The Connection Between Untreated Sleep Apnea and Your Relationships

Sleeping with Untreated Sleep Apnea

As suffers of Sleep Apnea and members of the sleep disorder community, we understand and have often discussed the impact that Sleep Apnea can have on our physical health
. We’ve discussed the subject numerous times here on our blog as well as amongst other members of the community and there is an overwhelming amount of studies which have been conducted to draw a parallel between Sleep Apnea and heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, fibromyalgia, cancer and in some cases even Alzheimer’s.

While there is overwhelming scientific evidence of these physical correlations from the disease, not much has been said about the connection between Sleep Apnea and personal relationships. Any information on the subject is often directed to romantic relationships but neglects to enlighten readers on the disease’s role in the thousands of other relationships we experience and interact with in our daily lives. After discussing the topic amongst ourselves and our clients, we’ve decided to address the matter and explore the connection between Sleep Apnea and your relationships in today’s blog post.

Work Relationships

Our relationships at work can be very complicated. We often must find the perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness while attempting to get to know another person and still conduct our work responsibilities. In many cases, employers set up teams of operation where you are required to work with others and establish relationships that are proficient, productive, respectful, friendly and professional all at the same time. Needless to say, our work relationships impact 8 hours or more of our day and can have a large affect on our emotional/mental/physical health and happiness.

Many people have difficulties establishing and maintaining work relationships but those who suffer from Sleep Apnea may have more trouble with these relationships than others. As we know, a general lack of sleep can result in mental and emotional strain which can affect work productivity and hinder normally healthy work relationships. If you are suffering from undiagnosed Sleep Apnea
, these lack of sleep symptoms can become a permanent part of your work life, altering your work quality, productivity, friendliness, patience and more.

Familial Relationships

Whether the Sleep Apnea patient in your family is a child or a parent, the affects this disease has on family relationships are tremendous. Without diagnosis and treatment, the emotional and mental side effects of Sleep Apnea can include:

  • Increased Irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Frustration At Typical Family Routines

Disgruntled Child From Lack of Sleep

Children without proper rest tend to engage in more arguments with siblings, show signs of frustration at family rules and show sluggishness throughout the day while parents may lose patience easily, feel depressed or even display aggressive tendencies which normally wouldn’t be present. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of these family dysfunctions but if one of the family members snores and showcases other emotional and physical symptoms of Sleep Apnea, it may be beneficial to enroll them in a sleep study.

Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships are one of the most commonly discussed relationship types when it comes to conversing about Sleep Apnea. Untreated Sleep Apnea leads to snoring and irritability in the bedroom which can of course cause conflicts between spouses or significant others
. Just like a work or family relationship displays emotional symptoms of frustration, anxiety or even depression, romantic relationships suffer from those emotional hindrances as well as well the side effects of a lack of sexual drive, increased dissatisfaction within the relationship and crankiness with the other person.

Quarreling Couple

A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) which was conducted in 2009 reported that, “on a day to day basis, couples’ relationship quality affects their sleep, and their sleep also affects their subsequent relationship functioning. For men, better sleep (as indicated by diary-based sleep efficiency) was associated with more positive ratings of relationship quality the next day. For women, negative partner interactions during the day were associated with poorer sleep efficiency for both themselves and their partner that night.” This holds especially true for those who may be suffering, untreated, from Sleep Apnea.

Personal Relationship With Self

No relationship in our lives is as important as the relationship we have with ourselves. How we view ourselves reflects in all aspects of our daily lives and dramatically impacts the relationships we participate in, whether it is a professional relationship at work or a romantic one with a significant other. While untreated Sleep Apnea can affect your personal relationship with your body, resulting in health issues such as high blood pressure, headaches and more, it can also take a large toll on your mental and emotional states.
Those who suffer from untreated Sleep Apnea often show the following signs:

  • Depression
  • Radical Mood Swings
  • Sluggishness
  • Feelings of Insecurity and Worthlessness
  • Disinterest in What Were Once Favorite Activities
  • Trouble with Concentration

Each of these conditions plays a role in how we perceive ourselves and how others in turn perceive us. Sleep Apnea can play the greatest destructor in the personal relationship you have with your emotional, mental and physical self.

The Solution

Better Rested

Throughout this article, we’ve discussed the connection and affects of untreated Sleep Apnea on all of the relationships you may experience in daily life. Luckily all of these unhealthy and negative symptoms can be negated through a few simple solutions. First, if you feel you may have undiagnosed Sleep Apnea, schedule an appointment with your physician and be open to the idea of a sleep study. Once you’ve participated in the sleep study, you may be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and your doctor will prescribe a CPAP machine and CPAP Mask
to help you breathe better throughout the night, resulting in restful sleep as well as improved emotional and mental moods. There are several types of CPAP machines available but your doctor will more than likely prescribe an AutoCPAP, BiPAP or traditional CPAP machine. Once you’ve ordered and received your newly prescribed CPAP equipment
, the journey to healing relationships, a better night’s sleep and to happiness can begin.

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