels about it, you do need to sleep! I do think it means you should approach this less as a "I need to prove to you that this is happening, and once you believe me it will be fixed." Instead, maybe talk to him specifically about his feelings around this, why it's so upsetting, etc. and reassure him (assuming this is true) that you're still attracted to him and love him and value physical contact and sex. And, see if you can work in the most fun parts of sharing a bed -- so, some bedtime snuggling, and maybe some long weekend mornings where you sneak in early and snuggle and make out and have sex while you're both still groggy (or whatever bed-related stuff you guys like that you're currently missing out on).

It sounds like a sleep study is a great idea, and folks above have that covered. It also sounds like weight loss will help with this issue. Obviously this is a super fraught area for a partner to get involved in! But, I can say that what has worked for me and my partner -- at a point where we BOTH wanted to lose some weight, so a slightly different situation -- has been a "team effort" sort of approach. We cook almost all of our meals at home, and we've committed to making most of those meals a lot more healthy than our usual choices, and have a no-complaining rule about it. (As in, you can complain that you don't like being on a diet, but no trashing the cook-of-the-night even if you'd rather be eating a hamburger). We joined the same gym and try to work out at the same time after work as much as possible because it is WAY easier to make it to the gym when you know someone will be counting on you to be there. These specific things might not work for you guys! But, you might think about how, in general, you can contribute to a weight-loss-conducive environment around the house as much as possilbe, whether through grocery shopping, meal planning, planning physical activities like hiking or going biking together, etc. etc. etc.
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:44 PM on February 6, 2015

I know you said earplugs hurt your ears, but you've gotta try Hearos Ultimate Softness before you write off earplugs completely. I used to hate earplugs with a passion (they hurt my ears a lot, too) until I got an ultra-soft pair at a concert, and when I got home I tried to find some soft ones and these are the ones I ended up with. I wear them every night and they're seriously amazing.

I will send you a few via snail mail if you don't want to drop $6 on a box. Send me a MeMail.
posted by phatkitten at 2:31 PM on February 6, 2015

This is not snoring related, but is separate beds related.

My partner is an habitual knuckle cracker, and I mean every knuckle, fingers and toes, cracking back, knees and ankles. So like 30 cracks at a time, and loud. It was making it really difficult for us to sleep together, so my partner was like, "Fine I'll go sleep in the other room."

This really, really, upset me. Like anguish. And I kept trying to get her to sleep with me, and just not crack her goddamned knuckles. It was one of the biggest conflicts we've ever had as a couple. I could not abide the thought of sleeping separately, I thought it spelt the end of us as couple and was a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Why was this? Because as a child, prior to my parents surprise divorce (surprise to us kids, that is), I discovered that my father had been secretly sleeping in the spare room when I went up there late one night. At the time, I thought it was weird, but didn't think anything of it. One month later, they divorced.

If you had asked me if this experience was foundational to my belief in the sanctity of sharing a bed, I would have said no. I really had to look inside myself to realise that this act (sharing a bed) and become a bigger symbol in relationships for me. A huge symbol of whether a relationship was working or not.

Examined in the cold light of day, this association is let's face it, pretty ridiculous, but until I had really questioned why exactly this was such a big deal for me, and read about all the couples in happy relationships that weren't sharing a bed (I read that here, actually), I just didn't realise that I had built up this huge pressure on a pretty minor thing.

Once I was able to reconcile the concept of sleeping separately with the concept of a happy and stable relationship, I was much more sanguine about sleeping in separate rooms, and now we do it regularly. My fear for the relationship was what was holding me back from supporting it; once it was decoupled from that fear, it stopped being a big deal.

I think additionally, people are generally quite touchy about anything involving sleep. It has a weird and important role in our lives.

I don't know if this anecdote will help, but this is what converted me from implacably opposed to separate rooms to active champion. Best of luck.
posted by smoke at 3:52 PM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

You should not be expected to drug and deafen yourself into oblivion just so you can sleep in the same bed. That's not even possible to do (and still get up for work) anyway. Dude seriously needs to get the hell over himself on this one. If he wants you in bed with him, he needs to get to working on making bed more pleasant for you to.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:24 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

My wonderful, best, favorite wife in the world is a supersnorer. She too gets really defensive and pissy about my inability to sleep and complaints and so forth and did absolutely fuck all to simplify the issue. Never once offered to get a sleep study, stay awake until I fell asleep first or offered to stay a night on the couch or what have you. I eventually booked her for a sleep study, praying to Jesus that she would have something wrong with her, but no apnea (she went willingly). We've been doing that I sleep in another room a night or two every two weeks or whatever, but this makes her super miserable and I am the bad guy. I swear, she's a wonderful, loving, respectful and generous partner in every other way, but as said above I think that snoring triggers a lot of shame, we think of it as slobbish and unattractive and laughable, and then we "punish" by abandoning them, etc, etc. Its easy to see how people get crazy defensive. Anyhow, all this was just to say "I know that feel" BUT we just invested in a SnoreMate mouth guard, like 75 bucks from the drugstore. So far, touch wood, it's been amazing. You can sort of test how it works by giving yourself a deliberate underbite, closing your mouth, and trying to snore. I can't do it at all, she can barely so it, and the guard more or less completely silences her. If she's congested she can work up to a sort of snuffly snore but that's frankly adorable and I go straight back to sleep. Give it a shot, it might get you some of the way there.
posted by Iteki at 1:52 AM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

There are a couple of recording snoring apps for iPhones if you have one. I had the same issue with my boyfriend who also didn't believe me reg the seriousness and loudness of the snoring. The morning after the first night we used the app, he declared the recordings were useless and he'd have to do it again as 'the dog was making weird screaming noises all night'. It was a real wake up call for him to hear his snoring played back to him. A high fidelity recording is the first step to tackle here I reckon. Good luck
posted by stevedawg at 2:53 AM on February 7, 2015

Yes, as everyone else said, sleep study. My husband knew he was a loud snorer but didn't know he stopped breathing during the night until I told him. I found myself sleeping in another room quite often because the snoring was so loud that I couldn't sleep. He was also falling asleep at work because he was so tired all day, every day from lack of quality sleep. I don't know what happened but his first sleep study came back as mild sleep apnea and they told him to not sleep on his back and he'd be fine. He tried that for several months and I was still pondering murder almost every night as I lay in bed wide awake, listening to him snore and gasp for air. He went back in for a second sleep study which showed his sleep apnea as being much more severe than the first one showed. He started using a CPAP after that and it made all the difference in the world. He took to the CPAP right away and the next day, he came home from work amazed at how much better he felt.

So, yes, sleep study so you both can sleep well. Insist on a second sleep study if the first one doesn't bring real solutions to both of your sleep problems.

Good luck.
posted by whatideserve at 11:26 AM on February 7, 2015

Nthing the sleep study, but just want to make a point about the language of "responsibility" here. Part of his frustration may be that he feels like he is doing something wrong. Like actively. Try to talk to him in language that acknowledges that he doesn't have control over this. (Note: I'm not sayng you're using blame-y language now). "Listen, I don't think you're doing anything wrong. I'm not punishing you for something. This is just a reality that we're dealing with."

Now, he IS responsible for looking into getting this treated. And that is absolutely a line in the sand for you to draw. "I'm not blaming you for this. But there's a good chance this can be treated and if sharing a bed matters to you, this is how we can get there. I'm doing everything I can. But if we are going to be able to share a bed, you need to take this step."
posted by dry white toast at 11:13 PM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Sleep clinic booked, and we've worked through the frustration we were experiencing over sleeping arrangements.
posted by Bottlecap at 6:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

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