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Could a Sleep Problem Be Destroying Your Marriage?

snoring marriage

Use these tips of you want to know how to keep your partner’s sleep disorder from ruining your marriage (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

For anyone who has slept beside a snoring partner, you know how disruptive that can be to your own sleep. Have you ever wondered, though, could it be having a long-term effect on your marriage? Because one or more partners in a marriage can be a snorer, sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea, could be impacting your relationship more than you may imagine.

The Sleep Disorder Center at Rush University Medical Center undertook a study in which it studied 10 couples, in which one of the partners had been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, to see what effect apnea was having on the relationship. In the study, the couples completed surveys about marriage satisfaction, quality of life and sleeplessness. The couples also completed a study in the Center’s sleep lab in which their quality and quantity of sleep was measured. Initial results showed sleep apnea was causing serious issues in the marriage.

One example showed that the husband’s snoring was waking the wife out of her sleep eight times per hour. The average time she was actually asleep during the night was 73%, the average person’s sleep time is typically closer to 90%. Once the husband undertook measures to address his apnea, the wife’s sleep time rose as did her satisfaction in her marriage, the study showed.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. The breathing pause lasts at least 10 seconds and can occur 10 or more times an hour. Apnea lowers the oxygen level in the blood leaving the patient vulnerable to hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. The condition can occur in men and women of any age; however, it is most common in obese, middle-aged men. The most common signs of sleep apnea are loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, and fighting sleepiness during the day. In addition to continuous positive airway pressure, treatment includes losing weight, sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for their patients. Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep-related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking and pediatric sleep problems. For information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900.

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Client Reviews
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"I recommend them highly!! I took my 2 year old daughter for a sleep study and was very impressed. Our sleep technician was amazing with her, very patient and kind. The DVD we brought to watch while getting her hooked up got stuck in the TV and they vowed to return it. We got a call the next day checking on our daughter and saying how sweet she was, they mentioned the DVD. Several days later, we received the DVD plus a new copy of the Lion King with a nice note. They are very good at what they do and if they can make a 2 year old feel at ease, they can probably do the same with anyone!!"


Anthea S.


Tempe, AZ

"Great staff, they make you feel so at home. Every medical facility should be this nice. Felt like a nice hotel. Someone has great taste in decorating. Thanks for making us feel at home."


Steve N.


San Diego, CA

"I was especially impressed with Andrew the Respiratory Therapist who reviewed my study with me and answered my questions. Andrew thoroughly explained everything about the Cpap machine-from start to finish. I never felt rushed and was assured I could contact him with any additional questions or needs. Andrew told me he would follow up with a call in a week and he did. I believe this center performed the study appropriately and the added benefit of having Andrew teach me about the machine and what to expect was a bonus."


Candace M.


Scottsdale, AZ