Your partner is the person that you likely spend the most time with, so everything from their daily habits to their sleep pattern can have an impact on your life. If they’re waking up feeling irritated or causing you to have restless nights, it’s possible they’re suffering from sleep apnea.
This condition causes a person to wake up gasping for air during the night due to an obstruction or miscommunication between the brain and the body.
Sleep apnea doesn’t go away on its own, and it can negatively affect not only your partner but your relationship as well. Learn what signs to look for in your partner and when to encourage them to seek help.
1. They’re Snoring Loudly At Night
Whether you prefer complete silence or white noise in the background, the sound of someone snoring can make it hard to get quality sleep. While it’s not always a sign of sleep apnea, most frequent snorers may be suffering from the sleep condition.
Snoring is often the first sign of sleep apnea and is often just thought of to be an irritating behavior that your partner does. Before you decide you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who snores, look for other symptoms of sleep apnea. Try suggesting that your partner seeks help for their condition from an experienced doctor like Dr. Sheila Birth.
2. They Wake Up Frequently Throughout the Night
Do you notice your partner having difficulty sleeping or even waking up multiple times during the night? Tossing and turning throughout the night can cause you to wake up too, affecting both of your sleep patterns.
If you notice your partner gasping for air or choking when they wake up, it’s possible they have sleep apnea. These are the biggest symptoms of the sleep disorder and could mean something is blocking their airway.
3. They’re Frequently Tired During the Day
Sleep gives your body time to rest for a long period, allowing you to wake up feeling healthy and refreshed. Not getting enough sleep each night can cause someone to feel tired and groggy during the day.
If you notice your partner feeling tired after going to bed each night, sleep apnea may be keeping them awake at night. Lack of proper sleep can also cause them to fall asleep randomly throughout the day.
4. You Notice Mood Changes in Them
Have you noticed your partner feeling more irritable or unhappy than before? Sleep apnea can cause people to experience mood swings due to extreme tiredness or sleep deprivation. It can cause them to be happy when they wake up, but then easily angered as the day goes on.
Sleep apnea can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, so it’s crucial that you communicate with your partner when you notice changes in their behavior.
5. They Have Difficulty Concentrating On or Remembering Things
When you sleep, your body goes through a series of stages known as the REM sleep cycle. If this is interrupted by something such as sleep apnea, it can cause a chemical imbalance between your brain and body.
If your partner is having difficulty concentrating on simple everyday tasks, it may be a result of restlessness during the night. According to professionals like Dr. Sirisha Krishamurthy, sleep apnea may even affect their ability to perform at work or remember what they’re supposed to be doing.
Encouraging Your Partner to Seek Professional Treatment
Once you see the signs of sleep apnea in your partner, it’s crucial that you talk to them about seeking treatment. Sleep apnea doesn’t go away by itself and requires professional help. If left untreated, the condition can lead to serious help problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Possible Treatment Options
Everyone experiences sleep apnea differently, and some people suffer from more severe conditions than others. Once your partner has been diagnosed, they can talk to a sleep doctor like Dr. Katz about their treatment options.
Common sleep apnea treatments include:
- Oral Appliances –– this device fits comfortably in your jaw while you sleep. It’s custom-made to fit the patient and is both quiet and discreet.
- CPAP machine — Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a traditional yet unpopular way to treat sleep apnea. While it administers a constant flow of air to the patient, some people find it to be loud and intrusive.
- Surgery– this option is the last resort for people with severe, life-threatening conditions. It involves removing the patient’s tonsils or other excess tissues that are blocking their airway.
Sometimes people are uninformed about sleep apnea and don’t realize they have the condition, which is why it’s essential to speak up if you notice signs in your partner. This simple action can save their life.