How Your Partner’s Mental Health Suffers from your Snoring
Besides being annoying at night, snoring can be a sign of something wrong with your physical health or even lead to something worse for your mental health.
That snoring was more than just a nuisance for your health might not be news to you, but the effects on your sleeping partner or even family might be.
Snoring can also lead to severe physical and mental health issues for whoever is “lucky” enough to sleep every night next to a heavy snorer.
First, how does snoring affect you?
Just to give you a quick rundown, let’s start with how it affects you. For starters, snoring is considered as the side effect of sleep apnea, a disorder where you repeatedly stop and start breathing while you’re sleeping.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), while the second one —and present in less than 1% of U.S. adults— is classified as central sleep apnea (CSA).
And while it’s the most noticeable, snoring is just one side effect of sleep apnea on your health, with the others including:
- Lack of oxygen
- Breathing troubles
- Weaker immune system
But how does your snoring affect others?
Sleeping can become a luxury when you’re an adult, it can be even rarer after you have kids. You and your spouse may be working together to keep the family and household going, but you will never be able to effectively do what you want without a good night’s sleep.
And unfortunately, sleep is the first thing that snoring can steal from you and your partner, or even from your family.
According to the World Health Organization, sounds reaching 30 decibels or higher can interrupt the average person’s sleep, which is similar to the sound of whispering in a quiet room. Snoring, on the other hand, can reach up to 90 decibels, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner at 70 decibels.
The stress caused by waking up to that noise in the middle of the night is just the beginning of the problems stemming from another person’s loud snoring.
This goes together with interrupted sleep. Having problems with sleeping can cause cardiovascular diseases, and at the same time, cardiovascular disease can cause sleep disturbances.
Interrupted sleep will cause blood pressure and heart rate spikes, which then wakes up the body. Because of this, the brain will tend to release hormones and other chemical signals it’s not supposed to release yet.
Furthermore, the repeated spikes of blood pressure at night can cause disturbances in the electrical activity in your partner’s heart and the elasticity of their blood vessels, leading to heart diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, etc.
If your partner is a light sleeper, he or she will more likely to experience sleep deprivation. For light sleepers, getting some shut-eye can be difficult because they need a particular environment setting to be able to sleep. Yes, including the noise they can tolerate.
Sometimes, your partner will not wake you up just to stop you from snoring, which in return, makes them suffer the rest of the night, depriving them of sleep.
The list goes on. But for this article, we would like to focus more on sleep deprivation since it branches out to even more mental health risks that we like to inform you about.
According to research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, whenever there is a repeated interruption in someone’s sleep, he or she will fail to achieve the feeling of restoration that it gives.
A single bad night can affect someone’s mood the whole following day, and multiple nights of interrupted sleep can create a change in a person’s mood for an extended period. They will be constantly prone to have adverse reactions to any uncomfortable or harmful situation that may happen through the day.
Other things that occur which can be related to irritability include being less and less empathetic, friendly, and happy overall.
Loss of focus
Failure to achieve good night’s rest can cause your partner, and anyone else interrupted by the snore, to have trouble focusing. For younger kids, interrupted sleep can lead to attention problems like ADHD and ADD.
It’s essential for your partner, and anyone else you sleep with in the bedroom, to have a good night’s sleep for them to be able to focus on the tasks that await them the following day. But because of having their sleep interrupted by your snoring, they wouldn’t be able to perform well for the entire day until they get proper sleep. Sometimes, this is indeed a bigger problem for the person who hears the snoring rather than for the one who snores.
Mental health and your sleep, how are they connected?
Overall, as a study from researchers at the Harvard Medical School has found, problems with sleep are common with patients who suffer from depression, anxiety, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and vice versa, sleep deprivation is a common cause of several mental health ailments.
Like we mentioned above, sleep deprivation can exacerbate a mental health condition on anybody who suffers from it, regardless if it’s the person doing the snoring or hearing it.
Furthermore, it has been found that interrupted sleep can be as worse as having little or no sleep. Researchers discovered a decrease in positive mood with each night of interrupted sleep which contributes to the increase of negative emotions.
So don’t be too surprised if your spouse, family member or roommate gets crankier as time passes.
In case of a marriage or any relationship that has people having problems with sleeping at night, this can lead to problems in that relationship. Irritability leads to less understanding, problems with communicating and even depression in the long term.
Although, having sleep issues doesn’t exactly mean you will, inevitably, get depression. The studies just show that it can play a huge role in causing or worsening your partner’s mental health problems.
So, if you and your partner have been having repetitive interrupted sleep recently because of a snoring problem, it’s probably about time to schedule an appointment with your doctor or sleep specialist before things get out of hand.