Your Spouse’s Sleep Apnea May Affect Your Sleep
You’ve had a long day, and you are really looking forward to a good night of sleep. You have on your coziest pajamas, and you are ready for bed.
When you lay your head down, you hear it, and you know that good sleep may be harder than you would like.
It’s not the first time you’ve heard it. Almost every night, you have to wake up your spouse to let him know that he’s snoring again.
And this is no ordinary snoring. It’s loud like a freight train or like a car horn. It’s not the kind of thing you could just ignore.
If this is a common occurrence in your life, then the love of your life may have sleep apnea. If so, Oregon Smile Care Center may be able to help. Our dentist office is easy to reach if you live in or near Salem, OR.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. People with this condition have problems breathing when they are asleep. This is part of the reason they snore frequently — and loudly.
More specifically, someone with sleep apnea will stop breathing for between 10 and 30 seconds at a time.
Someone with mild sleep apnea may stop breathing between five and 14 times each hour he or she is asleep. A person with moderate sleep apnea can stop breathing up to 29 times per hour.
People with severe sleep apnea can stop breathing 30 times or more every hour.
There are the three forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea — This is the most common form of this sleep disorder. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, has a physical issue that affects their breathing. The muscles around their airways will relax when they fall asleep. This can allow soft tissue to partially or completely block their airways.
- Central Sleep Apnea — People with central sleep apnea still stop breathing, but their problem involves a miscommunication between their brains and the muscles that control respiration.
- Complex Sleep Apnea — This kind of sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and central sleep apnea.
Anyone can have sleep apnea although people over 40, men, and people who are overweight are more likely to have this sleep disorder.
Health Risks And Sleep Apnea
Whenever someone has trouble breathing, that is not good for his or her health. People with sleep apnea cope with this, often without realizing it, by waking up for brief periods of time so they can breathe.
As a result, they may experience frequent morning headaches. They often wake up feeling like they haven’t really slept (quite possibly because they really haven’t).
This is just the start of how sleep apnea can affect someone, however.
When someone spends their night fighting to breathe (whether they are conscious of doing this or not), this affects their blood pressure. Because of this, people with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes.
Sleep apnea is more common in people with diabetes. The stress on someone’s body from sleep apnea can interfere with his or her ability to control blood sugar. People with diabetes are more likely to be overweight, which can also increase their risk of having sleep apnea.
We’ve mentioned how breathing difficulties associated with sleep apnea make it harder for someone to get restful sleep. This can contribute to sleep deprivation, and that can lead to daytime sleepiness.
If this sleepy sensation strikes when you are sitting at your desk at work, it could lead to an embarrassing conversation with your boss. If it happens behind the wheel of a car or truck, it can be dangerous. And studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely as other people to be involved in automobile accidents.
How We Can Help
If you are living with or sharing a bed with someone who has sleep apnea, we are sure you want to sleep better.
If your spouse gets treatment for his sleep apnea, it will reduce the volume and the frequency of his snoring. It should also help him feel rejuvenated in the morning and reduce his risk of the other high problems associated with sleep apnea.
The team at Oregon Smile Care Center can help. Once your partner’s sleep apnea has been diagnosed, we may be able to make an oral appliance that he can wear at night. This can help keep his airways open so he can breathe easier, and both of you can get the healthy sleep that you need.