What Does it Mean to Sleep with Someone who has Sleep Apnea?
Sleep disorders ruin your night’s rest and leave you sleep-deprived. Rest problems like obstructive sleep apnea are complicated and can cause severe damage to your health. It is so because people with undiagnosed OSA can develop stroke, hypertension, and heart problems. But, today, instead of focusing on the struggles of sleep apnea patients, we will talk about the challenges faced by those staying with the OSA patient. So, to understand what it means to live with someone with sleep apnea and what you can do to support your partner, read this blog. Here you go!
What are the stakes if your partner has sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a dangerous rest problem that can lead to long-term issues with the heart, BP, and memory. The condition takes a severe toll on the patient and affects those living with sleep apnea patients. Here is what is at stake:
1. Physical intimacy
Experts suggest that having sleep apnea can decrease the sex drive. The condition is an independent correlate of both erectile and sexual dysfunction. In patients with sleep apnea, low oxygen levels further contribute to the risk of sexual disorder. It is true for both males and females. So, if any one of you suffers from this condition, physical intimacy will take a hit. It may take a back seat, which can affect the relationship in the long run.
2. Emotional bond
People with sleep apnea fail to get a good night’s rest, leaving them exhausted and sleep-deprived. This is not ideal as lack of sleep affects the mood and causes one to act irritated, annoyed, and bothered. Besides, people with OSA also feel stressed and burdened because of their condition and the treatment process. If you are not careful, all these bad emotions can seep into the relationship and ruin your bond.
3. Poor sleep
One of the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. So, if you have a partner with this condition, you will have to learn to sleep through the loud noises. It can be challenging for people who cannot rest without pin-drop silence. If that happens, we will have two sleep-deprived partners who are perpetually in bad moods. It may increase the chances of fights and poor relationships.
Since the stakes are so high, it is understandable that you will want your partner to begin treatment asap. But, this is not as easy. Unfortunately, many people go undiagnosed because they do not take their symptoms seriously. Even if they start on the treatment, they may not find a cure that suits them. This can further delay the treatment process.
How can you support your partner who has sleep apnea?
It is understandable that you are sleep-deprived if your partner suffers from sleep apnea. In such circumstances, it might get difficult to offer him the necessary emotional support. This might be tougher if your partner is in denial or taking things for granted. Here are some tips on how you should try to handle things.
1. Has he been diagnosed?
Unfortunately, most people who have sleep apnea go undiagnosed and live with the effects of the condition throughout their lives. So, if your partner snores loudly but won’t accept that he does, maybe what you need to do is to find proof in order to convince him. Next, what you ought to do is to take him to see a doctor. Talk it out and tell him how his habits are causing issues with the two of you. Once he agrees to see a doctor, fix an appointment with a sleep specialist. In case, this is not a feasible option, you can also book a home sleep test to know if your partner has sleep apnea.
2. Communication is the key
Both you and your partner must be under a lot of stress if he is suffering from sleep apnea. There can be several reasons for your worries, like stress about his degrading health, poor night’s sleep, and ruined physical and emotional intimacy. Dealing with these problems can be troublesome and may put your relationship under pressure. Thus, it is vital to talk things out. While doing so, be open and honest about your worries, and don’t shy away from showing how all of this is affecting your peace.
3. Encourage him to follow treatment
Although sleep apnea is not entirely curable, following the right course of treatment can improve the condition. So, if the sleep specialist recommends your partner to try CPAP therapy and make lifestyle changes, see that he goes through with it. Unfortunately, in many cases, patients give up on the therapy mid-way because of the complications. But, this is not right, as leaving the treatment halfway could stop the progress.
4. Take care of yourself
To support your partner who is suffering from sleep apnea, you must take care of yourself. You should validate your emotions and make sure not to skip meals because of the stress. Also, you should get seven to eight hours of good night’s sleep. To ensure that you get to sleep despite your partner’s snores, you can try solutions like a white noise machine, ear plugs, and falling asleep before them.
Having a partner with sleep apnea can make your life difficult. It can cause stress and make it challenging for you to fall asleep. All these effects can put undue pressure on your relationship. Thus, follow the above-mentioned solutions to solve the problems and make things better for you and your partner.
If your partner is suffering from sleep apnea or frequently snoring, don't simply ignore these symptoms. Consider having a home sleep test for sleep apnea.