Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Tell if Your Spouse Has Sleep Apnea

To some, sleep apnea seems only like a minor irritation of snoring to be dealt with every night. However, you may not realize the many problems that sleep apnea can cause. It can lead to extreme fatigue and poor concentration. It can even cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Oftentimes, the best person to notice that someone may have sleep apnea is one’s sleeping buddy. Therefore, keep your eyes and ears open to the signs that your spouse may be dealing with this condition.

Your Spouse Falls Asleep Every Evening

While occasional extra fatigue may be due to a hard day’s work, constant fatigue may demonstrate that your spouse is not getting the sleep they need at night. You may notice that your spouse falls asleep quickly every evening while reading, watching television, or chatting. When your spouse is awake they may frequently complain of feeling tired.

Your Spouse Snores and Gasps during the Night

Snoring is the classic symptom of sleep apnea, and around half of people who snore are actually dealing with obstructive sleep apnea. This is particularly the case when snoring is loud and frequent. The snoring is caused by tissues in the neck relaxing and closing off one’s air supply. You may also notice that your spouse stops breathing for 30 seconds or longer during the night before gasping for breath and jerking awake.

Visit a Sleep Center

A professional is the best person to confirm your suspicions. It also offers the best way for you to confirm whether your spouse actually has sleep apnea. One of many sleep apnea doctors may recommend an at-home sleep study. If results are inconclusive, your spouse may need to spend one night in a sleep clinic where they will be attached to several monitors to check breathing and blood oxygenation levels.

Your Spouse is Overweight or Has a Thick Neck

A final possible sign that your spouse may have sleep apnea is that they are overweight. In particular, these people tend to carry excess weight in their necks. With the extra pressure on the windpipe from their tissues, it becomes easier for the windpipe to close during the night, stopping breathing. Of course, the best way to be perfectly sure that sleep apnea is the real problem is to check with your physician who will most likely recommend a home or clinical sleep study.

Sleep apnea is usually easily treatable with a CPAP machine that can be worn at night. Not only will you be able to get a night of quiet rest once your spouse’s sleep apnea is treated, but they will also feel amazingly better.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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