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SLEEP TREATMENT EXPERTS

DOES YOUR PARTNER SNORE?

Having a regular bed partner is said to improve your quality of sleep. Unfortunately, that may not be the case if that partner snores. In fact, if you are that bed partner, you may be suffering from “second hand snoring.” Your health is also being affected, to say nothing of what it may be doing to your relationship.

If your partner is suffering from sleep apnea or primary snoring, they have fragmented, poor quality sleep.  As their partner, your sleep is also interrupted several times per hour, such that you have much less time spent in the deeper stages of sleep that replenish your body and mind.  This is called “spousal arousal syndrome.”  The result of this can lead to many adverse health changes.

WHAT IS SECOND-HAND SNORING?

Second-hand snoring can lead to your waking up tired and feeling chronically fatigued.  You may be irritated and moody.  You may suffer from memory loss and lack of focus.  Driving safety may even become an issue. You may also have feelings of depression.

Second-hand snoring that causes poor sleep quality can physically manifest as weight gain and altered sugar uptake and metabolism.  Blood pressure is supposed to drop during sleep, but with frequent arousals or awakenings, it can stay elevated.  This can lead to stroke, and heart or kidney disease.

In addition, as a bed partner, you may suffer hearing loss.  A snore is defined as the noise you hear at 50 DB. The safe limit is considered to be 85DB.  People that have sleep apnea have been recorded at 100DB (equivalent to the noise from a chainsaw).

Then there is the relationship component. Is snoring ruining your marriage?

HOW IS SNORING RUINING YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Among couples dealing with this problem, 23 percent say that they sleep in separate bedrooms.  This has been termed a “sleep divorce.” If they are still in the same bedroom, both partners are probably dealing with sleepiness or fatigue and moodiness.  Let’s face it, snoring isn’t sexy, and to top it off, men suffering from sleep apnea have a high incidence of erectile dysfunction.

What should you do?  First, have a conversation with your partner and realize that they may be defensive or in denial.  If you need to, download a free app on your phone to record the snoring and give some analysis.  Next, have a conversation with your physician or your dentist in the Mooresville area about the sleep apnea solution that might work for you or your partner.

THERE IS HOPE WITH SLEEP APNEA TREATMENTS

There is hope.  Treatment may involve the use of CPAP (although usually not for primary snoring), oral appliances, or surgery.  It may also involve weight loss, controlling use of alcohol, changing medications, treating allergies, positional therapy and/or myofunctional therapy. The good news is that a study done at the Mayo Clinic showed that if the snoring partner was treated, the bed partner gained an average of 62 minutes of sleep per night.  That means reduced sleep fragmentation and an entire extra night’s sleep per week for the bed partner.

GOOD NIGHT DENTISTRY PROVIDES SLEEP APNEA SOLUTIONS

Another option is to contact our office at Good Night Dentistry.  We will take the time to listen to your concerns, do a screening assessment, provide you with more information and help get you to the right diagnosis and sleep apnea treatment.

References:

  1. The effect of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea on the quality of bed partners. Beninati, W., Harris, C.D., Herold, D.L., et al. Sleep Disorders Center, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 1999 Oct: 74(10):955-8.
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