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My journey to a good night’s sleep

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:33 a.m. CDT

I can’t remember the last time I went to bed and slept through the night. I’m an early riser, which means I am generally ready to call it a day by 8 p.m. I can crawl in bed and be asleep within 15 minutes.

However, staying asleep? Now that’s a completely different story.

Like many people, my slumber is always interrupted by snoring. But it’s not what you might think. It’s not hubby’s snoring ... it’s my own!

That’s right. I’m a mouth-breather, always have been. I remember as a child my parents often telling to me shut my mouth — but not because I was sassy — or they’d simply walk up to me and lift my chin to close my mouth. I never really understood why it mattered to them whether or not my mouth was open while I watched TV or worked on a puzzle, but as an adult ... I get it.

It’s really never been that big of an issue for me — other than the constant battle of fogging over my car windows. But this snoring thing has become quite burdensome.

I have family and friends who have gone the sleep study route and come away with a CPAP machine on their bedside tables. I would prefer to avoid that treatment. I have an issue with close and enclosed spaces — I don’t even wear turtlenecks because I feel as though I’m being trapped — so I can’t imagine that having a mask strapped to my face, tethering me to a machine would be of much comfort to me.

But I am the first to admit my snoring is a problem, and I realize there are a number of health issues associated with it, not to mention I simply don’t get a good night’s sleep. I have even awakened to hubby leaning over me with two fingers on my throat checking for a pulse before. Since I wasn’t snoring, he sort of thought... well, you know. The only thing I really found concerning about that was he was so calm about it. Really? That was his reaction to almost finding me dead? Hmmm.

So anyway...

It was time to take action.

I’d heard a commercial on the radio for a mouth device promising to alleviate snoring. Basically, this device was structured to pull your lower jaw forward, thus preventing it from falling back when you relaxed and “closing off” your throat. OK, that made sense to me, because that is exactly what happens when I sleep. Plus, it had a strap across the back to hold your tongue in place so it doesn’t fall back towards your throat either. Again, me to a T.

In two days, it was delivered. I prepared the device, fitted it to my mouth and teeth and that evening, with high hopes, I went to bed. It seemed to work, but wearing that huge mouth piece was a bit of a challenge.

After a few weeks, I got used to wearing it in my sleep and it did work ... when it stayed in my mouth. But I kept finding the device laying on my pillow. That’s the thing about mouth breathers... we sleep with our mouths open.

So I ordered a chin strap with the intention it would help hold my mouth shut, thus keeping the contraption in my mouth. It didn’t work, plus I can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculous I looked. So I packed the mouthpiece up and returned it. Money-back guarantees are wonderful.

Back to the drawing board aka Google search.

I found another product that gave me hope — the SnoreDoc Advanced Anti Snoring and Sleep Aid Device. Believe me, the name is much bigger than the item itself. In short, it looks like a pacifier and holds your tongue forward while you sleep. It took a couple of nights to become accustomed to it and to fit it just right, but I believe I’ve found a winner.

It’s been nearly a month and no snoring, not to mention now I actually feel rested when I get up each morning.

And so does everyone else within earshot of me at night.

Contact Dana King at dking@shawmedia.com

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