Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Your Relationship There is a common theme that can be seen among some patients who end up needing CPAP therapy: their spouses are sick of their snoring, concerned about their health, and have been pushing them to get help for what feels like forever. Partners of sleep apnea sufferers understand that there are consequences of this illness that reach beyond the obvious health ramifications and begin to infringe on their relationship.
Benefits of CPAP – A Spousal Perspective
Once someone is properly treated and regularly using their CPAP, their symptoms typically resolve quickly. This includes things like snoring, restless sleep, and mood swings – all things that left untreated, may put a strain on relationships.
Because of this newfound symptom resolution, spouses of those who are properly treated report feeling less stressed and more rested. They are no longer kept up by never-ending snoring, their partner’s mood swings have decreased throughout the day, and they’re able to share a bed with their spouse again (and actually sleep through the night!) Things like this can result in a renewed feeling of closeness for both parties.
Support is Key
It may feel daunting to start CPAP therapy while in a relationship – a lot of people feel self-conscious because of their new mask, or the noise they think the CPAP machine will make. Having a supportive partner who encourages regular use can play a big role in ensuring higher patient compliance. It can be helpful for spouses to familiarize themselves with their partner’s CPAP equipment or try and incorporate themselves into the nighttime routine to ensure that their partner feels comfortable. As for the perceived noise, the CPAP units available today are the quietest technology to date. Some folks even report not minding the slight noise, describing it as a calming type of white noise that helps them fall asleep.
Impact on Other Relationships
Although it is most noticeably romantic relationships that see an improvement once sleep apnea is treated, relationships with friends, family, and colleagues may begin to improve as well. A major symptom of untreated OSA is depression, an illness that makes it difficult to maintain relationships or attend social events. Productivity also tends to decrease with depression and fatigue, often causing underperformance and alienation in the workplace. Once OSA is treated with CPAP, people have more energy, elevated mood, and higher productivity – all resulting in stronger, more positive social relationships.
Restore sleep, restore connection
If you are concerned that your untreated sleep apnea may be having a negative effect on your marriage or relationships, or you are the partner of a chronic snorer, we can help. Call Dream Sleep Respiratory for a consultation or sleep study and begin restoring the connections in your life.