Sleeping next to the person that you love can be a relaxing and restful experience unless, of course, your partner’s snoring and restlessness are keeping you awake as well. Many people that have sleep apnea have no idea that they have it until someone tells them that they might.
You may already be complaining about their snoring, which is one of the primary warning signs of sleep apnea, but it is hard to be positive that is the problem. Whatever the cause of their snoring, it may be time to talk to your partner about how you both can bet a more restful night’s sleep.
Before you do that, though, let’s go over a few things, so you’re prepared for the conversation.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that is far more common than most people think. People that have sleep apnea experience a “pause” or cessation in their breathing as they sleep. Essentially, a blockage forms in the airway, making it difficult to breathe.
Often, the airway block is caused by a collapse or relaxation of the soft tissue in the throat. This type of sleep apnea is also known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Another less common type of sleep apnea does exist, and it occurs when the brain no longer sends signals to the body to continue breathing as you sleep.
In either case, sleep apnea creates a breathing cessation until that person wakes up enough to stop it.
How do I know if my partner has sleep apnea?
There are some common warning signs of sleep apnea that can help you figure out if your partner may have sleep apnea and if they should seek treatment.
Common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, especially if it is obstructive sleep apnea. Not everyone with sleep apnea will have loud or excessive snoring, but if your partner snores enough to keep you awake at night, it could be a sign of other issues.
- Gasping for air and pauses between breathing are also common signs of sleep apnea. Both gasping for air and paused breathing occur when the airway is obstructed, and they’re struggling to breathe again. They’ll stop breathing for a moment, giving you a break from their snoring, but then they’ll loudly gasp for air as they wake up enough to breathe again.
- Waking up at night to urinate multiple times may seem like a strange sign of sleep apnea, but it is almost as common as snoring. If your partner is waking up most nights multiple times to use the bathroom, it is likely because of the physiological reaction occurring in their body when they stop breathing momentarily, causing them to have to pee.
- Being overly sleepy during the day happens to many of us, but especially to those who have sleep apnea. Someone who has sleep apnea may feel like they’ve slept all night because they’re usually unaware they have sleep apnea, but they have to wake up at least a little for their body to breathe again. That means they’re coming in and out of their sleep cycle every time they stop breathing, making it hard to get a full night’s sleep.
Other factors can contribute to sleep apnea, but if you notice some of these common symptoms, then it may be time to talk about the possibility of sleep apnea with your partner.
Talk to your partner about getting a sleep apnea test
Sleep apnea can severely affect your rest and your partner’s quality of life, which is why it is important to figure out if that is what is causing their sleep disruptions. One of the only ways to determine if someone has sleep apnea is to get them tested.
Before you do that, you can spend some time doing some of your research online as well as observing and recording your partner’s sleep habits. This helps you gather some information and evidence that there may be an issue such as sleep apnea.
Then, talk to them about your concerns and what you can do to help.
If you both feel they should get tested for sleep apnea, they have a few options. Traditionally, sleep apnea tests are done in a medical facility where the patient is hooked up to machines and observed as they sleep. Another option is to get an at-home sleep apnea test, like ApneaMed.
The ApneaMed at-home sleep study is self-administered from the comfort of your bed. It records and monitors blood oxygen saturation, blood oxygen levels, breathing, and heart rate during sleep. Then, you can send the test to a board-certified physician that reviews the results and will help determine the best treatment option.
Learn more about ApneaMed’s at-home sleep apnea test by contacting our team (855) 276-3263.