Positive, supportive interactions between sleep partners could help people with sleep apnea adhere to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, suggests a small study.

Couples who focused on the benefits for both the patient and the sleep partner were more likely to use the CPAP machines, the study authors report in the journal Sleep Health.

“Poor adherence to CPAP remains the major impediment to effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea,” lead study author Lichuan Ye of Northeastern University in Boston told Reuters Health. “Spouses can make a significant difference in their partners’ health behaviors.”

About 6 in 10 adults sleep with a partner, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and more than one-fourth of married or cohabitating couples say their relationships are adversely affected by sleep problems.

Read more at www.reuters.com