Having a bed partner suffer through night after night of snoring and gasping sounds can take a toll on the relationship of the person who doesn’t wake up intermittently with these issues. If a relationship is strained, sleep apnea might be the cause. In many cases, the non-snorer experiences the same health consequences as the sleep apnea sufferer.
Healthy sleeping patterns and nighttime behavior are vital to maintaining a solid relationship. Once the problems have been identified by the non-snoring partner, since they are the person in the duo being kept awake during the night, getting the help needed is recommended to save the relationship. Our sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Sheila Birth, can play a vital role in overcoming future health risks of snoring, and to continue on a path of positive steps in bedtime comfort with your partner.
The Ins and Outs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder, in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Lifestyle changes for the moderate sufferers are recommended, however, for those who have severe symptoms, there are sleep solutions to explore. Your relationship depends on it.
Major symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Restless sleep
- Morning headaches
- Decreased interest in sex
- Waking up with dry mouth or a sore throat
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during daytime
- Mood changes
Each of the above can directly impact your relationship. The three main types of sleep apnea present challenges for the bed partner, however with therapies and treatments by Dr. Birth, there are solutions.
The Big Picture
Typically, by the time sleep apnea patients seek help, they are no longer sleeping with their partners. The person having trouble sleeping often develops elaborate routines over time, and will try anything to not disturb the sleep of their bed partner.
Chronic sleep loss can lead to low energy, fatigue, and a decreased interest in sex. This combination of low energy and increased tension caused by lack of sleep can also lead to sexual dysfunction. Men and women respond differently, however. Men with obstructive sleep apnea commonly report low libidos and sexual activity, usually associated with lower testosterone levels in some men due to OSA. Women, on the other hand, have mood swings and hormonal changes when a good night’s sleep is missing.
To alleviate couples turning into estranged bedfellows, there is encouraging sleep therapy to solve the sleep-loss issues. When a couple sees how insomnia has become a dividing factor in their relationship, pursuing treatment is the next step. One visit and one consultation with Dr. Birth, plus a willingness from both bed partners, and there’s a restoration of not only a decent night’s sleep, but the rejuvenation of overall health and happiness for each person.