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.