Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Apparently, I snore. Now, replace "apparently" with "certainly and without question" . . .

How do I know? My wife, though I love her dearly, is an unreliable witness. Sure, she punches me at night because she claims I snore. She also punched me at night when she was pregnant, simply because I was not pregnant and I "looked too happy" while I was sleeping. No, I know I snore because I've woken myself up on several occasions. Why should I stop being loud and obnoxious just because I'm asleep?

Like a true nerd, I've discovered a matrix that predicts snorage. It's 3x2, and the two axes are "Position" (Back, Side, and Stomach) and "Congested?" (Yes, No).

Ready? Of course not.
Back and Congested: Snore
Back and Not Congested: Snore
Side and Congested: Snore
Side and Not Congested: Don't Snore
Stomach and Congested: Don't Snore
Stomach and Not Congested: Don't Snore
So, if I'm not congested, the solution for my belabored wife is simple. She punches me and yells "ROLL OVER!" However, if I've got some sinus infection, etc., then this doesn't work. The problem is, this accounts for about 75% of the year. My poor wife.

Until now. Ah, science. Breathe Right Nasal Strips to the rescue. We had heard about these for a while, but had rejected them as a slightly-less-gross version of the jar o'earplugs that some folks use (wink, wink).

But last week was bad. Very bad. At some point, I kicked myself out of bed at 4:30 and went downstairs and played Star Wars: Battlefront II (maps are bigger than the first one, the interface is much, much worse; two thumbs down). So we decided to try the strips and I picked some up at the grocery store after Cub Scouts. Timothy thought they were cool.

They had two sizes: Small/Medium and Large, and two colors: Clear and Tan (thankfully, the designation Flesh has gone away for obvious reasons). My wife was happy to find out that I qualified for Medium, but was unhappy at the price: $6 for a box of 12.

At this point worlds collide. I don't want to say my wife is cheap, but I looked up "doesn't like to spend money" in Wikipedia, and, well . . . you know. Not quite Mr. Krabs level, but close. Fifty cents per night is $3.50 a week and $15 per month. How much is my wife willing to pay for a snore-free night?

I do not lie, the box sat on the dresser the first night. "Let's see how bad it is before we open them," she said. It was a bad night, enough so that during the next day she got the box out of the bag (ready to return) and brought it upstairs.

Maiden flight. After getting sufficiently woozy by reading about ancient Roman authors (Durant doesn't mix arts & letters in with politics, wars & economics; go figure), I opened the box and laughed at the instructions. Apparently there is indeed a wrong way to put these things on. Actually, two wrong ways: too high and too low. I studied the diagrams ("What are you doing in there?") took out one strip and got ready. It's basically a band-aid with two tiny, plastic bars running down the middle.

I put it on, apparently in the right place, because I could suddenly breathe very, very well. I came out of the bathroom and said, "How does it look?" My wife, possibly worried that appearances would trump function, had turned off the light. Oh, well.

First test. I hopped into bed and took my normal, 30-minute pre-sleep nap. Since this is done usually on my side, this is prime snoring time. When I woke up, I asked if I had snored. "No."

Sweet. Test two, the ultimate. "I'm going to my back. Wish me luck."


Sleep ensued.

When we woke up this morning, we both asked, "How was it?" It seemed to work, as neither my wife nor I was awakened by my snoring. And I slept pretty well. I woke up about 4 times in the night, which is normal (I haven't slept through the night since the day we brought Timothy home). Each time I awoke, there was some concern as to whether or not the strip had stayed on. It had.

The strip needed to be forcibly removed this morning, much like a band-aid. Since the outside of my nose is relatively hair-free, this was painless, although I could not breathe as well once the strip was off. Honestly, I miss it. Amazon sells boxes of 38 for $11. That's only 28 cents each. Not too bad.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger Dignan said...

Dude! Didn't I tell you? They work great.


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