For Your Health: Sleeping in Sync with Your Partner

Sleep Disorders and Sleep Problems

“A 2005 survey by the non-profit advocacy group National Sleep Foundation found that more than a quarter of co-habitating American adults lose sleep from their partner’s sleep issues, and nearly one in four adults spend the night in separate beds or bedrooms because of those problems.”

       -Huffington Post

Sleep problems affect your sleep partner too!There are many sleep issues that can affect not just the person with the problem, but also the person sleeping (or trying to sleep) next to them.  From the noise of snoring, grinding and sleep talking to nighttime ninja fights with those who thrash in their sleep, sleeping partners can suffer from a lack of sleep.

Percentage of Americans suffering from sleep problems:

  • Thrashing 0.5%
  • Sleep Walking   3.6%
  • Sleep Talking    5%
  • Grinding Teeth/Bruxism   8%
  • Chronic Insomnia 10-15%
  • Snoring   59%

Of all of these problems, snoring is by far the most common and widespread, keeping partners from getting a good night of restful sleep.  The lack of sleep can affect their daily life, their ability to concentrate, their attitude and mood, even their health.  According to the Huffington Post article Sleep Problems, “The health benefits of sleep go far beyond feeling rested the next day. Insufficient sleep has been linked with numerous chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. So much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers getting sufficient ZZZs — from seven to nine hours per night — an important matter of public health.”

What exactly can you do if your partner’s sleep problems or sleep disorder is becoming your own sleep problem?

Couples have many ways of dealing with these sleep problems.  As mentioned above, almost 25% of American couples have gone so far as to sleep in separate rooms or beds.  If the problems are affecting the couple’s health and relationship, there are ways that professionals can help, depending on the issue.  Sleep studies, medications, behavioral therapy, nighttime orthotics and snoring appliances may help bring some nighttime rest depending on the specific problem.  Sometimes the solution can be as small as rearranging the sleep environment to help promote more restful sleep.

The solutions vary greatly depending on the problems, and whether they are due to a full-blown sleep disorder or just a few minor, manageable symptoms.  However, no matter how minor it may seem, if your sleep is being affected by your partner’s sleeping problems, there will be a toll on your physical and emotional health — as well your relationship.

If you have any questions about how sleep problems and disorders can affect your health we’ll be happy to send pertinent information to you.  If you would like to make an appointment for a sleep apnea screening, please call 908-359-6655.

LINKS AND RESOURCES

2005 Sleep Survey by the Sleep Foundation: 

Sleep Problems: How Your And Your Partner Can Sleep In Sync

WebMD: What to Do When Your Sleep Partner Has a Sleep Disorder

Learn more about the hidden health risks of sleep disorders in our series of articles and posts about Sleep Apnea