Amol Rajan: I need Ed Miliband to help with my sleep problems


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The Independent Online

It's dawning on me that, soon enough, I shall have to do an Ed Miliband. No, not join the Labour Party and plot my route to the top; nor knife my elder brother to secure prime position. I'm talking about surgery for a deviated septum, or whatever it is, that's causing me not to sleep. Miliband recently had the operation to cure his sleep apnoea – and adenoidal voice. I sympathise with him, because I snore like a monster.

I'm not talking here about the sonorous chuntering of a walrus, or the mild rumble of a rhino. It's altogether more serious than that. I don't so much trumpet as veritably didgeridoo my way through the moonlit hours. I've done it for years, of course, and though I'm certainly overweight, the doctor reckons I'm not nearly rotund enough to find a dietary explanation for my nasal version of the midnight mass.

I'm generally nonplussed on the matter – so long as I'm alone. But in the next few weeks I'm moving in with my long-suffering girlfriend. She deserves some respite. So I went to the doctor last week to seek a referral. Cycling in, two issues crossed my mind, a mixture of principles and practicality.

First of all, should I even feel guilty about snoring? I do, of course; but you can only feel true guilt for that for which you are responsible. Being asleep, I don't have a great deal of control over my nasal passage. I guess that just makes it worse. Second, should the NHS have to stump up around £1,300 – the estimated cost of Miliband's operation – because of me? Sure, I pay my taxes; but in austere times aren't there more deserving causes for our hospitals than Adenoidal Amol?

I figure that I need sleep too much not to take action, and am bored of feeling guilty about my girlfriend. So I will have the operation – but only as a last resort. I therefore want your help, dear readers. I've tried everything: nasal spray, nasal strips, honey and lemon, snorting magnesium filings off a matchstick – ok, not that – but to no avail.

If any of you have some tips – whether old wives' tales, young husbands', or neither, please get in touch. Twitter is best. The address is below. We could save the NHS over £1,000, as well as my relationship. I'll report any successful methods, along with their author's names, in a future column.