Guest column: Weapons in the war against snoring

My wife has suggested that I snore. I have little or no reason to doubt her, being the sweet angel I believe her to be. So we decided to first be as non-invasive as possible, and purchased a rubber strap through an internet ad.

The one end fit over the chin, and pulled back and upwards, hooking over one’s ears. But even with the loosest setting it felt uncomfortably tight on my jaw.

I knew if I kept using it, the chin strap would have my jaw pulled backwards permanently — and I’d look like the anti-Jay Leno. Soup could drool out of my mouth in a straight shot to my kneecaps … an investment wasted, as the chin strap ended up in the back of the drawer on my nightstand.

Snoring solutions

The angel of my life was relentless, and next ordered a small horseshoe-shaped device with small plastic balls at each end. When inserted into one’s nose upside-down around the septum, the contact on certain pressure points is supposed to stop snoring in its tracks. Only it didn’t. It, too, was money wasted, and relegated to the back of my nightstand.

Moving on, I tried next, at my angel’s suggestion, the band-aid like strips one places over the bridge of the nose. Supposedly by design, they lift the nostrils upward, allowing more air to flow through one’s nose. It seemed to have some limited effect, and we utilized that method for a year or so — until I was told repeatedly, with increasing impatience, “You were snoring again last night.”

Only there seemed to be something to her complaints because she was now getting up and sleeping in the guest bedroom. What an angel — she didn’t ask me to leave!


The next attempt was another nostril opening contraption; this one was like the band-aid over the outside to open the nostrils up, only this one was inserted inside each nostril with a connecting band that hung around the septum (much like the earlier mentioned Horseshoe with balls).

However, this was more than just pressure point technology: this was an adjustable, expanding device that pushed the nostrils outward with adjustable force — depending on the size of one’s nose-angel tells me I needed the Texan — calculated to allow even more air through one’s nose.

We bought some. To ensure there was a constant supply and that we’d never run out, my angel bought and stockpiled several months’ worth. They seemed to work better than anything before, until they didn’t.

Or did they? A certain doubt was creeping into my mind. She would push me, or maybe a well-placed foot in my back, and say, “You’re snoring.” But I was awake, and protested “I’m not snoring, my sweets, I’m awake and daydreaming.” She didn’t believe me … or at least didn’t let up.

Volt of energy

By now there was little room left in the nightstand drawer. My angel then ordered me the latest device. This one, however, crossed the line. It was based on electric shock!

Upon opening the package as we did, one finds an instruction manual, charging cord and a device that is to be secured under one’s chin, and held in place by two elastic strings that hook over the ears, and are adjustable for tension.

The device is about the size of a collar-stay you would find in your new dress shirt. It has two silver electrodes that are held firmly against your skin. The device is designed to send a shock to you whenever it senses a vibration, as when one is snoring.

There are six different settings imaginable indicated by little blue lights, that indicate how severe a shock the wearer is to receive.

After we tried it for one night on blue light level one, my angel informed me it didn’t work. She insisted I needed to raise the level. That should have been my first clue. On the second night, trying to be a nice guy, I raised it to three, but didn’t put it on when I went to brush my teeth. Returning to bed I strapped it on and quietly, without uttering a sound, attempted to go to sleep.

That’s when the daughter of Satan engaged me in conversation. Like a fool I responded, not knowing she had secretly raised the electronic limit from three to six.

My chin immediately felt like a stove doing bacon. Electric flashes shot out of my ears. I howled in pain as I reached for the “Chin Burner” and ripped it off. Daughter of Satan howled with laughter and uncontrollable glee.

I now sleep in the guestroom every night. My advice to people who have spouses who snore is, spare your loved one the pain. Simply put a pillow over their heads and have a good lawyer on retainer.

Robin Auld is a former prosecutor (Chicago and Southwest Colorado), coupled with 37 years of a general trial practice in four states. He and his wife Belinda are presently retired in Sequim, where he belongs to Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club and plays lots of golf.