Sleep apnea affects almost 22 million people in the United States. But what is it? Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which a person takes shallow breaths or takes one or more pauses in breathing. Sleep apnea is reoccuring, in that, it happens almost 30 times within just one hour during the night. With each irregular breath, you may make a loud snort or a choking sound with an inhale of air. Though this may seem harmless, sleep apnea is a quite destructive disorder. If left untreated or disregarded, it can lead to numerous issues both health and personally related.

The difficulty with sleep apnea is it often goes untreated. Most patients who have sleep apnea do not know they have it, as they are asleep when it happens. Only someone near them, such as a bed partner or spouse, will be able to tell if they have symptoms of sleep apnea. This brings us to our first issue with untreated sleep apnea: a grouchy partner.

When you have sleep apnea, you will often make noises and loud snores throughout the night, multiple times in the night. This can be extremely distracting and almost impossible to sleep through due to the magnitude of the noise. When your spouse cannot sleep, due to your constant noises throughout the night, it can cause untold stress in your relationship. Sleep deprivation is toxic to a relationship, as spouses continually bicker because they are tired and irritable.

The opposite spouse is not the one suffering from sleep apnea. In truth, the person with sleep apnea is also affected. When someone has sleep apnea, their breathing throughout the night is irregular. This imbalance of air coming in and out of the body is disruptive to the person’s sleeping patterns. For example, when breathing becomes shallow, someone with sleep apnea subconsciously moves from deep REM sleep to light REM sleep. With each snort, snore, or choking sound, your body acts to wake up. It does this involuntarily, as your body is tricked into believing it is choking. As your body reacts, you fall farther away from deep REM sleep, the kind of rest necessary to recharge your body. When you are deprived of deep REM sleep, the body suffers and, in turn, you can become increasingly irritable. This lack of sleep can then be displaced as a grouchy or moody attitude that can then be used against your partner or spouse. As a result, both parties become upset with each other, creating countless arguments with no grounds or logical reason.

If you believe your partner has sleep apnea, or you believe you have it yourself, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor. There are treatment options available to you that can severely help your sleep apnea, such as using our sleep apnea mouthpiece. Book an appointment with Andrew S. Curry D.D.S and get a diagnosis and sleep apnea treatment options. Your relationship doesn’t have to suffer, visit online today!