Readers reply: why don’t snorers wake themselves up?

Why doesn’t my husband wake himself up with his snoring? It is so loud I can hear it downstairs through the ceiling (he does a lot of shift work so we often sleep at different times). Sometimes I record him to show him how loud it is. It baffles me that snorers don’t wake themselves up. I would love to know why. Lucy Matthews

Chronic snoring – loud and consistent – can be a sign of sleep apnoea, which should be taken seriously, as it can cause stress on the cardiovascular system. Effective treatment is available. I repeat: please take it seriously. YelloSnoCone

Regular snorer here: mea culpa. The truth is that sometimes our snoring does wake us up. In a recent incident, every time I fell asleep, I could swear I was being woken by possums fighting in the tree outside my bedroom. After three or four times, I eventually twigged that it was, in fact, my snoring, which happened to be at a pitch that quite closely matched our frequent marsupial visitors. Brian Hill

I showed this to my heavy snorer wife who says: “I do though.” Reader: she does not. Matthew Prior

I am a lifetime loud snorer and do wake myself up. If I use a decongestant spray or snore strips, I sleep a lot better; otherwise I’m continually waking throughout the night. I sleep alone nowadays, the only person who will share a room with me is my daughter, who seems to be oblivious. Leonne Griggs

A snore will, in fact, wake the snorer up. Fortunately, the arousal lasts for about two seconds and does not have the potency to interrupt a sleep effectively. That is why, a snorer’s blissful sleep does not come to an end despite the disturbance experienced. Judah Sharon B

A question dear to my heart. Why doesn’t my wife wake herself up with her snoring? It is so loud I can hear it next door in the spare bedroom. Sometimes I record her to show her how loud it is. She wears earplugs … so, clearly that’s the reason. galvinonthewing

And if you have sleep apnoea, it’s quite likely you have moments where you will completely stop breathing. This in turn forces you to wake up and gulp in some air. You might wake up many times during the night, thus experiencing a bad night’s sleep, and feeling fatigued the next day. My partner’s snoring woke them up like this many times during the night, and made their life in a wheelchair much more dangerous (including a spell of falling asleep while crossing the street). Get your snoring checked out by a sleep expert, those Cpap devices they prescribe are a lifesaver, and much quieter than sawing wood. ChemtrailSniffa

One possibility is that heavy snorers are also very heavy sleepers. The worst person I ever knew for snoring also once napped through someone running a chainsaw right next to their window. Of course, many of us suspect that snorers were sent here to torment the rest of us, and their evil plan wouldn’t work if they woke up, so perhaps it’s part of the wicked design … Thomas1178

I’m an occasional snorer, and will get a kick from my wife if I’m going through a loud patch. I often get kicked when I don’t think I’m even asleep. My mind will still be processing the day, and I would say I’m conscious and generally aware of what is going on around me. But I’m clearly not hearing my snoring! Gregedo

While I was lying awake listening to my wife snore, she would wake herself, thump me and tell me to stop snoring. Tedami7

It’s really weird, isn’t it? You would think that evolution would have stamped it out. If snoring doesn’t signal someone who is so out of it that they would make easy prey, then I don’t know what would. Sporpo

Towards the start of spring, hedgehogs begin to snore very loudly (at least they did in my Nottinghamshire garden). We often wondered why badgers or foxes failed to locate the animal and make a snack of it (we had both in the garden at intervals). However, when visiting one of the Baltic states, we went into a 14th-century pharmacy. There we found dried and charred hedgehog offered as a cure (for respiratory problems, as I eventually discovered via Google). So, on the one hand, badgers and foxes take no heed, but human predators do (at least, they did in the 14th century). Bufospinosus

Seems to me that the real question for the letter-writer should be: “Why am I sleepwalking through life where I don’t urge my partner, with snoring that severe, to seek a sleep-study for what is often a life-threatening and always a life-impactful condition?” DrFaustroll

My sister is a horrendous snorer. We shared a bedroom throughout our childhood and adolescence, meaning that I had many disturbed nights, although I learned to live with it. She snores because of a jaw defect, which would require having her jaw broken to correct. Unsurprisingly, she decided against that, meaning that the snoring continued unabated. She often woke herself snoring, but had no recollection of this the next day. I might have voted for the broken jaw, but she met her partner and moved out. Now he has to deal with it and I get a peaceful night’s sleep! Medea1982

A divorced psychologist writes: the explanation is really quite simple. My own extensive research into this subject over a number of years, nobly using myself as guinea pig, concluded that contrary to popular belief the perceived sonic phenomenon of snoring has in fact no material existence, and thus cannot be heard by or disturb the accused sleeper. It is, rather, a projected hysterical aural hallucination. The condition is typically experienced by a habitually insomniac partner who shares the subject’s bed, and thus serves as a convenient excuse for violently kicking him awake at intervals throughout the night out of sheer jealousy. ThereisnoOwl