Your partner snores, and you try to ignore it but it’s louder than your alarm clock. You can’t sleep while they snort and gasp for air and sound like a buzzsaw all night long. You toss and turn all night. You try to fall asleep first, but the occasional snort jolts you awake so you put a pillow over your head. It’s not enough. You try using earplugs, but they’re uncomfortable. You give your partner a little shove or push them to their side and maybe they stop for a few minutes. Precious minutes that let you fall back asleep for a while, but you eventually wake again. It’s a vicious cycle. A cycle you can’t seem to break. Yet the impact on your health and your relationship’s health relies on breaking that cycle.
If you or your partner consider snoring a mere annoyance, or perhaps an unavoidable nighttime event, think again. A partner’s snoring is a lot more than a mere annoyance. In fact, their snoring it’s a sign of something potentially far more serious; sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is linked to serious health diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes and stroke among others. For you or your partner’s sake, you should seek medical help to determine if the snoring is an indication of sleep apnea. The likelihood is very high, with 80% of people who snore having sleep apnea. Yet snoring doesn’t only have a negative effect on the offender. It’s also negatively impacting the partner’s health. It also has a startling effect on the health of your relationship!
If you think you’re different and your relationship can withstand the snoring and couldn’t possibly have a negative or dramatic effect, think again. Sleep deprivation alone puts a significant strain on a partnership and creates tense and hostile situations. In fact, couples, where at least one person has sleep apnea and snores, has an extremely high divorce rate. If you want to avoid a similar fate, read on and discover more about why obstructive sleep apnea and snoring have a direct impact on your intimate relationship.
Sleep Apnea Affects Your Sexual Performance
As we mentioned earlier, snoring is a huge red flag for a serious disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can rob couples of sexual intimacy. It doesn’t just affect men either. Women are affected as well. So if intimacy is an important aspect of your relationship with your partner, addressing the problem is key.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine compared 80 women with sleep apnea to 240 women without the disorder and found the women with apnea had significantly higher rates of sexual dysfunction.
A 2009 study reported that 70 percent of 401 men with suspected sleep apnea also had erectile dysfunction. A 2010 study also showed that 69% of males with obstructive sleep apnea reported reduced desire and 46% reported reduced arousal. However, this same study showed that three months of treatment with CPAP (Continous Positive Airway Pressure) improved their overall desire, arousal, and intimacy with their partners.
It’s important to recognize that sleep apnea is treatable. Taking snoring seriously and finding out if you or your partner’s snoring is in fact sleep apnea can make a huge difference with your intimate relationships once treated.
The Bed Partner is Losing Sleep Which Also Affects Their Overall Health
One whole hour. An hour of lost sleep every night is significant, yet research shows that people lose that much rest when they share a bed with their snoring sleep apnea partner. Sleep apnea is not only waking the bed partner up, but it’s also affecting their ability to get to a deep sleep stage and getting a full night’s rest.
A Mayo Clinic study showed that when someone suffering from sleep apnea received treatment, their bed partners received more than an extra hour of sleep per night. Getting treated for sleep apnea is more than a concern for your personal health. It’s also about helping your partner get more rest too.
Poor Sleep Affects the Mood of Both the Person with Sleep Apnea and the Person Sleeping with Them
Different studies suggest that sleep deprivation leads to a loss of humor, harder time making good decisions and less success at conflict resolution.
The 2010 study mentioned previously indicates that 63% of people with severe sleep apnea reported relationship problems saying, “Any noise or disturbance that interferes with sleep has the potential to cause anger and resentment on the part of the sufferer, and it is not difficult to postulate that years of disturbed sleep may cause resentment and anger on the part of the bed partner, which may affect intimate relations.”
A University of California at Berkeley study evaluated poor sleep and its effects on relationships. The research suggests that interrupted sleep leaves couples less aware of the moods and needs of their partners.
All of these research studies have good news though; treating sleep apnea causes a significant improvement to relationships between people with sleep apnea and their bed partners.
How to Improve Overall Health While Also Creating a Healthier Relationship
How do you know when your snoring is causing significant health problems? If your partner reports that you snore more than 3 times a week, can be heard snoring from outside the room, or you temporarily stop breathing, then it’s time to contact a sleep specialist.
When one person receives treatment for sleep apnea, not only does it improve your own health, but also the health of your partner. So what’s the best next step? Schedule an appointment to learn if your snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Contact one of our three sleep clinics in Tennessee today to get an evaluation. We’re passionate about getting you and your bed partner a good night’s sleep. Let us help improve the quality of your life and the health of your relationship.