Trouble sleeping? Keep an eye (and ear) on your partner

3 min read

This is one for the noisy bedfellows out there. 

Produced in partnership with Amcal. 

A good night’s sleep is the scientific equivalent of a big hug or someone stroking your hair and telling you everything is going to be okay. It's really good for you – physically, mentally and spiritually.

In fact, a lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and dementia [1]. Quality sleep shouldn't be overlooked. 

A difficult night of sleep might be a sign of ongoing anxiety and stresses within your daily life. It could also be a sign of something more serious, i.e. sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat relax during sleep to interrupt normal breathing and temporarily halt the intake of breath. The person is unable to take a breath for a couple of seconds and will sharply awaken to take a breath. This process may repeat throughout the night (sometimes up to five times per hour) and can be dangerous as well as disruptive.

It is believed 10-25% of the population experience sleep apnoea however, underdiagnoses suggest this figure may be much higher, with estimates of prevalence as high as 38% [2]. 

Some warning signs to look out for: loud snoring, high blood pressure, tiredness during the daytime, aged 50 or over, male with a neck circumference of 40cm or above [3]. If you spot any signs of the given in yourself or your partner, speak to a health professional at Amcal

Sometimes sleep can seem like an impossible task and it's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're wide awake. Rather than stressing, we've lined up some additional steps to ensure healthy slumber for you and those you share a bed with. 

Eight hours is regularly quoted as the optimum amount of sleep but anywhere between seven and nine hours a night is a safe bet. High quality sleep is also key. While it may seem as though an extra glass of wine is just the ticket to an easy slumber, alcohol is incredibly dehydrating and in turn, is damaging to your sleep. The same goes for meals, ciggies and caffeinated drinks. Give a firm no to that 8pm espresso martini [4]. Resist!

As tempting as late nights and Saturday sleep-ins are, a regular sleep pattern is crucial. Do your best to wake up at the same time every day – this will help regulate your body clock and ensure your sleep is of good quality [5].

Then there’s the ongoing issue of the noisy bedfellow. When you’re struggling to sleep, the monotony of snores can poke the bear of frustration and keep you firmly rooted in the land of the wakeful.

Chat with your partner and commit to keeping an eye (ear) on your sleeping patterns. A noisy neighbour can be a nightmare when you’re desperate for some shut-eye, but their vocals can be the sign of something more serious. Keep an eye and an ear on them and be sure to flag any unusual behaviour – it could be a sign of sleep apnoea!

If you suspect you or your partner may suffer from sleep apnoea, visit your local Amcal for a sleep health check. Your Amcal pharmacist can discuss your sleep habits with you and help assess your risk of sleep conditions such as sleep apnoea. They’ll also provide a personalised sleep score and assess whether an overnight at-home sleep test is right for you. 

[1] Mayo Clinic, 2018. Sleep apnoea, available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

[2] Garun S Hamilton & Simon A Joosten. Obstructive sleep apnoea and obesity. Patel, S. R., White, D. P., Malhotra, A., Stanchina, M. L. & Ayas, N. T. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy for treating sleepiness in a diverse population with obstructive sleep apnea: results of a meta-analysis. Arch. Intern. Med. 163, 565–71 (2003).

[3] Mayo Clinic, 2018. Sleep apnea, available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

[4] Better health Channel 2014, Sleep hygiene, available at:https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-hygiene

[5] Reference: Better health Channel 2014, Sleep hygiene, available at:https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-hygiene

Written By Rebecca O'Malley