How to Support Your Partner With Sleep Apnea

It is estimated that as many as 37% of American adults suffer from sleep apnea. While causing discomfort and anxiety for those suffering, it can also impact the partners of those with sleep apnea.

But first, what is sleep apnea? The short answer is that it’s a sleeping disorder that causes people to stop breathing while they sleep.

So how does this affect relationships? And as a partner, what can you do to support someone with sleep apnea?

Keep reading as we explore the best ways to help your partner manage their sleeping disorder.

Create Healthy Sleeping Habits

First, let’s consider what causes sleep apnea, as this will help address the best ways of reducing the symptoms. It is caused by the narrowing of airways which happens when the tongue and soft palate muscles relax.

Yet, sleep apnea can be aggravated by poor sleeping habits. These small but important steps can help your partner get a better night’s sleep.

  • Lower Caffeine Intake
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Create a relaxing night routine
  • Set a bedtime routine that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule that has you waking up at the same time every day 

It’s also worth following these tips yourself as the deeper and quicker you can fall asleep, the less you will be aware of your partner’s noise during the night.

Check for Other Health Issues

Another important factor is that it is often concurrent with other health issues. People with sleep apnea tend to also be at high risk from diabetes and dementia, as well as stroke or heart disease.

Ensure that your partner is taking good care of both their mental and physical health. Make sure they are getting regular check-ups with their physician, and be on the lookout for sudden weight gain.

Try to voice your concern for their health, as this will help your partner to feel supported and cared for.

Ensure They Have the Correct Equipment

There are also plenty of accessories available to help make using a CPAP machine and mask as comfortable as possible. We’d recommend using a cushion and chin strap for optimum comfort.

Last, it is essential to make sure your partner has the necessary equipment to help treat their sleep apnea. These days, there are very sophisticated treatments available. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines help to keep the airways open during sleep.Click here to discover different styles (both new and refurbished) that will fit your needs and budget. 

If the noise of the machine is disturbing for you, consider getting earplugs or a white noise machine. Many partners of people with sleep apnea find it easiest to go to bed before their partner.

Be Patient With Transition

While sleep apnea can affect both people in a relationship, it is always worth remembering that only one of you is suffering from physical symptoms. By extending empathy and respect to one another, you can find solutions that prevent this sleeping disorder from getting the way of your relationship.

Remember that communication is key to making sure the needs of both partners are met.

Click here to discover our full range of CPAP masks and other products that will help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. You can also contact our customer service team if you have any questions about our products or your order.

About the Author


Jason Smith is recognized by the board of polysomnographic technologists (BRPT) as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) since 2003. He is also Director of Clinical Operations for 6 multi-state sleep diagnostic facilities including the nation’s largest 20 bed sleep disorder testing center. Jason has also been a Co-Author with two research publications featured in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.