Sleep apnea and the many side effects it can lead to are stressful. If you’re in a relationship, your condition can also cause issues for your partner. This can lead to a lack of intimacy, emotional distance, and other struggles.
Sleep apnea can cause a lack of quality sleep for your partner, which may become a source of resentment. In fact, studies show that couples argue more when they aren’t getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. As many as 25% of married couples sleep separately for this reason, which can lead to a lack of intimacy.
The Scary Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is interrupted breathing during sleep. While you may be unaware of it, it can be terrifying for your partner to lie awake and listen to you gasping for breath. This often puts a serious strain on your relationship for many reasons.
How is Untreated Sleep Apnea Affecting Your Partner?
Sleep apnea has been referred to as “a disease of listeners” because it affects the person you share a bed with almost as much as you. Here are a few sleep apnea symptoms that can impact your partner’s quality of life:
- Insomnia— Most sleep apnea patients don’t get adequate sleep. When your sleep is interrupted, so is your partner’s. This causes fatigue, fogginess, short tempers, and resentment on both sides.
- Restless Leg Syndrome– Not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea has Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS, but the two are related. RLS is a creepy-crawly, tingling sensation that comes on at night and forces you to move your legs. As you can imagine, this is extremely annoying for your partner, especially since they might get kicked in their sleep.
- Other chronic health issues. Interrupted sleep often leads to other health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. Your partner is also more likely to get into an accident at work or behind the wheel because of excessive fatigue.
How is Your Sleep Apnea Affecting You As a Partner?
Sleep deprivation is an inevitable consequence of sleep apnea. Since chronic fatigue can lead to irritability, forgetfulness, stress, and a host of mental and physical health issues, most sleep apnea patients struggle to be fully present for their partners. This, along with an increase in arguments, can certainly make both you and your other half feel unhappy.
Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Intimate Life?
Sleep apnea patients may lose interest in sex because they’re too tired or depressed to initiate it. Your partner may also be less interested in intimacy because of the constantly interrupted sleep. Sleeping in separate bedrooms can also lessen the frequency of sex.
In addition to the issues above, men with sleep apnea are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. However, research has shown that treatment for sleep apnea can significantly improve erectile function.
How Can Treating Sleep Apnea Help Your Relationship?
Treating obstructive sleep apnea will also improve your love life. Getting adequate sleep will help you and your partner feel more energized during the day and l argue less frequently. Treating sleep apnea will also help both of you with your physical and mental health, which often leads to increased intimacy.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Ellicott City, MD
Are you ready to treat your sleep apnea and improve your relationship? Dr. Gene Sambataro at Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry uses a range of holistic treatments and new technology like Fotona Nightlase Therapy to help you breathe easier. Request an appointment today and get your love life back.