Sleep Apnea and your Relationship

So you’ve been snoring for months, probably driving your spouse crazy, and you have now been diagnosed with sleep apnea. While you both may feel relieved that there IS a treatment to the snoring problems, now a whole new challenge lies ahead.

In situations like these, there is a lot more that affects your relationship than just your sleeping patterns. The National Sleep Foundation has reported that 23 percent of couples sleep separately due to snoring and other sleep-related issues. When couples have trouble in the bedroom, it can affect many aspects of their relationship, including intimacy, communication, and irritability towards your partner. Now that you are being treated with a CPAP machine, your partner may be concerned about the noise of the machine and trying to be intimate with a big mask on your face.

These are all just worries though, and there are ways that you can overcome your sleep problems that will not interfere with your relationship.

  • Take some time for you and your partner to sit down and discuss the issues you are having. Communication is an important part in any relationship and the only way to start to solve the problem is if you actually talk about it.
  • Seek each other out for support in your frustrations: being angry or upset with your partner for snoring or not understanding the need for a CPAP mask will not do any good. Instead, try to understand your partner’s point of view and WHY they are frustrated or upset, and try to work through it.
  • Do not let your partner’s apprehensions with your CPAP treatment let you stop using the mask all together, as things will only get worse. Research has indeed shown that people who follow through with their CPAP treatment have a better sex life than those who do not
  • If all else fails, there is nothing wrong with having the two of you sleep in separate rooms temporarily. Sometimes a bit of a break can actually do some good for relationships, and leave you both feeling well-rested and happier throughout the day. However keeping this up for too long may put even more of a strain on your relationship as the intimacy, or the “spark” in your relationship could fizzle out
  • Don’t be afraid to seek the help or advice from your doctor, or even a therapist about the problems with your relationship.  

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