So it’s only logical that you want to optimize your time in bed. Now, what happens if your partner is making it difficult to sleep? The last thing you want is to lay awake in bed at night, harboring angry feelings towards your partner.
What are some habits that could potentially break the relationship?
#1 going to bed at different times
Try to synchronize your sleep schedules. If your partner needs to wake up at 7, because it’s time for work, and you wake up at 8 and work from home – it might be better to change your bedtime so that you wake up at 7 as well.
Now, in some cases this doesn’t work. If you’re working the night shift, then it’s not recommended to do this. But I’m mainly talking if the differences are small. Going to bed at different times can be the beginning of you starting to drift apart from each other.
#2 insomnia, snoring, tossing and turning
In this case, it’s important to work on the problem. Solutions are:
- Insomnia: decreasing stress, following a healthy diet, getting sun throughout the day, limiting screens at night and/or taking melatonin.
- Snoring: cutting down on drinking, quitting smoking, following a healthy diet, changing sleeping positions.
- Tossing and turning: decreasing stress, finding the right sleeping position for you or maybe getting a new more comfortable mattress.
#3 different wants and needs in the bedroom
In this case it’s important to discuss well with each other what is important to you. If you’re fine with some light, but also sleep well when it’s pitch dark – but your partner literally can’t sleep when there’s even one little ray of light coming in, then it’s better to go with black out curtains.
Discuss with each other what your wants and needs are. Compromise on things that are ‘wants’ for you and ‘needs’ for your partner. If you both do this, you both will sleep better.
- Men tend to fall asleep after sex
- Women have a harder time falling asleep after it because they’re still aroused
Conversely for women: if you know that your man has trouble sleeping, having regular sex before bed can help him. Or if he’s having an important meeting next day and feels a bit anxious, you know the solution.
In the end, it’s important that you’re both aware of how a good night’s sleep affects you – and that you both work on getting enough sleep and overcoming these common obstacles that many couples experience at night.
If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start - Relationship Reboot: Break free from the bad habits in your relationship.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 14-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old toy poodle.