When obstructive sleep apnea invades the bedroom, no one sleeps well. A person who has severe sleep apnea may briefly wake up more than 30 times an hour. The loud snoring and gasping sounds also disturb the bed partner’s sleep.
The sleep problems can be a source of conflict in a marriage. Often the bed partner chooses to sleep in a separate room
The best treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. A new study shows that CPAP also may be good for a marriage. Results show that marital conflict decreases after three months of CPAP use.
An earlier study found that CPAP also improves the bed partner’s quality of life. Daytime sleepiness decreases. There are fewer role limitations due to physical problems. Social functioning and mental health improves.
A small study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in 2008 linked the marriage bed to CPAP. It found that wives may play an important role in their husband’s CPAP success.
Husbands were more likely to maintain regular CPAP use over five months when sharing the bed with their wife. These men used CPAP at least four hours per night 74 percent of the time.
In contrast, husbands used CPAP much less when their wife slept in a separate room. These men used CPAP at least four hours per night only 43 percent of the time.
Learn more about sleep apnea and bed partners here.