Snoring Partners Are A Bigger Problem To Your Job Than You Might Think: Yes Your Job!
Those of you who follow me online might know that I, more than most, believe in a symbiosis between work life and personal life. I don’t mean to say that your work life should bleed into your personal life or vice versa, but the fact of the matter is that it does. Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work and the rest of our time at home. The more comfortable we are understanding that these two primary threads of our lives affect each other, the easier it is for us to create harmony between the two. Of course, the flip side of this is that if something is going wrong in one of these two realms, the other sphere of life has to deal with the disruption.
Today, I want to talk about snoring and sleeping and how it affects your job. Yes, I said your job. That is my beat after all, the workplace.
After that opening, you might have been expecting something bigger or more sensationalist, but I am here to tell you that snoring has the power to make life very difficult. Whether you snore yourself and wake up or you are struggling to sleep because a partner is snoring, can throw your whole day out of whack. We all know how difficult it is to work when we are exhausted and sleeping next to someone who is struggling to breathe makes it near impossible to get the requisite seven hours.
In fact, this issue is much more common than some people might imagine. Funny right? We seem to have no filters when we talk to our co-workers and yet you never hear anyone talk about their partner’s snoring. We will talk about intimate details in our relationships and write about them online, we will cry at work when getting over a breakup, but we won’t talk about how we might as well have been trying to sleep in a recycling factory the previous night. I have no idea why this topic is verboten, but it is; saying you’re exhausted because your partner was doing his best impression of a coal-powered train in his sleep doesn’t fly as an excuse at work.
So if this is an issue for you, short of divorce, start by filming your partner for a couple of minutes with your smartphone while she or he is snoring. I know this sounds strange, but most people who snore don’t realize what they sound like, look like, and what happens to them when they stop breathing. If watching themselves choking on air doesn’t get them to wear the C-PAP masks, or go talk to their doctors, then nothing will.
My point is that by hook or by crook you need to find a way to get your sleep. My dear friend and mentor Arianna Huffington, formerly of the Huffington Post, where I am a contributor, released a book last year titled The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, which offers an excellent survey of the copious evidence of the importance of a good night’s sleep. I won’t spoil Arianna’s full analysis, but the main thrust of her argument is that sleep is essential and more difficult to come by in our times than ever before. After reading the book, I feel like I can say conclusively, with the full weight of the scientific community behind me that you likely aren’t getting as much sleep as you should be--and that’s even before we think about snoring spouses. With that in mind, you need to find a way to convince your partner to make concessions to try to stop snoring. If not for their own health, then for yours.
Taking all this medical, statistical, and practical advice out of the equation, I find that people also start to resent their partners who snore. The upshot is that the snoring is not just affecting your sleep and your work but it is also affecting your relationship, which in turn affects your work even more. I mean, what is more annoying than having your alarm go off when you’re still exhausted? The answer is having your alarm go off when you’re still tired because your idiot of a partner couldn’t be bothered to stop by the CVS to pick up breathing strips, or wear his C-Pap! If your partner is to blame for your pain and suffering, then who wouldn’t resent them? Now, some may think that I am blowing this all out of proportion, but I have seen relationships fall apart because of this (yes, relationships plural).
So onto solutions. If you can convince your partner to try some breathing strips or to start using their very expensive, doctor-prescribed C-PAP machine--zero noise comes out of the C-PAP, and yet people still refuse to use it--that’s great. Even that might not work for everyone, though. In these situations, if you have the space, the best option is starting to sleep in different bedrooms. I know it sounds crazy, but it worked in Victorian England and it’s gaining popularity today too. Just last week, the Wall Street Journal had a whole feature on couples opting for houses with two master bedrooms. And don’t worry, birthrates increased in the Victorian era. Just because you have two different rooms, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed in each other’s beds (I just read somewhere that Melania Trump insists on separate beds from President Trump).
The bottom line is, you need to have a good night sleep, in order to have a good day at work. Snoring is just one of many things that may disrupt sleep, drinking too much, a new baby at home (I’m not saying don’t have a baby), noisy neighbors, anything could be the reason. Seek professional help if applicable or find another solution. Just make sure you get your seven hours!
Stephen Viscusi is the CEO of The Viscusi Group, a global executive search practice specializing in the interior furnishings industry located in New York City. Viscusi is the author of the HarperCollins book "Bulletproof Your Job". . Viscusi is the author of the HarperCollins book "Bulletproof Your Job". You can visit his website at www.viscusigroup.com or follow him on twitter at @Stephenviscusi, Instagram at Stephenviscusi and Facebook Write him at Stephen@Viscusigroup.com