Sunday Mail Feature Story

The Sunday Mail December 5, 2010 P. 61
by Shane Doherty
In one of those lucky coincidences, the stop-snoring shop is right next to one for relationships counselling. I went there, the snoring place, because my wife had so decreed, not in so many word,s but in kicks and punches.

She’d also recorded something coming from my mouth that sounded like Wayne Goss drowning in a vat of vaseline and judging by your letters it’s noise familiar in bedrooms across Queensland.

Since I wrote about my guilty secret I’ve been inundated with “cures”. I write “cures” that way because who knows what works?

My favourite was the envelope with a roll of surgical tape inside. It was from a man who’s been going to bed for 40 years with his head wrapped up like Tutankhamun – not pretty but effective. He’s the most dedicated husband in the world because not many of us would bind their heads for a woman.

Some recommended something called the Buteyko Method which for some reason made me think of a machine you’d see on morning television offering a more shapely bottom. That or a martial art involving long sticks of bamboo.

And then there were the good people of Cairns Private Hospital who wanted to seduce me to their sleep clinic with promises of sandy tropical beaches on which to try my newly acquired snore free siestas. Had they added the word “free” I’d have been there on the next plane. At this point I should point out snoring is a real health problem and you should get you GP to write you a referral to a sleep clinic where serious people in lab coats will give you a proper diagnosis.

Sleep apnoea is a killer no one should take lightly and I am in no way qualified to tell anybody how to treat medical disorders.

I know all this and still I ignored it and just asked around work if anyone knew something that fixes snoring. One bloke had an operation that involved cutting his soft palate. That’s about all he got out before I fainted. Another had forked out about $600 for a mouthguard that involved no blood letting at all. This person is notoriously hard to hoodwink so I decided to take his advice and give it a try. Not only had this device stopped his snoring it had also given him a better night’s sleep.

Its makers boasted success in 98 per cent of cases.

So I stood in the waiting area of the mouthguard people. I asked the dentist fitting me for the mouthguard why, given the lucrative rewards of general dentistry, he would specialise in a stop-snoring device. The snore guy was philosophical. “A filling is a filling but it rarely changes people’s lives,” he said.

You have to admit that’s a good answer. And three weeks later it appears he was right. Sure, it felt a bit odd to begin with but it’s remarkable how quickly you get accustomed to having a big wad of plastic in your gob. It’s like kitting up for a ruck with the All Blacks.

There’s also the bonus of heading to bed with someone no longer repulsed by the idea. When I talk she says it makes me sound like Sean Connery. It’s called Snorex and, so far, I’m not on their payroll.

But I could be giving them some return custom. It’s only now that I’ve stopped snoring I realise there’s this strange sound coming from the other side of the bed – like “you know who” drowning in a vat of Vaseline.