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Sleep Apnoea: How It Affects Your Family and Bed Partner

Scientific studies indicate that obstructive sleep apnoea, non-restorative sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness and other sleep problems negatively affects a person’s quality of life, well-being and functioning.

The general population, including working people, clinical patients and children were the respondents in the studies. The conclusion of various studies indicated that people with insomnia, sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy and parasomnias suffer an inferior quality of life than the rest of the general population.

Sleep Loss: Its Effects
Ongoing loss of sleep due to sleeping disorders causes depression, daytime sleepiness, memory loss and impaired concentration.

Most people with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) experience excessive daytime sleepiness, making it hard for them to focus on work which could eventually lead to job loss. It can even cause vehicular accidents if a person falls asleep while driving. Most think that their lack of sleep and diminished energy is due to growing old.

Depression and memory loss are common for people with untreated OSA. Studies indicate that patients treated for depression have undiagnosed and therefore untreated OSA. Since OSA or any other sleeping disorders causes loss of sleep, memory loss to some degree is expected.

People with untreated OSA are ten times more prone to vehicular accidents. There are records showing that some of the most distressing environmental health and human catastrophes are somewhat linked to human failures brought about by lack of sleep (e.g. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear disasters).

Sleep Apnoea: Family Consequences
Undiagnosed and therefore untreated OSA not only affects the person who has it but also his family and the greater community.

The same scientific studies indicate that the general health and well-being of bed partner and other family members living in the same house (as the patient) are also affected significantly. A person with untreated OSA snores incessantly and loudly that his/her bed partner and the rest of the household are kept awake. Cessation of breath is part of an OSA routine that in almost all cases, bed partners stay awake to ensure that their partner with OSA breathes again. A Mayo Clinic study concluded that bed partners of snoring OSA patients wake up 21 times per hour all through the night.

This proved that partners of untreated OSA patients are also sleep deprived. They are irritable, tired and sleep-deprived too. These point out to poor quality of life which affects their well-being, relationships, income and ability to take care of the family, especially small children. It is seen as a common practice for partner of patients with untreated OSA to sleep in another bedroom to catch some sleep. This “gap” may eventually lead to relationship strain and ultimately separation and divorce.

CPAP Therapy
Indeed, people with untreated OSA are most likely to suffer conflict with the rest of the family. A CPAP therapy is all he needs to manage and treat his OSA. The therapy will also bring relief to the bed partner and to the rest of the household.

If you or your partner has a sleeping disorder that keeps you and the rest of the family awake at night, call us on 1300 414 190 to discuss treatment!

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