Over the past few years I’ve become an increasingly noisy sleeper. The primary cause is allergies; once the congestion starts there’s just no way to sleep quietly — whether I breathe through my mouth or through my nose, my sweetie will have something to keep her company on sleepless nights. She also has a lot more sleepless nights.
I’ve been taking allergy pills for a long time. I don’t think Claritin has any affect on me at all; I certainly couldn’t tell any difference on nights I forgot to take the little pill. I switched to a different one whose name I can’t think of right now, and it seems a little better, but not much.
Recently I decided to try a mechanical solution to my (and my sweetie’s) woes. Nose pull-open thingies (NPOTs) are basically pieces of plastic that you tape to your nose. The plastic acts as a spring and pulls your air passages open a little wider.
You know something? Those suckers work. We started with the CVS brand, and the first night was completely different than any I’ve had in months, if not years. There were two bits of adjustment; it didn’t take long to get used to the piece of plastic taped to my nose, but an area inside my right nostril was irritated, and that lasted all night.
I have a theory about that, if you will indulge me. My right nostril is very small, and pinched almost shut. (I’m not sure, but I think that indicates I have some cold-weather heritage influencing my nostril-size genes.) If I inhale sharply though my nose, the right nostril closes down completely. The irritation, I believe, is a result of air making contact with parts of my nose that almost never feel the arid kiss of the atmosphere.
NPOTs are more expensive than pills, but Costco carries a name-brand version in bulk, and bang-for-buck they kick the pills’ tiny corn-starch asses. Then there’s the added bonus that you’re not altering your body chemistry, or introducing an agent into your bloodstream that we might realize years from now is bad for you. (There’s the adhesive to worry about, I suppose, but I’ll take the chemicals on my skin over the chemicals in my blood any day.)
If breathing at night is an issue for you, give NPOTs a try. You (or your companion) might just thank me.