How Do Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Affect Relationships?

Healthcare practitioners have written article after article about the health risks that go hand-in-hand with sleep apnoea. From fatigue that makes drivers a danger on the road to the heightened risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks, most people are somewhat aware of the dangers.

But what most people don’t take into consideration is the havoc sleep apnoea—and its cousin—excessive snoring—can wreak on relationships. The stories have started to pour in, though—and medical and dental professionals have begun to write about their patients’ experiences.

Using a pillow as a solution for snoring and sleep apnoea

Studies Show Sleep Apnoea Puts a Damper on One’s Love Life

One such writer is James Parish, an American physician who opened a few eyes with his paper, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness: Sleep Apnea, Sex, and Sleepiness’. The title enough would wake the dead—at least the scholarly types at the National Institutes of Health. But what Parish hoped is that his careful study of the effects of sleep apnoea on intimate relationships would drive more patients who’ve put sleep studies off until a more convenient time to get to it.

Sex, it would seem, sells, as the adage goes. Parish makes his case with data from various studies that show that the ‘fatigue, sleepiness, non-restorative sleep, and cognitive impairment’ that go along with sleep apnoea put a damper on life’s many pleasures—including intimacy.

Snoring, Too, Affects Romance

Furthermore, partners, too, suffer the adverse effects of, not only sleep apnoea, but also of the snoring that accompanies the disorder. This means that sleep apnoea causes relationship problems—but so does excessive snoring.

What’s a person to do? Simple, says Parish. The same studies that show how snoring and sleep apnoea affect a person’s love life also show that with treatment, dramatic improvement occurs—for both the affected person and his or her partner.

Get More Sleep, Save Your Relationship

Sleep expert David Volpi, a physician, concurs. In fact, although he’s ‘by no means a marriage therapist’, in his own words, he’s saved more than a few marriages simply by identifying sleep apnoea after the partner ‘dragged’ the other into his office.

What he observes is that so many patients don’t even realise they have a problem. The diagnosis comes as quite a surprise—but the real surprise comes after they undergo treatment. Not only do they not feel fatigued during the day, but their love life improves by leaps and bounds.

So does their partner’s. In fact, as Volpi points out, a snorer’s partner stands to lose valuable sleep as well, impairing their ability to function at work—or even on the road. It can, as Volpi points out, even lead to ‘burnout and depression’, two relationship-killers, if left untreated.

The studies Parish cites agree. Not just sleep apnoea, but snoring alone, because it disrupts sleep, can cause ‘resentment and anger’ in the partner.

Put the Sizzle Back with a Good Night’s Sleep

Nothing kills a good romantic interlude like those two emotions. And nothing puts the sizzle back into one’s love life better than a good night’s sleep.

Even better news. It goes to reason, then, without the stresses that come with excessive snoring or sleep apnoea, not only will one’s more intimate relationships improve, but one’s work life will as well. That, in turn, will help to decrease stress all the more. Fewer mistakes at work, less stress. Less irritability on the job, the less likely one is to lose one’s temper with co-workers—or heaven forbid, one’s supervisor.

And, with fewer job stresses, one’s home life should improve, all things being equal. All’s well that ends well.

The bottom line is this: if one’s partner has thrown a few hints about snoring, perhaps a sleep study may be in order. After all, who wouldn’t want to boost one’s romance quotient?

The good news continues. All it may take is a simple oral appliance to put the spark back into your love life. But you’ll never know unless you take that first step. Do it.  Lose the snore and ignite your inner fire.

To discover whether a comfortable, custom-fit oral appliance from SleepWise Clinic could provide relief for your sleep apnoea or snoring, contact the caring team today or make a booking online for an appointment with one of our clinicians.