There are several common fears about traveling as a member of a women's travel group: Will I be the oldest? Will I be the slowest? Will everyone else want to spend a lot of time shopping? (Answers: maybe, could be, possibly but not likely). We get asked these alot either before or after women sign up for a trip. But there is another largely unspoken fear and its time to get it out in the open.
Yup, after we get to a certain age, a majority of women snore. Sometimes its a delicate little snore and sometimes its a steam engine. But its pretty common. Some women are afraid that their snoring will keep their roommate awake. Others fear that their roommate's snoring will keep them awake.
On our health form, we used to ask 1) do you snore? and 2) does snoring bother you? But both questions have problems. Many women simply don't know - if we don't share a bed with someone who is willing to tell us and we don't wake ourselves up, we have no way of knowing whether or not we snore.
The problem with the second question is that snoring bothers almost everyone, including women who snore. The only people who aren't bothered are those that sleep deeply (not so common once we're over 40) and those with hearing problems (increasingly common as we age but not usually so profound as to completely muffle everything). It seems unfair to "punish" women who snore by making them sleep with other snorers if snoring bothers them. As irritating as snoring can be, there is absolutely nothing an individual can do to control it.
Fortunately there is another solution and this is the one we're suggesting now: earplugs. I first really learned about earplugs when I was on our Tour du Mont Blanc trip about 9 years ago. One night 12 of us were sleepig in one large room without too much space between our mattresses (it's a very unusual trip that way). I just happened to be sleeping next to someone who was a big fan of earplugs, and most importantly, knew how to use them. She taught me, I followed her advice, and the next morning woke up after a good night's sleep. Several people started commenting about how much noise there had been in the room and how much snoring had occurred. I hadn't heard any of it. Now earplugs are part of my toiletry kit. And whenever someone tells me that earplugs don't work for them, I make sure they are using them correctly.
The trick is to make sure they are compressed before you insert them and then to straighten your ear canal as you slide them in. Since this is a bit difficult to explain, watching this excellent youTube video will help. If snoring bothers you but you don't like having to pay extra for your own room to assure a peaceful night, this will be the best 5 mintues you spend this week.