Help! My Husband Snores Like A Category 5 Hurricane!

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  2. Here I sit in the smallest bedroom of he house where I've taken refuge for the past 15 months, sound machine loudly running. The timbers of our house creak and groan overhead as my husband slumbers away - snoring still audible. As usual, I lay awake while in sleep he is quite busy - sawing enough logs to keep a good sized lumber mill in business for years …

    My husband is a snorer who is in denial. He snores like he swallowed a lawn mower with the blades still running. He's had this problem for years - in fact, a sleep study awarded him with a shiny new CPAP machine 14 years ago, yet he won't use it.

    According to him he doesn't need it.

    He's been video taped (my son was grounded in 7th grade for posting a video of him snoring on YouTube). He's heard audio recordings of himself. He has a Fit Bit which chronologues the number of wake episodes during a night's sleep.

    He will tell anyone who will listen he doesn't snore despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    For decades, while I still managed to brave sleeping in the same bedroom, listening to the rumbling, ear splitting high decibel nocturnal lullabies of what sounds suspiciously like a skill-saw, I noted he woke himself up on the average of every 3-5 minutes. During the memorial moments when I had to wake him (often with a loving backwards kick of a mule - I was sleep deprived!) he had been choking. On these occasions he stoutly denied having ever been asleep at all.

    Did I mention he works in healthcare too? He is fully cognizant about what the health risks of uncorrected snoring, sleep apnea, and the effects of chronic fatigue are.

    He's stubborn, and our son and I worry about him.

    Does anyone else suffer with a partner who also is a closet snorer in denial?

    Any suggestions to make an otherwise intelligent man see sense and take care of his health and well being would be appreciated kindly.
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 27
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  3. 29 Comments

  4. by   AceOfHearts<3
    I feel for you. I'm not married, but my brother is a horrible snorer. Anytime we are all home for a holiday it's horrible. My grandfather has sleep apnea and a CPAP that he uses religiously. I told my mother that my brother should have a sleep study and her response was "he's not overweight- why would he have sleep apnea?" Fast forward a month and my brother had to have surgery for an injury and after the surgery he is told by the medical team he should have a sleep study done.


    Yup, who called it right?
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    My husband isn't in denial- he just NEVER cared that my sleep quality / quantity was also affected. He now sleeps in another bedroom on another floor of the house.

    Also: mine does not have sleep apnea- he just snores and always has (42 years of marriage)
  6. by   Pixie.RN
    Stand in front of him with a box of breathe right strips in one hand and your wedding ring on the other; ask which one he wants.

    Not really, that is pretty drastic, but it is very selfish of him to not consider the impact this has on YOUR quality of life.

    When I volunteered as a paramedic at a fire station, my partner scored so loud that it was a running joke! I had my own girl room for sleep, but I could hear him in the guy sleep room. He did start wearing breathe right strips, and they helped. I think he also got a special pillow. A few times we'd get up for calls at 0200 or 0300 and he'd forget to remove the strip.

    It's clear this is bothering you, and I am sorry. I crave/need my sleep! I get cranky when I don't get it. I hope you can make him realize how it is affecting you too.
  7. by   Guy in Babyland
    I worked as a Registered Sleep Technologist for 14 yrs prior to nursing school. Getting the patients to get a sllep study is like pulling teeth and it only gets worse when they are non-compliant with the CPAP mask. Fortunately, most are delighted that they have much more energy and got their life back. I had one patient that the wife stated that she had a hard time convincing her husband to wear the mask. He ended up having a massive stroke due to his stubbornness.

    I feel your pain.
  8. by   RainMom
    Yep, same here. I've slipped a pulse ox on him & watched as it drifted to the mid-70's about the time it was evident that he wasn't moving air at all; and then watch him snort, cough & resettle to do it again. I think he believes me now, but hasn't quite gone all in with the belief that he needs a cpap. I remind him though every time he complains of fatigue.
  9. by   NicuGal
    Mine has a CPAP machine he uses when he feels like it....irritates me to no end. I told him that one night I might snap and trach him with a ballpoint pen...after I up his life insurance. I've been sleeping in my daughters comfy bed while she's at school, or he gets kicked to the couch. Ugh. I feel ya!
  10. by   3ringnursing
    Quote from Pixie.RN
    Stand in front of him with a box of breathe right strips in one hand and your wedding ring on the other; ask which one he wants.

    Not really, that is pretty drastic, but it is very selfish of him to not consider the impact this has on YOUR quality of life.

    It's clear this is bothering you, and I am sorry. I crave/need my sleep! I get cranky when I don't get it. I hope you can make him realize how it is affecting you too.


    He swore the Breathe Right strips would fix the problem for years: nada. He sure tried though. They were stuck to sheets, the floor - you name it.

    He swore it was because he was congested due to allergies … then nasal congestion due to a cold … then it would improve when he lost weight - but he hasn't been overweight for years, in fact he's quite slender now.

    Denial: not just de river in Egypt …

    What he's got going on seems to be a saggy soft palate that sounds like it closes like a lead curtain, flapping against his airway in an oddly rumbling honk.

    He say he fights against the CPAP - that it tries to deliver a breathe when he is exhaling. I've never heard another CPAP user complain of that, and I've asked many - patients, coworkers, friends, and neighbors.

    I've begged him to see our dentist to discuss the possibility of what a Rx mouth guard may do to keep that airway open: "No".

    Or check into the head splints that are advertised online that are supposed to hold the airway open (I admit they're not beautiful, but after 34 years of marriage my quality of sleep is more important than his beauty): "That's stupid".

    Perhaps go see an ENT to see if surgery to trim what appears to be excess, floppy soft palate is an option: "No way!".

    At one time he was so tired he'd nod out in odd places (I suspect red lights while driving). He was Rx'd provigil, but upon discovering it was a stimulant he refused to use it.

    He can literally fall asleep in less than 5 minutes - the snoring (at first a wheezy accordion of sound) starts by the 6th-7th minute. Every night after dinner he routinely nods off in the recliner, snoring - after dinner entertainment at our house.

    My son and I just can't get through to him, but he's not unintelligent. He's stubborn as a mule, and I can't seem to get through to him. And I am very afraid for him.
    Last edit by 3ringnursing on Mar 11
  11. by   amoLucia
    Quote from NicuGal
    Mine has a CPAP machine he uses when he feels like it....irritates me to no end. I told him that one night I might snap and trach him with a ballpoint pen...after I up his life insurance. I've been sleeping in my daughters comfy bed while she's at school, or he gets kicked to the couch. Ugh. I feel ya!
    One of the funniest posts I've read in a looonng time. TY for the laugh.

    My Dad was a snorer. He could rattle the windows. And to top it all off, he was a 'wiggler' or 'squirmer'.

    Today, he'd prob be dx'd as 'restless leg syndrome'. But he was more than just legs; my Mom would be bruised sometimes by an elbow or a knee. She'd have 'black & blues'. Might there also be this dx in there somewhere?

    Eventually, they got individual full size beds, and then with the Craft-Matic hi-low control remote. Sleeping at about 30 degrees seemed to help.

    I'm guessing that you've tried simple HOB elevation.. The way he'd get into the bed was the way he laid there for the whole night unmoved - like a mannekin (sp?). I guess between the HOB elevation and lack of motion from my absent Mom did the trick.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from 3ringnursing





    Here I sit in the smallest bedroom of he house where I've taken refuge for the past 15 months, sound machine loudly running. The timbers of our house creak and groan overhead as my husband slumbers away - snoring still audible. As usual, I lay awake while in sleep he is quite busy - sawing enough logs to keep a good sized lumber mill in business for years …

    My husband is a snorer who is in denial. He snores like he swallowed a lawn mower with the blades still running. He's had this problem for years - in fact, a sleep study awarded him with a shiny new CPAP machine 14 years ago, yet he won't use it.

    According to him he doesn't need it.

    He's been video taped (my son was grounded in 7th grade for posting a video of him snoring on YouTube). He's heard audio recordings of himself. He has a Fit Bit which chronologues the number of wake episodes during a night's sleep.

    He will tell anyone who will listen he doesn't snore despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    For decades, while I still managed to brave sleeping in the same bedroom, listening to the rumbling, ear splitting high decibel nocturnal lullabies of what sounds suspiciously like a skill-saw, I noted he woke himself up on the average of every 3-5 minutes. During the memorial moments when I had to wake him (often with a loving backwards kick of a mule - I was sleep deprived!) he had been choking. On these occasions he stoutly denied having ever been asleep at all.

    Did I mention he works in healthcare too? He is fully cognizant about what the health risks of uncorrected snoring, sleep apnea, and the effects of chronic fatigue are.

    He's stubborn, and our son and I worry about him.

    Does anyone else suffer with a partner who also is a closet snorer in denial?

    Any suggestions to make an otherwise intelligent man see sense and take care of his health and well being would be appreciated kindly.
    I am so sorry for you!

    For years, I'd lay in bed and listen to my husband snort, choke, snore like a band saw and flop around like a mackerel when he literally could NOT breathe. I was awake all night; he slept all night. We didn't have a spare bedroom -- separate shifts helped the sleep problem somewhat but didn't do much for our marriage. He would not get a sleep study; was sure he had no problem, it was all in my head and by the way, if anyone needed a sleep study, it was me.

    I made him a deal . . . I'll go get a sleep study if you will. (Interestingly enough, our insurance paid for the sleep study based on "witnessed apnea episodes".) I went and got a sleep study and found out that I did, indeed have sleep apnea. In the two weeks between the sleep study and the delivery of the CPAP machine, I went online and read everything I could on sleep apnea, CPAP, living with CPAP, etc. (I recommend cpaptalk.com.) I read about rain-out, denial, mask discomfort, fears that the partner would find one less than sexually appealing, and dozens of other topics that were useful and helpful. I decided that if I had sleep apnea, I'd wear the damned CPAP and perhaps I would actually get some sleep. With CPAP and Ambien, and an industrial-sized fan blowing high speed to drown out the worst of his snoring, I DID get some sleep. The world looked a lot clearer and more hopeful and I noticed that trees actually have leaves. I'd read about them, but hadn't actually noticed them in years!

    After a month paying back my sleep debt, I felt so much better that even DH (who had his own sleep debt robbing him of critical thinking skills) noticed. He still wouldn't go for a sleep study, but a deal's a deal, and I roped in our shared PCP who made him an appointment at the sleep clinic and sent him the referral. He was SURE he didn't have sleep apnea and the only reason his "mild snoring" had ever bothered me was that my own sleep apnea kept me awake. Turns out he DOES have sleep apnea, and has a CPAP machine on the way. He maintained the sleep study was wrong and he didn't really need it.

    As part of continuing education in our ICU, I had made a power point about sleep apnea and it's causes, effects, risks, etc. The overwhelming statistics about the relationship between sleep apnea and strokes, cardiovascular issues, etc. were all listed in purple and white (with references) and accompanied by pictures of a hemiplegic patient struggling to learn to feed himself or to transfer herself to a wheelchair. I trotted out my power point and said "Hey, Honey. Would you take a look at this with me before I deliver it at work? I want to make sure it all hangs together." Subtle, right?

    It did the trick. The CPAP machine came, and he uses it. He falls asleep without it and wakes me up with his snoring, and I wake him up and tell him to put it on. I pester him until he DOES put it on. When he takes it off during the night, I wake him up and tell him to put it on. Usually he does; if he doesn't, I just keep pestering him until he does. It's a lot more effort on my part than sleeping elsewhere would be. A LOT more. But it's mostly working and I'm getting a lot more sleep as is he.

    I don't know if any of this is useful to you, OP, or to anyone else. The thing that struck me is that even if he's "in health care" (my husband is a SICU nurse), he didn't "get" the full relationship between untreated sleep apnea and it's effects. Pointing out that his mother's dementia is probably related to her own hypoxic episodes due to untreated sleep apnea didn't go anywhere, but the power point with photos of an elderly woman with wild eyed-dementia struggling to complete a kindergartner's jigsaw puzzle in the memory care ward DID get his attention. (With the references.) Reminding him of the association between sleep apnea and CVAs got a "Yeah, yeah, yeah -- quit bugging me!" But statistics, references and photos made an impact. As for me -- my own denial about MY sleep apnea was completely countered with two weeks of reading captalk.com. By the time MY CPAP arrived, I was eager to get started with it.

    I hope this helps.

    CPAP and Sleep Apnea Community
  13. by   Meriwhen
    As long as I'm asleep before him, it doesn't bother me. The problem is when I have to try to fall/get back to sleep. The sad thing is that he used to never snore, but over the years it has gotten worse. I've talked to him about it until I'm blue in the face, but he still won't do anything about it. Not even the nose strips.

    My solution: I work nights. Then he can snore all he wants and I won't be there to hear it. I'm much happier this way.

    If I'm off work: earplugs and/or couch. He hates that but until he does something to fix the problem, he'll have to deal.
  14. by   pixierose
    Gosh, OP -- I'm so sorry.

    I get it. Sleep is so precious, and when you just.can't.sleep because of your husband's decibel level threatening to break down the walls (yet, he "has no problem, no siree!") ... oh, I so get it.

    After switching rooms, earplugs, using those mega earphones that people who mow their lawns sometimes wear, and now pharmaceuticals ... the resentment blossomed. Same thing as Ruby; made a deal -- I'd go to a sleep study and then he'd go. I went, and nothing. He went; oh yes -- obstructive sleep apnea. Got the machine and everything.

    Ask me if he wears it .

    Nothing to add, just my sympathy.
  15. by   Been there,done that
    Per TOS we cannot offer medical advice. He is not a closet snorer. He has a medical condition and is refusing to use the medically prescribed treatment.

    I have sleep apnea. I hate strapping on that mask every night. I do it because I know I might not wake up in the morning if I don't.

    My advice? Get a good life insurance policy on him, he is in denial,and will not change.

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