Co-sleeping with a partner can be a controversial topic; some couples say they wouldn’t have it any other way, and some say they would rather sleep in separate beds in order to get quality sleep.
However, researchers recently found that adults who share a bed with their partners generally sleep better than those who sleep alone.
But what does this mean for sleep apnea sufferers? Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes disrupted breathing throughout the night, resulting in daytime sleepiness, and often loud snoring, which can make sleeping next to your partner a challenge.
What The Science Says
Recently, researchers conducted a study of 1,007 adults in Pennsylvania using surveys, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Insomnia Severity Index, and the STOP-BANG apnea score.
The STOP-BANG apnea score is a tool for sleep professionals to use to assess patients who may have OSA. It includes yes-or-no questions about a patient’s experience with snoring, tiredness, observed apnea (breathing stoppages while sleeping), blood pressure, BMI, age, neck circumference, and gender.
After assessing all participants in the study, the findings suggested that sleeping with a partner was associated with lower depression, anxiety, and stress scores. Those who reported sleeping with a partner also generally indicated that they felt more supported in their relationships.
Additionally, researchers found that participants sleeping with a partner reported fewer cases of insomnia, fatigue, and more time asleep than those sleeping alone.
This study also took a brief look at those who co-sleep with children, reporting that these participants have greater rates of insomnia, a higher risk of sleep apnea, and less control over their sleep habits.
Challenges Due to Sleep Apnea
While there are many benefits to co-sleeping with a partner, this can become a challenge if they are suffering from sleep apnea symptoms such as restlessness and snoring, which can easily cause sleep deprivation for both parties.
Sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of arguments, make couples feel less appreciative of each other, and even lead to a decreased sex drive. As a result, untreated OSA can have a negative impact on relationships, causing strain that adversely influences someone’s quality of life.
How to Help Everyone Start Getting Better Sleep
If you or your partner are experiencing symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, snoring, interrupted breathing while asleep, and/or irritability, it may be time to seek help from a professional.
If you live in the Atlanta area, Dr. Jeff Rodgers is ready to help you and your partner beat sleep apnea. Using a small oral device that’s worn to bed, he can make it easier for you or your partner to breathe so everyone can get the quality sleep they deserve, leading to better moods and cooler heads day to day.
Request an appointment at Sleep Better Georgia today to learn more about oral appliance therapy.