Confessions of a Snore Partner
I was up a lot again the other night. It was hard to fall asleep over the loud, deep groans of my husband's snoring. And after a while, I started to feel under the weather. My nose started to tickle, then I started to sneeze. My head and throat started to ache - sure signs I was coming down with something. It was well into the morning hours when I finally fell asleep.
And at about 9 o'clock the following morning, I had already made the decision to take something to help me sleep that night. I couldn't wait for a bed. And not only was I extremely tired - yawning and struggling to keep my heavy eyelids open - but my sneezing never stopped.
You've probably had a few nights of sleep like this, too. When you find yourself awake at night, counting the hours and minutes until your alarm is set to go off, tallying up how many hours of sleep you'll get "If I just fell asleep right now." It's like a domino effect. After getting too few hours of crummy sleep, the next day I was desperate for my first cup of coffee. And now, I was counting down the hours until I could finally go back to bed.
And when you have too many nights like this, sleeplessness can turn into sickness.
It got me thinking...
We all know how important sleep is to our physical health, but could one bad night of sleep really leave me with a cold? My whole life I've dealt with a weaker immune system, and yes, poor sleep has left me with sickness here and there. But while I was constantly dabbing my drippy nose, I grew frustrated with not knowing the cause.
And I had way more questions than answers...
Was I getting sick because I wasn't sleeping well? Or was I not sleeping well because I was getting sick?
"Or is it just allergies? It is that time of year…"
"Maybe it's a cold - my head and sinuses hurt, too. But maybe that's from all the sneezing, it's hard to tell. Oh gosh, I cannot afford to get sick right now…"
"Wait, how do I tell the difference between a cold and the flu?"
"And of course these days, it's even more complex: "What are the COVID symptoms, again?"
My brain was running in circles now. It took everything in me to get through my work day and not look up my symptoms… (sometimes, it's just better not knowing.)
Sleep & Your Health
Sleep is critical to your well-being. The effects of poor sleep - whether it's intermittent, unrestful, incomplete, or not enough - will be with you throughout the day. And it can compound, day after day after day...
Biologically speaking, our bodies expect to sleep. It's the reset on our biological clock that keeps it ticking. It ensures that the immune system stays defensive, our cognitive abilities remain sharp, and has even been linked to regulating gut health.
So it's no wonder every time I feel tired after a long night of too much snoring and too little sleep, it feels like I'm getting sick. My lack of sleep is physically interfering with my body's biological patterns and responses - the things the human body has been doing naturally for millions of years…
By the time I got home from work that night, my nose raw and red from all the tissue use, my husband and I greeted each other like zombies. Turns out, because of my tossing and turning and sneezing all night, he didn't get much sleep either.
I am sure of one thing… Regardless of what was causing my sneezing and overall feelings of crumminess, a good night's sleep was the one thing I wanted and needed the most.
If you can relate to this frustrating story of snoring, sniffles, and sleepless nights, maybe it's time to get things checked out. ADVENT tackles what's really going on behind your nose - whether that's too-small anatomy causing snoring and sleep apnea, or sinus issues caused by an irritated and inflamed lining - they can help fix whatever it is that's not working as it should.
Sleep is a necessary element of your health. It allows your body to stave off illness and for your brain to recharge. Here are some helpful tips for getting the good night's sleep you deserve:
- Maintain a comfortable environment by sleeping with your preferred mattress, sheets, pillow, and room temperature
- Establish a bedtime and routine that allows you to achieve the recommended 7-9 hours every night
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and large meals near bedtime
- Build an exercise routine into your day
- Abstain from screen time (televisions, phones, computers) within 2 hours before sleep