Dear Annie: I used to get by on six hours of sleep a night, but as I’ve gotten older, I really like to sleep for a full eight or nine hours every night. But the problem is that it is not always easy to sleep that long, especially if I am snoring a lot.
I snore so loudly that my wife sometimes asks me to sleep on the couch, or she will sleep there herself. But even if I am alone, my snoring is so bad that sometimes it wakes me up. I know that sounds funny, but it’s true.
I am really looking for any suggestions you have for more restful sleep. I do know that when I try to get by on less than eight hours of sleep, I am much more susceptible to colds and the flu. When I manage to sleep eight or nine hours a night, I always feel much better and almost never get sick.
My wife would also appreciate your help with this. She knows I can’t control the snoring, but her patience is wearing thin. – Snoring in Slumberland
Dear Snoring: Everyone has a favorite “stop snoring” remedy. Ask around and you’re likely to hear dozens: Take a hot shower before bedtime; use a saline rinse to clear the nasal passages; don’t drink alcohol; lose weight; tape tennis balls to your back so you sleep on your side, etc.
All of those are worth trying, but the best thing for you to do is visit your doctor. He or she can review your symptoms and refer you to a sleep specialist for evaluation, as it’s possible you’re suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea not only deprives you of those wonderful full-slumber nights but also is incredibly dangerous if left untreated. For your health and the health of your marriage, it’s important to put this problem to bed as soon as possible.
Dear Annie: After reading the letter from “Confused Young Life in California,” the young man who is incarcerated, I am begging you to please stop telling millennials, “You can still be whoever you want.” This is how we parents have messed up our children. We have told them all their lives that they can do whatever they want to do in life if they simply work hard enough. It is just not true, and intellectually, you know that. We all do.
This is particularly true for someone coming out of prison. Such a person has the deck stacked against him because he is a former criminal. Period.
This young man needs to hear the unvarnished truth. He can still become a contributing member of society. But because of his actions, he most likely will not be able to be whoever he wants to be.
Words of encouragement are powerful, but they need to be used in a realistic way. Before this young man can achieve a meaningful life, he needs to have an arsenal of truth. – DBS
Dear DBS: Notice that I said this young man can be “whoever,” not “whatever,” he wants – a matter of heart, not aptitude.
Every morning, we open our eyes and get to decide what type of person we want to be that day. What I want is for this young man to see that there’s a light within him just waiting to shine.
But to your point: Yes, it’s important to have realistic goals. But it’s just as important to have improbable, idealistic, get-laughed-out-of-the-room goals. Planning for the worst doesn’t mean you have to stop hoping for the best.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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