You can’t take it. This is supposed to be a vacation. You are supposed to be enjoying some days of rest and relaxation.
But you can’t because the love of your life won’t stop snoring. Instead of having fun, you are irritatable from your lack of sleep and too tired to enjoy the activities you have planned.
It would be nice to get a night of deep sleep. No, it would be nice to have a chance to get healthy sleep every night.
More Than Just Snoring
Many times, it is the spouse who first recognizes that there is a problem. Many people believe their snoring is just snoring. They may not realize that is may be a symptom of a sleep disorder.
Apnea is defined as stopping breathing. When someone has sleep apnea, they stop breathing when they fall asleep.
For people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type of this disorder, the stoppages occur because their airways become physically blocked. As they drift off, the muscles relax. This allows soft tissue to gradually cover their airway.
As their airway closes, this forces the breaths they take through a smaller and smaller opening. That leads to the sounds of snoring becoming louder and louder until they stop breathing entirely. These stoppages can happen hundreds of times each night, and they can be kind of scary for anyone trying to sleep nearby.
When these stoppages do happen, the person with OSA with wake up — often just long enough to take a few breaths. They may not remember this at all the next morning. However, the cycle of snoring, stopping breathing, and waking up prevents them from reaching the stages of deep sleep.
The Risks Of Sleep Apnea
Without deep sleep, you and your spouse experience sleep deprivation.
Being easily irritated and feeling fatigued throughout the day are among the milder side effects of this condition. Research has shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in traffic accidents.
This isn’t the only risk, either. People who have sleep apnea are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes. It’s probably not a coincidence that they are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, complications of diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Get Treatment & Sleep Better
At our office, your spouse can complete an Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaire. They also can test their blood oxygen levels with plus oximetry. These tests can help determine if they should be referred to our local sleep expert, Dr. Katherine Phillips.
If your spouse does have OSA, we can discuss treatment options, including our oral appliance. This sleep apnea treatment changes the position of their jaw so they can keep breathing throughout the night. That means less snoring, few breathing stoppages, and better sleep for both of you.