How to talk to a partner about sleep apnea
It can be difficult to talk to a partner about their snoring or gasping during the night, especially if it’s keeping you awake. But if you’re worried these symptoms could be pointing towards sleep apnea, it might be time to broach the topic. Here are some ways to make the conversation easier:
1. Do your research
If you fully understand sleep apnea before you begin the conversation, you can more easily explain what it is and its effects. Make sure you know everything about the different treatment options such as CPAP therapy, as well as any symptoms.
It’s equally important to have carefully observed your partner. Is it just snoring or do they stop breathing? If their breathing stops, for how long and how often does it occur? Having these facts on hand can make them see sense and understand that they have a problem when you talk to a partner.
If they want to see for themselves, they may consent to you filming them when their interrupted breathing occurs so that they can fully understand what’s going on.
2. Express your concern for their wellbeing
By keeping the focus on their health and your worries, you’re less likely to seem confrontational and argumentative. If you begin the discussion by complaining about your lack of sleep, they may be less responsive to what you’re saying and become defensive. Your partner may have been feeling more tired than usual, so could agree that finding a solution would beneficial.
3. Keep it light at first
There’s no need to be melodramatic and worry your partner with all the consequences that sleep apnea can bring. Their snoring could be something else, but either way, it’s best to get it checked out. If your partner dismisses your concerns, then mentioning sleep apnea and the ways it can be treated could be a good way to urge them to make an appointment without too much panic.
4. Explain how it’s affecting you
Although it’s important not to make this the main focus, if your partner is reluctant to seek help for their own well being, they may do so for yours.
Sleep apnea doesn’t have to affect you and your partner’s life. With so many treatment options available, the first step is seeking help.