Healthy Living

Couple-Focused Therapy May Help with Sleep Apnea

Couple-Focused Therapy May Help with Sleep Apnea

A study suggests that positive and supportive interaction between sleep partners can help with sleep apnea as it helps people adhere to CPAP therapy. The authors of the study said that sleep partners that focused on benefits for both partners were likely to use CPAP machines. This study was published on July 25 in a Journal Sleep Health. 

According to some studies since people are able to adhere to CPAP therapy hence if there is a supportive interaction between the couples then it may help with sleep apnea.  According to the authors of the studies couples are likely to use CPAP machine if the couple focuses on benefits for both .on July 25 in a journal of Sleep Health this study was published.

The lead author of the study Lichuan Ye said that the main impediment to treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is the poor adherence to the CPAP. She also added further that a huge difference in the health behaviors can be brought about by the couples.  According to the American Sleep Apnea Association over 20 million Americans are affected by obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, this condition causes difficulty in breathing. This causes load gasping and snoring. Usually by using CPAP machine sleep apnea can be treated but by most people this treatment is viewed as bothersome and unattractive. 

About 6 in every 10 adults sleep with their partners and about one fourth of married couples say that their relationship is affected because of the sleep problems. 20 partners were interviewed by Ye and his researchers on how the relationship is affected by sleep apnea and how to use CPAP machine. On CPAP the challenges, advice, consequences, and questions the partners had was the main focus.

Usually two third of them sleep with their partners. One quarter of them shared that from the time CPAP was started rarely they would sleep with their partner on the same bed. For about five hours each night the machine was used.  Researchers studied that majority of the times the partners would help in the treatment and diagnosis of sleep problems. Many even admitted that they got to know about their sleep problems through their partners. Some go through repeated discussion and took almost a year before they actually see the doctor. One partner even said that it is extremely important to get even single minute of sleep especially when you area married and have a child. 


At first about the cumbersome machine the couples seems to be anxious. But more success was achieved by those who focused on helping their partners. Partners need to know about the CPAP machine and sleep apnea. There was difficulty in sleeping. More energy and deep sleep also the communications skill was better and also intimacy .according to some patients till the partners showed concern it was difficult to use CPAP machine. Usually help was provided in maintenance of the machine and adjustment of the machine.  It helped when partners gave verbal compliments, open acceptance and reminders. Most couples said that test should have started early. As the partners started an essential long term treatment it was essential to adjust to the new routine and patience. According to faith Lusyter a good transition was important and transition will happen if couples are supportive and respectful.

According to Dr Salma Batoor -Anwar the extent of spouse involvement plays a major role in adherence to CPAP. It is crucial for people’s health to sleep about seven to eight hours per night. The quality of sleep apnea improves if it is diagnosed and treated early.

How relationship is affected

Usually a person with poor quality sleep becomes very irritable, short tempered. Thus the management of conflict becomes less. If a person undergoes treatment for sleep apnea then it can lead to better sleep and loving relationship.