What to Do When Your Partner’s Snoring Keeps You Up All Night

Does your partner's loud snoring ring through the halls all night? Well, then, you know it can be a nightmare for a variety of reasons. By: Dr Priyadarshi Jitendra Kumar, Consultant Respiratory, Critical Care & Sleep Specialist, Jaypee Hospital, Noida.

You may wake up tired all the time because you find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or go back to sleep during the night.

Your partner may wake up tired all the time because he or she didn’t sleep restfully (perhaps because of your repeated elbowing to get him or her to shut up).
Resentment may develop on both sides. On yours, if your partner doesn’t take the issue seriously or try to find a solution. On your partner’s, if he or she has to change long-favoured sleep habits, positions or patterns; go see a specialist; undergo a sleep study
It could be a sign of something more dangerous for the snorer.

For all these reasons and more, people who specialize in sleep disorders and snoring often wind up sounding more like marriage counsellors than physicians.

Home’s the best place to start.
The science behind snore issues majorly cascades under sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when your throat closes down and breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. This is a potentially serious sleep and health condition, though there is a range from mild to severe.Primary snoring is the classic loud upper airway breathing sounds without any apnea, or cessation of breath.
Dr Priyadarshi Jitendra Kumar, Consultant Respiratory, Critical Care & Sleep Specialist, Jaypee Hospital, Noida told Look for signs of sleep apnea first. Try to rule that out or get a diagnosis, because it will be easier to proceed when you know which one, you’re dealing with. The following questions may help you, primarily diagnose sleep apnea –

Does your partner:

Usually get a full night of sleep but wake up feeling tired most mornings?
Experience excessive daytime sleepiness and irritability?
Wake up frequently in the night for unknown reasons (not due to noise or a need to go to the bathroom)?
Stop breathing for 5-10 seconds or more at a time? How many times?
Seem to be gasping for air during sleep? Wake themselves up gasping for air?
Have a BMI above 30, high blood pressure or a wide neck circumference (>16 inches)?

These are the signs and risk factors for sleep apnea. If you said no to all these questions, it’s probably not sleep apnea. If you said yes to any of these questions, or you aren’t sure, a sleep study is needed.

How do you get a sleep study?
The easiest way is to have your family doctor refer you to one. Sleep test can be performed at home or in a certified sleep clinic.The gold standard is the sleep clinic test because it gives you a more complete analysis of sleep apnea and how it may be affecting other chronic conditions. But at-home tests may be easier to schedule and undergo, so often people prefer it.
If it’s sleep apnea, what should you do next?
Your partner will be referred to a pulmonologist.There are three different types of sleep apnea, each with varying levels of health risk. When lungs must blow pressure against a closed throat, they are having to work extra hard, and it causes a lot of downstream effects. At a minimum, sleep apnea can severely disrupt performance and function during the day. And over time, it can contribute to risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and exacerbation of other chronic health conditions.

If you fall under the risk of sleep apnea, doctors usually recommend CPAP therapy. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, a lunch box sized machines, attached with a tube and masks is usually recommended to people suffering for sleep apnea. CPAP, delivers oxygen continuously throughout the night, are highly effective.
Few additional steps; such as losing weight, healthy diets and regular exercise can improve the condition.

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