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Real wives of sleep apnea

Filed in
  • relationships
  • Sleep apnea

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Aug 24, 2009
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It certainly doesn’t involve as much drama as being one of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” But being a wife of a man with obstructive sleep apnea can be distressing.

A new study examined the sleep of 17 OSA wives; they were compared with 17 wives of healthy sleepers. Results were controlled for age and menopausal status.

Data analysis shows that OSA wives had lower sleep quality. There was an increase in their time awake during the night.

They also spent more time in “stage 1 sleep;” during this stage of a sleep cycle, sleep is very light and can be easily disrupted. These sleep parameters had a substantial correlation with tiredness.

Results also show that OSA wives had higher distress scores than controls. And they had higher scores on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. Sleep parameters were moderately correlated with pain and distress.

In February the Sleep Education Blog reported that there is hope for sleep apnea wives. Studies show that CPAP therapy can treat sleep apnea and benefit the marriage.

Wives also may play an important role in their husband’s CPAP success. A 2008 study showed that husbands were more likely to maintain regular CPAP use over five months when sharing the bed with their wife.