If you have sleep apnea, you know how both your sleeping and waking times are affected. But if you have a significant other, your sleep apnea can affect them too. Whether it is the snoring, the inattentiveness, or the fatigue, this condition will take its toll on both of you. But there are strategies you both can take to make your relationship work – even when you have a CPAP machine. Here is what you can do:
- Talk it out: How do you know what problems each of you face unless you discuss them? Be sure to do it in the day when both of you are in a good mood. Identify problem areas.
- Be flexible: You never know what is going to work, so give everything a try. For example, if the noise of a CPAP bothers your significant other, try using a white noise machine or a fan. You may need to sleep in another bed room for a while. Just don’t give up!
- Be patient: Rarely does something work perfectly on the first go. So before giving up on the white noise machine or fan, make sure you give it a few days before moving on. Perhaps try a different placement or a different setting.
- Try it!: If your spouse complains about the noise or disruptions, gently ask them to try on your mask or work the machine. Sometimes true understanding and sympathy comes from taking part. Your partner can relate easier to your situation, and possibly can make recommendations that will help.
- Ask for help: Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while, and that applies to you and your significant other too. If you find that nothing is working well enough, call your doctor. They can recommend strategies that perhaps you did not consider, suggest different types of masks or CPAP machines that may make the difference, and get you in touch with CPAP professionals who can give you hints and tips to make life – and your relationship – happier and healthier once again.