I’ve spent more than a few nights in a hotel room with my mommie dearest, so next time she wakes me up in the middle of the night, well, I know where I’ll be sending her…on the next flight to Germany to take a nap in the Museum of Snoring.
The Alfelder-Schlafapnoe-Gesellschaft (ASG) is the one of the oldest self-help groups for the condition known as sleep apnea. Because they like to help people (hey, that’s what they do), they opened up a museum to display their collection of vintage and modern sleep relief instruments. Luckily, a dedicated physician and sleep specialist named Jospeh Wirth was willing to help out and run the place. Some items in the collection include leather chinstraps attached to mouth coverings (wait…is this an S&M Museum?), various nasal sprays and ointments, vintage humidifiers and buzz zappers to awaken any noisy mouth breathers. The S&M theme continues with a so-called “ear suppository” that is paled into a snorer’s ear to prevent him or her from turning over on his or her side. There is a belt with a metal ball attached to the back to make people stay on their sides. Prosthetic devices where shoved in a mouth to pull the upper jaw to the front by force, while “pinned” noses stretched nostrils for more oxygen. One must ask a few things after visiting a museum like this – Are all these instruments of torture pay back for the pain snorers put their sleeping partners through? And how did people sleep with these things anyway?
And for those who have breathing issues, don’t feel bad…you are not alone. Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Napoleon and Johannes Brahms were all snorers.