Why You Need to Sleep - Literally - Your Mate
1/31/2013 11:48:00 AM
Not too long ago, I read about more couples sleeping separately. No, not due to anger but for personal space and in most cases, better sleep. Snoring, keeping the TV on, a restless mate, going to bed at different times and so on can contribute to distracted sleep for one party. And if you’re the one always on the couch, that could set you off as well. And believe it or not, your lack of sleep can put a damper on your relationship.
Poor sleep can make you feel ungrateful and taken for granted in your relationship, according to recent studies from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. What! But I can see how that would happen. I know when I get too tired, my alter ego comes out – and she is not too sanctified! But other than irk my man, I can’t see how it would cause friction in a household.
The basic outcome was couples who had bad sleep didn’t work well together and showed their partner less appreciation. The lead study researcher, Amie Gordon alludes sleeplessness leads to selfishness. “Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s.” But no matter who keeps the other one up, it still affects the relationship and both parties feel taken for granted! How? By lack of gratitude with the bad attitude! “You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didn’t, you’ll probably both end up grouchy,” says Gordon. Other research she has done concludest expressing gratitude is key to overall relationship satisfaction and helping you stay together in the long run.
So what happens when your mate snores like a freight train? Or you’re a light sleeper and they’re restless, which distracts you? From Women’s Health “How to Sleep With a Man (and Actually Sleep)Tricks” by K. Aleisha Fetters, here's some tips:
He Snores… A Lot
This Valentine’s Day, give him the gift of a high-loft pillow—which is designed with the highest point at the middle—to keep him from rolling onto his back. Since people experience the most airway instability when they’re face-up, side sleeping can help prevent airway vibrations and sleepless nights, says Ulysses J. Magalang, MD, medical director of sleep medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. If the snoring is severe, suggest he ask his doc about sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing stops during sleep that can cause extreme fatigue for both parties.
You Fight Over the Covers
It’s simple: Get two comforters. In Scandinavia, Germany, and Austria, couples often cover their beds with two twin-sized, side-by-side comforters and forgo cover wars altogether. If you pride yourself on a Pinterest-worthy bedroom, drape a coverlet over the top of the comforters to tidy the look.
He Likes to Sleep with the TV On
Eye masks can help block out light. Meanwhile earplugs can help muffle any noises that go bump in the night, says Magalang, who notes that light and noise are the most common problems for bed sharers. If earplugs don’t do the job—or just feel funny to you—suggest that your Late Show-loving beau wear super-thin and squishy headphones designed specifically for sleepers. Try Bedphones, $30, bedphones.com.
He Kicks in His Sleep
While a makeshift pillow barrier can soften blows, nighttime thrashing deserves a doctor’s visit. It can be a symptom of a whole host of sleep disorders including REM sleep behavior disorder, in which the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the sleeper to act out dreams. Or if your kicker also happens to be a snorer, he might be suffering from sleep apnea and jolting as his breathing stops and he wakes up, Magalang says.
You Have Different Sleep Schedules
Your beau’s blaring alarm is the last thing you want to hear when you have two more hours to sleep. Consider a silent vibrating alarm clock that fits in a pillowcase or on a wrist, Magalang suggests. Try Shake-n-Wake zzZ Silent Alarm Clock, $14, amazon.com.
We all need rest. Without enough, it affects our minds, overall health and even our emotions. Don’t let a lack of sleep disrupt your daytime duties …or ruin your relationship.