When you go to bed after a long day, all you want to do is relax and wait for the embrace of sweet dreams. But if your partner has sleep apnea, they could end up keeping you awake all night, leaving you exhausted come morning. Unfortunately, that won’t be the worst of you and your bedmates’ problems. In addition to the various health risks it poses, sleep apnea has proven time and again to be extremely damaging to relationships, potentially tearing couples apart if it’s not treated in time. Read on to learn why it’s so important to deal with sleep-disordered breathing before it starts to affect those that you love most.
How Sleep Apnea Hurts Relationships
Since sleep apnea is typically caused by an obstructed airway, it’s normally accompanied by loud snoring. While some people might snore occasionally, sleep apnea sufferers tend to do so on a frequent basis. Thus, if your partner is suffering from sleep apnea, you may be kept awake all night. As a result, you’re likely to be exhausted in the morning. Over time, the lack of quality rest due to snoring can cause resentment. Worse yet, sleep apnea can have a direct impact on one’s mental state, causing you to feel depressed or irritable on a regular basis. So while you’re feeling resentful about being kept up, your partner is suffering from mood problems due to their own poor-quality sleep. The ultimate result? A great deal of negative feelings that can build up and ultimately inflict irreparable harm to your relationship.
How to Save Your Relationship from Sleep Apnea
If your partner has sleep apnea, it should be addressed as soon as possible for both your sakes. If you hear them snoring regularly, be sure to mention it so that both of you can start researching possible solutions. Once a sleep physician has diagnosed the problem, potential treatment options can be discussed.
CPAP is often seen as the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment. However, it does have several drawbacks. In particular, CPAP machines are quite noisy and are known to keep their users (and nearby sleepers) awake at night, which defeats the purpose of using them as a sleep aid. In many cases, an oral appliance is a preferable alternative. It comfortably adjusts the mouth to keep the airway open, allowing the wearer to breathe normally during sleep. Since it’s much quieter and more convenient than CPAP, it tends to have a much higher patient compliance rate.
Having sleep apnea treated means taking responsibility for one’s health and their relationships. You will be able to sleep much more soundly once the symptoms of your loved one’s sleep disorder have been addressed, so don’t lose any time in reaching out to a sleep dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Pirkle studied dentistry at the Nova Southeastern University Dental School and completed a General Practice Residency at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. He has since expanded her dentistry skills though advanced training courses so that he can continue providing high quality dental care in as many ways as possible – including the treatment of sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation for yourself or your partner at Sebastian Dental, visit his website or call (772) 388-0088.