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Supporting a Loved One with Sleep Apnea

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To sleep like a baby again. That’s probably one of the things on the bucket list of every hardworking adult. Babies spend between 59% to 70% of the day sleeping. Getting 14 to 17 hours of deep slumber is indeed a fantastic idea. But perhaps quite a fantasy as well for many grownups busy with their careers and raising a family. As adults, if you’re lucky, you get seven or eight hours of sleep with the help of quality products from your favorite mattress store in Salt Lake City.

Unfortunately, the American Sleep Association reports that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. Insomnia is the most prevalent disorder, with an estimated 10% of adults experiencing chronic difficulty. More than 35% of adults are suffering from short sleep duration or those sleeping for less than seven hours. These sleep disorders, if not appropriately treated, present problems for people in relationships. One of the more severe sleep disorders that impact relationships is sleep apnea. A reported 24 million adult Americans had been diagnosed with the disorder. So if your partner is suffering from sleep apnea, what can you do to provide support?

Understanding Sleep Apnea

When your breathing stops and starts for short periods while sleeping, you’re suffering from sleep apnea. As a result, you’re not breathing sufficient oxygen, which causes you to wake up, gasping for air. It’s a severe condition, and if not treated properly, it can result in death.

This makes it more critical that you support your loved one who’s suffering from sleep apnea.

What You Can Do

The breathing stops because there is a soft tissue obstruction impeding the flow of air. Medical devices sometimes do the trick. But here’s what you can do to support a loved one with sleep apnea:

  1. Get the proper diagnosis.You might have woken up from the snoring of your partner and then notice that the breathing stopped. Talk to your partner immediately and see a doctor. You must go through the process of discussing the condition with the doctor together. This will help relieve some of your partner’s anxiety.
  2. Find support groups.Get some of the 24 million afflicted with the condition and their family on your side. Find support groups offline or online. A lack of sleep or difficulty sleeping can render your partner irritable and feeling isolated. Talking to people with similar experiences might help take away that feeling of isolation and can provide you with insights on how other people are coping and getting treatment.
  3. Adjust your sleeping environment.Make sure that the bedroom is conducive to sleep. Remove or address possible causes of distractions like pilot lights from devices or gadgets. Turn them off to keep the room dark. Check your thermostat and makes sure that the room temperature is set correctly.
  4. Patience and communication.Even with treatment, the result might not be immediately noticeable. Make sure that the lines of communication are always open to discuss your issues. If you need to catch up with your sleep on the couch because you need the rest for your workday, communicate it properly. You both need to be patient and be there for the long haul while treatment is in progress.

It’s a tough situation, but medical science is finding ways to help people deal with sleep apnea. You need to hang in there and be supportive of your partner.

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