Snoring is a major relationship stressor and how you talk about it makes all the difference.
Confession: When I reached my breaking point with Dan’s snoring, I did not handle it well. The roar of his snoring, along with a baby and a toddler interrupting my sleep for weeks on end, turned me into a shadow of my former self.
I’m not proud of what happened next. My psychology degree and communication skills went out the window. I simply went on the attack. This typically happened before my morning coffee. When my sweet husband would ask me a simple question, I would respond in a clipped tone and sometimes descend into tears of frustration. “Arrrghhhhh! Your snoring kept me awake all night!!!”
Aside from this one significant problem, our relationship was great. I didn’t want my resentment to spiral into bigger issues for us. We weren’t willing to sleep separately and risk our physical and emotional intimacy. Eventually, we were able to discuss it rationally, and we agreed to work together to find a solution.
I hope these five tips will help you use better judgement than I did.
- Choose a neutral time. Don’t approach your husband in the morning when you are grumpy and tired. Choose a time when you both feel relaxed and connected.
- Use Empathy. Many snorers feel embarrassed or defensive. Remember, it’s not their fault that they snore. When you approach the topic with a patient and understanding tone, they are far more likely to respond positively.
- Don’t publicly shame him. That’s passive aggressive. Even joking about it with friends can make a snorer feels self-conscious or angry.
- Use “I” Statements. Rather than point the finger at them, ask them to help you solve this problem from your point of view. For example: “I feel so tired and short-tempered, and I think it would help both of us if I could get more sleep. Can you help me with that? I really want to sleep right next to you.”
- Discuss the health issues. Chronic snoring deprives the body of much-needed oxygen, which is why so many snorers feel tired and groggy. This is also why snoring and sleep apnea are linked to serious medical issues like heart attach, stroke, and diabetes. If your snorer is a man an you want to get his attention, let him know that snoring is linked to erectile dysfunction.
The nicotine in tobacco leads to actual physical dependence. This can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to quit. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) gives you nicotine – in the form of patches – but not the other harmful chemicals in tobacco. NRT can help relieve some of the physical withdrawal symptoms so that you can focus on the psychological (emotional) aspects of quitting. Many studies have shown using NRT can nearly double the changes of quitting smoking.
Smokers who are significantly dependent on nicotine should consider nicotine replacement or drug therapy to help them quit. Signs of severe dependence are:
- Smoking more than 1 pack a day;
- Smoking within 5 minutes of waking up;
- Smoking even while sick;
- Waking up at night to smoke;
- Smoking to ease symptoms of withdrawal
The more of these that apply, the more serious the dependence.
How does NRT work?
Nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) can help with the difficult withdrawal symptoms and carvings that most people say is their only reason for not giving up tobacco.
Many people can quit tobacco without using NRT, but most of those attempt quitting do not succeed on the first try. In fact, smokers usually need many tries – sometimes as many as 10 or more – before they’re able to quit for good. Most people who try to quit on their own go back to smoking within the first month of quitting – often because of the withdrawal symptoms.
Together with counseling or other support, NRT has been shown to help increase the number of smokeless tobacco users who quit, too.
Getting the most from nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) only deals with the physical dependence. It’s not meant to be the only thing you use to help you quit smoking. You’ll need other methods that help with the psychological (emotional and mental) part of tobacco, such as a quit program. Use these support systems during treatment with NRT and for at least a few months after you quit. Studies have shown that this approach – pairing NRT with a program that helps to change behavior – can improve your chances of quitting and staying quit compared to approaches that use only one method.
The best time to start NRT is when you first quit. Often people first try to quit tobacco on their own then decide to try NRT a day or more into quitting. This does not give you the greatest chance of success, but don’t let this discourage you. There are many options for quitting and staying quit. Just remember that it often takes many tries.
Who should not use Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) is safe for all adult who want to quit smoking except pregnant women and teens. Still, it’s best to discuss NRT use with your healthy care provider before starting it. You may have medical problems that should be considered. When looking at NRT use, the benefits of quitting tobacco must outweigh the potential health risks of NRT for each person.
People who are still smoking or using other form of tobacco should not use NRT. The companies that make NRT products warn that you should not use them if you’re still using tobacco, and the FDA has not approved them to be used in this way. Get the advice of a health care provider if you want to use NRT and smoke or chew.
NRT has not yet been proven to help people who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day. You might want to talk with your health care provider about a lower dose of NRT if you smoke less than that but feel you need nicotine replacement.
Can you get too much nicotine from NRT?
Nicotine overdose is rare, but possible. Nicotine replacement therapy products are labeled to match the amount of nicotine you get from NRT to the amount you got from tobacco. If used this way, you should get a nicotine dose fairly close to what you’ve been getting. You don’t want to get more than that, because higher doses of nicotine can cause harm. To avoid this, follow dosing instructions carefully. Also, don’t use heat on the skin near your nicotine patch – you could absorb more nicotine due to the increased blood supply.
Nicotine absorbs through the skin and mucous membranes, so you must store and dispose of your NRT safely. Nicotine overdose can cause death. Overdose is more of a problem in children and pets because of their smaller size. Keep NRT and used patches, safely away from children and pets. Never drop them on the street or in open trach cans where kids and animal can reach them.
Symptoms of nicotine overdose
Here are some symptoms of too much nicotine:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Belly pain
- Agitation, restlessness
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Cold sweat
- Pale skin and mouth
- Disturbed vision and hearing
- High blood pressure, which then drops
- Dizziness or faintness due to low blood pressure
- Fast breathing in early poisoning, breathing may stop later
Call Poison Control and get emergency help if you suspect an overdose. If you’re taking NRT as prescribed and are still having mild symptioms such as headache, vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating, lower your dose and talk to your health care provider.
How do I know whether I’m a light, average, or heavy smoker?
Most nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) products are recommended on the basis of how much you smoke. But there’s no formal category in any text book or group that defines a light, average, or heavy smoker.
These are general guidelines:
- Light smoker: Smokes fewer than 10 cigarettes per day
- Heavy smoker: Smokes a pack a day or more
- An average smoker falls in between.
Nicotine patches(transdermal nicotine systems)
The FDA has approved nicotine patches as nicotine replacement therapy.
Patches can be bought with or without a prescription.
Patches give a measured dose of nicotine through the skin. You’re weaned off nicotine by switching to lower-dose patches over a course of weeks. Many different types and strengths are available. Package instructions tell you how to use them, and list special considerations and possible side effects.
How to use nicotine patches: Depending on body size and smoking habits, most smokers should start using a full-strength path(21 mg of nicotine) daily for 4 weeks, and then use a weaker patch (14 mg of nicotine) for another 4 weeks. Finally, use the weakest patch (7 mg of nicotine) for another 4 weeks. The patch needs to be changed every day. It should be put on in the morning on a clean, dry area of the skin without much hair. It should be placed below the neck and above the waist – for instance, on the upper arm or chest. The FDA has approved using the patch for a total of 3 to 5 months.
Possible side effects of the nicotine patch include:
- Skin irritation (redness an itching)
- Racing heartbeat
- Sleep problems or unusual dreams
- Muscle aches and stiffness
No one has all of the side effects, and some people have none. Some side effects, such as racing heart, may occur because the dose of nicotine is too high for you. Stop using the patch and talk to your health care provider if this happens. You can also have nicotine withdrawal symptoms during this time if your NRT dose is too low.
What to do about side effects
- Try a different brand of brand of patch if your skin becomes irritated.
- Reduce the amount of nicotine by using a lower-dose patch.
- Sleep problems may go way in 3 or 4 days. If not, and you’re using a 24-hour patch, try switching to a 16- hour patch.
- Stop using the patch and try a different form of NRT.
I have an interesting friend Aquila.
We have known each other for twelve years. In 2007, he moved to Shanghai after graduating from university. We have a lot in common, so we discussed many topics. At that time, he was preparing to study in San Francisco. Frankly, it’s not easy to make this decision. I encouraged him to go forward with his plan and I reminded him that God is always faithful if we obey His laws.
Eventually, Aquila decided to go to San Francisco.
In 2013, I met him again in the same city. He was not single, and his wife stood with him. They had just returned from Africa. They had stayed there for one year. Like before, he shared their life in Nigeria where it’s hot and people easily get old. Particularly, he shared a local story regarding the monkey. The story went like this: It is said that in order to catch a monkey, people put a big nut in a bottle with a small neck. When a monkey tries to get the nut out of the bottle with its hand, it can’t because the neck is too small. The problem is that the monkey doesn’t give up and escapes, so the hunter easily catches it.
I envied Aquila and his wife’s life. Like the wind, he can live anywhere in the world. At that time his wife was pregnant, so they had stayed in Shanghai until their daughter was two years old.
In 2015, I moved to San Francisco, Aquila also had a short trip there. Actually, he was preparing to evangelize in Tunisia. He also shared his plan with me. At first, he wanted to learn Arabic and French.
A week ago, Aquila came to Dover. Now he can communicate in Arabic, and he became a tour guide. He was really popular with Chinese visitors to Tunisia. People who watched Casablanca really want to explore Tunisia. He thinks Tunisia is similar to America, where people can do everything freely. The biggest difference is that 98% of people are Muslim. When Ramadan starts, people cannot eat during the daytime. Only a few restaurants are open for special people. When he tried to eat lunch in a restaurant, where it was really dark inside, and people couldn’t speak. They kept silent, and just like a thief. Sounds interesting!
Now Aquila prepares to go to Kenya. I hope he will have a wonderful time with his family.
I prefer spring because I can fly kites with my son. Last year, when the first warm weekend came, we went to Boyce Park and many people enjoyed the sunshine there. When we began to fly our kite, we caught much attention. Many kids asked us to let them try. They were so eager to play with the kite. Looking at their eager eyes, we found we were so welcomed.
If you ask me what the best day of my life was, I will tell you it was Feb 15th. My wife and son came back to America after a long month vacation in China on that day.
I left home at 10 am. It took me two hours to arrive at Newark International Airport. I parked the car in 106. After that, I began to check my messages. Sacha asked me whether I would be back in the afternoon because he needed my help. I was sorry to hear that but I would not be able to help him. I had to wait for my family. Honestly, the airplane was delayed.
My mother-in-law asked me whether they had arrived or not. I told her that they had been delayed for half an hour. I also hoped that she would not worry and just go to sleep. It was midnight in China.
A young mother kissed her husband. She seemed excited. She took her turn to push the stroller while the little boy was still sleeping.
At this time my phone was ringing. My friend Jonathan was calling me. He asked whether I met my family. I was about to say not yet, but wait–I found them! Perfect!
Finally, I pick up my wife and son. What a beautiful day it was!
Today is the first day of 2019. We did many things.
Yesterday, many people in New York City came to Dover, because they wanted to participate in New Year’s service.
Around 7 pm, we went to sleep together in order to avoid dozing off in the service.
We woke up at 10 pm and drove to the chapel even though it was raining outside. As I imagined, many people had arrived there already. All of them want to receive more blessings for the first day of the new year.
First of all, we shared the 10 imortant news of 2018. Then our pastor delivered the verse from Psalm 23. I fell that the lord is my shepherd and he will satisfy me in 2019. Also, God will lead me everywhere, and I will receive more blessing than before. Finally, I got my verse which is from Mattew 21:22–If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
This morning, I got up around 8 am. It’s warm outside so I walked to Stone Church. Meanwhile, I thought about the plan for the new year. My son was excited as he got the new year money of $20.
In the afternoon, I went to the park and played basketball, and my son also went with me and played with his friends. I’m not happy about the game because our team member always played basketball with the body, and they didn’t realize that we need to cooperate as a team. They just jumped and shotted, but did not pass the ball to the team member. I was worried that they might fight each other. Fortunately, everyone was good. It’s just a game.
After dinner, our family held a meeting. We discussed the conclusion of 2018 and the plan of 2019. I’m graceful that we don’t fight against each other. We find a way to solve our difference in the past year.
It’s a cold day today, but really sunny. Just as my friend Eugene, I saw his smile eventually.
Eugene moved to Dover from London with his wife and a two year old daughter. He has long arms and runs really fast. Like me, he likes playing basketball. When he works, he makes it more interesting. For example, he moves goods live skating. As a conclusion, he is actually a good guy.
Two days ago, I found that he walked around the office, thinking about something special. When I talked to him, he seemed sad and didn’t say anything. The manager said that he didn’t feel well so just let him be alone.
I heard that he didn’t go back home that night and slept in the meeting room. Frankly, we were worried about him.
During tea time, he asked me that how long I have been married. At first, I couldn’t hear him clearly. I misunderstood that how long I have played basketball with Mark. Therefore, I replied that it’s only half an hour. But he was not happy and repeated that word again–married. Now I knew the his problem. He might have been in trouble with his wife.
In this situation, I shared my experience with him. I told him that I have been married for many years. Obviously I experienced many difficulties in the marriage. It is said that men come from Mars while women come from Venus. Obviously they have different orbits, and they always have difficulty to meet each other. Similarly, we have different attitudes and personalities. As time goes by, we know each other deeply. Initially, I always pushed her to follow my step, but I failed. So now I learned a new lesson. It is said that you may become an artist or a philosopher in the marriage.
Eugene listened very carefully and agreed with me. Now he is happy again!