Sleep apnoea is not easy to cope with as a good night’s rest is vital for our mental and physical health. When our sleep is consistently disturbed, it may be necessary to have a little help and assistance. Here are some small and meaningful ways to help a partner with sleep apnoea – and also some ways to help yourself.
Encourage them to seek help
If they haven’t already, encouraging them to seek help is key. Sleep apnoea is not likely to get better on its own, and there are plenty of ways professionals can ease your partner’s symptoms. Remember the commonest causes of snoring are being overweight, alcohol consumption and smoking. It is always worthwhile addressing some of these problems before seeking medical help.
Keep the bedroom cool and dark
It is difficult enough to achieve a deep and consistent sleep with sleep apnoea, but it will be far more difficult in a hot room with light pollution. Keeping the windows open before going to bed and having effective blackout curtains or blinds could help achieve a deeper and more even sleep.
Keep water on the bedside table
Many people with sleep apnoea wake up with headaches and dry mouths. Mornings will be made a lot more comfortable if there is water close to hand to help alleviate these symptoms.
Encourage them to sleep on their side
Encourage your partner to sleep on their side as this may prevent their tongue from falling to the back of their throat, causing snoring and breathing issues. Don’t be afraid to use several pillows or cuddle them on their side to keep them in position.
Remember they are not irritated with you
If your partner is irritable in the morning, this is likely because of their lack of sleep, or the poor quality of their sleep. Try and remember that they are rarely well-rested and will naturally sometimes be irritable. Discuss this with your partner later in the day and let them know how their moods in the morning make you feel.
Prioritise your own sleep
This can be difficult to do, but you must take care of yourself before you take care of others. Earplugs are not always effective when faced with loud snorers and being woken up by jolting and gasping can affect the quality of your sleep and stop you from getting through your full REM cycle. Do not be ashamed to sleep in a separate room or to ask your partner to sleep in a separate room if this is something you and your partner agree on. The trend of sleeping separately has gained more popularity as more people are prioritising their sleep hygiene and quality but this is best discussed to avoid counterproductive effects on your relationship.
Contact Mr Wale Olarinde at ENT Sheffield for more information and support about snoring and sleep apnoea. Mr Wale Olarinde is an expert ENT specialist with plenty of experience in providing ENT treatments and surgery.