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. A sleep apnea dentist or specialist is key to 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. It occurs when the muscle present at the back of the throat relaxes too much, or having a small airway, or also having a large tongue. Lifestyle changes for the moderate sufferers are recommended, however, for those who have severe symptoms, there are sleep solutions to explore.
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. As sleep apnea presents challenges for the bed partner however, with therapies and professionalism treatment there are solutions.
The Big Picture
The lack of sleep can wreak havoc on sex, relationships, and your social life. 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.
Not surprisingly, sleeping in separate bedrooms doesn’t bode well for marriage or long-term commitments. 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 (Obstructive sleep apnea). Women, on the other hand, have mood swings and hormonal changes when a good night’s sleep is missing.
Obesity rises when solid sleep goes by the wayside, which exacerbates a woman’s grumpiness. Both men and women become quarrelsome and less able to cope with life’s ups and downs. This can impact their interactions as spouses, friends, or partners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sleep apnea affect your personality?
Sleep apnea symptoms don’t just impact your physical health. Living with a sleep disorder can significantly impact your overall mood, cognitive performance, and behaviors. Patients with sleep apnea may be moody or irritable during the day, which can put a strain on relationships. It’s important to seek treatment if you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea to improve your mood and get the quality rest you need.
How can I tell if my partner has sleep apnea?
Many patients discover their sleep apnea through a partner’s concerns about their breathing because most symptoms are displayed throughout the night while the sufferer sleeps. Dr. Huff encourages patients and their partners to know the audible, physical, and emotional signs of sleep apnea to help track their symptoms.
Some signs of sleep-disordered breathing include:
- Persistent snoring, coughing, or choking during sleep
- Lapses in breathing lasting several seconds at a time, several times a night
- Daytime exhaustion
- Inability to wake up or fall asleep
- Mood swings and irritability
How can I stop my snoring from bothering my partner?
Although sleep apnea and snoring aren’t necessarily related, it still affects you and your partner. That’s why our Kerrville sleep dentist offers snoring treatments to help clear your airway and maintain a better sleeping environment for you and your partner.
It’s common to snore without suffering from sleep apnea, but it’s best to schedule a sleep study if you find yourself exhausted or irritable during the day as they may be signs of sleep apnea.
Will a CPAP machine keep my partner awake?
CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, though some patients find them uncomfortable and irritating. Your partner may find themselves kept awake by the CPAP machine rather than your snoring. Dr. Huff offers CPAP alternatives for patients seeking a quieter way to treat their sleep apnea symptoms.
How can treating my sleep apnea improve my relationships?
Patients who seek treatment for sleep apnea symptoms can expect to see an improvement in their mood, memory, and energy levels. Facing less daily fatigue will allow you to live a productive life and strengthen your relationships. Alleviating symptoms like snoring can also help your partner get more sleep, improving your relationship and allowing you both to get the quality rest you need.
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. Our expert sleep dentist Dr. Huff and his dedicated team have all the tools and guidance to turn your relationship around. One visit, one consultation, and a willingness from both bed partners will restore not only a decent night’s sleep but can revive overall health and happiness for each person.
To schedule an appointment at our Kerrville office, contact us at (830) 715-4484 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We welcome patients from Ingram, Center Point, Camp Verde, and surrounding Kerr County, TX areas.