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This morning when I woke up, I lay there thinking about snoozing. Not thinking I wanted to snooze, but about snoozing per se. My wife was practicing the art of snoozing (repeatedly – but that’s another story).
I was thinking it’s not a great idea. How to communicate this to her and help her? By pure coincidence I found an article about why snoozing isn’t good for you etc1. For the sake of marital harmony I opted NOT to forward the link to her…
My own inaction made me think about how people may recognise others’ need for help but for one reason or another do not act.
Is it a fear of confrontation?
A desire for harmony, or plain old cowardice, or is it that it’s just too much trouble and it doesn’t really matter anyway?
Perhaps my inaction is more relevant to sleep apnoea and snoring than it is to snoozing. Specifically, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) which you may recognise as recurrent ‘drowsiness’ or excessive daytime sleepiness, in circumstances when ordinarily the stimulus of the individual’s environment should keep them alert i.e. driving, flying, operating machinery etc.
Call it what you will, perhaps “Snoozing when Driving“(!) but I’m thinking that most of us know someone, perhaps even live with someone, who snores or who has become more drowsy and grumpy over time.
- Perhaps they fall asleep on the couch straight after dinner?
- Perhaps they can’t drive for more than an hour without a stop for a sleep or strong coffee/energy drink?
- They snore like hell and over time have become more, sleepy, irritable and grumpy?
Yet we don’t reach out to help them – and I’m wondering why?
Some possible excuses you may have used?
- Overcoming the ‘Status Quo’ – change is unsettling?
- Elephant in the room – as in, been there before and met with an argument?
- Recognising the problem for what it is – they don’t see it as their problem?
- Pride, ego and a fear of showing weakness?
- Irrational fear of fate?
What’s in it for ME?
Perhaps you think that there’s nothing but an argument to be gained from confronting the drowsy / sleepy person – once bitten, twice shy, perhaps?
Here are some solid reasons for action:
- Staying alive! What if they were driving the family car with YOU on board (or the kids) and they fall asleep …. no more you and how many other people get killed at the same time?
- Money you don’t pay in tax. Chronic disease care consumes a huge amount of NHS funds and it is set to rise enormously.
Still need a reason?
If you know the snorer/drowsy person, perhaps they think of you as a friend or partner?
Does any of the above excuse your inaction?
A challenging question perhaps or one you’ve never really asked yourself.
Prevention, individual responsibility and self-awareness are perhaps components of a longer-term solution; a change in culture to one where we take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, instead of taking them for granted and looking for ‘cures’ after things have gone wrong.
What can you do RIGHT NOW about “Johnny Snorer” on the couch?
That snorer across the room on the couch or snoring in the spare room, needs your help and by helping them (the health benefits for them are significant) you help yourself.
Assuming you give a damn about living and not dying in a sleep-related accident… it changes the question from:
“What do I need to do?“
“What challenges await me?“
Get ‘Johnny Snorer’ to use signposting (its free) and find out who can help.
You need a Plan
Plans take a little effort and some ‘homework’.
We have a dedicated page for Partner’s who are kept awake that will help you start.
Including how to discuss snoring with your partner constructively… and how to record the noise / videoing the sleepy episodes.
STOP – Don’t just kick of an argument now!
Lately, I’ve been giving some thought to how to encourage people to think about their health. So far, I’ve only come up with possible reasons mentioned in the above list, with no real answers as to what to do about it.
How and when to prescribe oral appliances for snoring (2019). Ultimate, step-by-step, how to guide. Including assessment, screening, diagnosis, treatment, bite registration, lab requirements and follow-up.
How to stop snoring: The definitive, step-by-step guide: signposting, assessment, screening, sleep test, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up (2019)
1. Huffington Post Why Hitting The Snooze Button Will Screw Up Your Entire Day ↗
Sleep well. If you or a loved one has problems with sleeping (or not sleeping), please DO consult a Doctor with experience of sleep medicine. I strongly support providing current, accurate medical information so that individuals are better able to make informed decisions about their health care. If you think you have a sleep disorder please seek appropriate medical advice.