Sleep And Relationships: How To Make Both Work

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested isn’t only good for our physical health and energy levels, it’s also essential to keep our mood stable and to be able to focus at work and in our everyday activities. 

But we also know there are many things that can interfere with our nightly slumber. Being stressed or ill are some common causes of poor sleeping patterns, but sometimes, our partner’s bedtime habits are to blame, too.

For example, your nightly rest can be easily interrupted if your partner snores, if they have restless legs, move around a lot, have a higher body temperature, are “blanket stealers”, or go to bed later than you do. 

And if your slumber gets interrupted over a long period of time, your physical and mental health won’t take long to be affected.

If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to do all you can to get a better rest -- and to avoid resenting your partner over their habits. To help you with this, we have put together some tips you can try to keep things happy and to improve the quality of your nightly slumber.

Talk to your partner

This may be a difficult subject to bring up in conversation, but you can communicate the problems you’re having at night and how they affect you without getting into an argument. The key is to highlight that you value your partner and the relationship, and to avoid blaming the other person. So think about the words you’ll use, and avoid anything that sounds like an accusation.

Work it out together

Once the problem is out in the open, get together to think about possible ways of minimizing sleep disruption. Here it’s important to be open to all suggestions, even if they mean sleeping in separate rooms. If your partner suggests this, don’t think it’s a sign of lack of interest or affection. After all, where you sleep isn’t necessarily an indicator of how much you care for each other.

Make time for each other

Make a point of spending time together before bedtime, especially if you decide to try sleeping in different rooms. Quality time will bring you closer together, irrespective of whether you share a bed at night or not. And don’t forget about scheduling date nights!

Be appreciative

Keep communication flowing and don’t just assume that your partner knows how you feel. If they’re willing to hear you out and make changes to ensure you both rest better, take every opportunity to tell them how thankful you are. 

Advice For People With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

When it comes to resting well at night, things get a little bit more complicated for people who suffer certain disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (often abbreviated to OSA). 

This condition affects the respiratory system and causes the airways to close while people are asleep. This deprives the body from getting all the oxygen it needs, and causes the person to wake up gasping for air multiple times every night. It’s obvious that a condition like OSA can be very disruptive, not only to the person who has it, but to their partner too.

Recognize the realities

Medical studies have also found that sexual dysfunction rates are higher in couples where one of the partners suffers from OSA. Other researchers have noted that OSA symptoms, like excessive daytime fatigue, can affect people’s ability to tune into their partner’s feelings and needs. Obviously, this can take a toll on the relationship you have with your partner.

And not only that, but sooner or later, untreated OSA will have a negative impact on your health. The effects of poor slumber are magnified in OSA patients, and range from high blood pressure to a higher risk of having heart attacks, daytime fatigue, and mood disorders.

Take steps to strengthen your relationship

What all this means is that if you or your partner have OSA or a similar disorder, you need to do something now. Taking action will minimize the impact of your condition on your health, and will help keep your relationship going strong. 

The first step is talking to a specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. Based on test results, the specialist will recommend the most suitable treatment for your particular case. If you have OSA, you’ll probably need to start CPAP therapy. The important thing to remember is that there’s help available, and that OSA treatment will help keep your relationship happy!