Improve Your Relationship with Better Sleep | Engaged Marriage

Improve Your Relationship with Better Sleep

By Dustin | Communication

Note: This is a guest post from Philip J Reed of the Sereno Center for Snoring Solutions on a topic that I know MANY couples struggle with.

We all know that a good night’s rest is important for helping get a new day off to the right start. But did you know it also helps keep your relationship on track?

Studies have shown that a leading cause of resentment in marriage stems from dealing with a snoring issue at night. If you or your partner is struggling with sleep issues, don’t set up a bed in another room just yet.

Researchers are beginning to consider that when dealing with issues like sleep apnea and snoring problems, professionals should also consider how those problems affect an individual’s interactions with others and their relationships. One sleep study has indicated that women in particular tend to express more negative emotion when they struggle to sleep. It’s possible that men experience some of these same feelings, but oftentimes, they don’t share how they feel.

When sleep problems lead to a person feeling testy, it can be difficult to know how to even broach the subject of helping a partner stop snoring or taking care of other issues. Remember, this is a matter that ultimately affects you both.

Try broaching the subject gently, and explain how sleep issues are affecting you. Be as non-confrontational as you can, and try to avoid embarrassing your mate. Point out, too, that there are medical treatments and other simple solutions available, and that you can work on these problems together.

Do your best, also, to make your bedroom an inviting space. A “Bedroom Poll” by the National Sleep Foundation found that most people say the comfort of their bedroom is a major factor in how well they sleep. Make sure your sheets and linens are fresh. And even though it’s a chore not everyone enjoys, respondents said they were more likely to sleep well in their room if they had made the bed that day. Keeping your room tidy can be a good thing.

Addressing sleep problems does not have to be a complicated endeavor, but it can be a serious one if left untreated. Marriage issues aside, sleep troubles can negatively affect your health. Snorers are prone to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and other difficulties.

If you are struggling with sleep, consult a medical professional so you and your partner start feeling better as soon as possible.

Has snoring or other sleep issues impacted your marriage?  Share in the comments!

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About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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(17) comments

Wendy

Ha, this is one topic that we’ve never had any problems being completely blunt about in our communication. My husband has told me to do whatever I want to his jaw/head (adjust pillows, close his mouth, turn him on his side) while sleeping because a) he’ll probably sleep through any adjustments anyway, and b)I’ll sleep better and be a happier, more rested wife in the morning. I haven’t noticed any snoring on his part in months, though (guessing that losing 15 pounds tones you a bit better even in the breathing apparatus). I snored toward the end of pregnancy, and my feelings weren’t hurt when he chose to sleep on the couch some nights.

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    Dustin

    It’s great to hear that you guys are able to be so open on this topic. I think it would be easy to take things personally and get defensive, but you have it figured out. 🙂

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Kate

Fortunately Micah’s snoring is minimal and when he does snore I pinch his nose or roll him over and it’s no biggie. However, we are fighting the Bedroom TV Wars! He wants it on and I want it off and unfortunately the sleep timer is really not that great of a compromise because I just lay there awake for 30 minutes until it turns off and then I fall asleep. We need to find a happy medium on this one because the fact is that I tend to need more sleep than him and the hours that I see as prime sleep time he sees as prime tv time. Neither of us are willing to let it turn into a situation where I fall asleep in bed and he falls asleep on the couch every night, but we’re struggling to find a solution because he thinks a 30 minute sleep timer is a good compromise and I do not.

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    Wendy

    Kate, Jason would love to fall asleep watching TV, but before we got married we agreed we wouldn’t have a TV in the bedroom due to sleep and communication problems that it can lead to (obviously some couples are able to manage, but I didn’t want to mess with the bargaining/falling asleep listening to grown men arguing passionately over sports plays in our bedroom). Jason still needed to lull himself to sleep (my thoughts work just fine for me, but he seems to need books or television), and he tried reading books. The lamp bothered me and kept me awake most nights, though. Then came the iPad–he could now surf the net, read books, and watch Netflix from bed. I didn’t mind the netsurfing and books, but our conversations before falling asleep were fading fast again. I felt like an iPad widow. After talking it over and explaining my jealousy issues regarding sharing him with his technology, our compromise is that when I’m ready to fall asleep, he can turn on the iPad and read books/surf the net. He’s even nice enough to pull the covers over his head and the iPad so the light doesn’t bother me. I don’t know what kind of solution you can pull out of this, but your situation sounds similar to ours!

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    Dustin

    I’m with you, Kate! Bethany likes to watch TV before bed and I’m not a fan. So, we usually have it on and when she inevitably falls asleep first, I turn it off and read in peace until I’m ready to call it a night. It works for us. 😉

    Reply

Very true! I think better sleep improves overall health.

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    Dustin

    No question about that, Sophie…it’s critical!

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I’ve read about this just recently and I do agree! So far, my husband has been very tamed in snoring and I usually fall asleep first so I dont get to hear him snore. We always talk about who slept first the night prior. It’s been a usual competition at night who gets to sleep first. (I know that’s quite weird haha)

http://www.journeyofawoman.wordpress.com

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btw, i love the badge and I’m grabbing it!

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    Dustin

    Awesome, Viviene! Thanks so much for sharing it on your (beautiful) site. 🙂

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Mmm… I’m not sure my previous comment was posted. Anyway.. I agree with this and I’m glad I won’t have to put up with a lot of snoring since I sleep first almost every night. It’s always a competition who gets to fall asleep first when we hit the bed.

http://www.journeyofawoman.wordpress.com

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Mandy and I have found that we will sit there on the couch for like 45 minutes to an hour after we should have headed up to bed. We often joke that it is pathetic that we don’t have motivation to get up and go to bed! The problem is we have found the later we go to bed (therefore, are more tired), the less often we are “intimate” (if you know what I mean). We have definitely been working on this.

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    Elizabeth

    Me and my boyfriend are the same way! How funny… We’ve agreed with each other that intimacy needs to happen at least a good hour or so before “bedtime”, otherwise my habitual self starts to fall asleep. Not really what he’s expecting or wanting, right? *awkward face*

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Elizabeth

Erm. I’m the snorer. And my boyfriend really doesn’t sleep well when I do snore. I switched to a flatter pillow and it seems to be working. We’re also switching bed sizes soon. I think a bigger bed might help also? But there are two types of snores I accomplish to make. The cute snore, where he just touches my nose or jaw and I stop. Or Darth Vader snore/throat singing, where I’m totally deep in slumber and it’s extremely hard for him to sleep next to me. Luckily, he has been able to communicate to me that it sucks and that we should try different things to help me (and him!) out.

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Although I do not suffer from apnea A clean bedroom with a well made bed does it for me.
My wife and I decided not have a TV in bedroom before we got married. This works fine for us although I hate it when she studies in bed or get on the internet. Thankfully she doesn’t do it often.
Are there any more pratical home-solutions for snoring apart from discussing it and making the bedroom clean?

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Susan

My husband is the culprit. We tried me waking him, turning him, etc. After many nights of (me) going to the sofa so I could have some peace, he reluctantly agreed to have separate bedrooms. He was hesitant, because of the intimacy factor and experiences in his first marriage. He was afraid that without time together in the bed, we were doomed. This was even though I reminded him that since he gets up 2 hours earlier than me, we rarely talked in bed or snuggled anyway. In fact we would talk and I would stay up to read for awhile.

He reluctantly agreed to try it only on “school nights” (when we work the next day) for a few weeks. Instantly we were both sleeping better. It has improved our intimacy, since I’m no longer exhausted and/or resentful. And now we often sleep apart on weekends too. It’s just the sleeping. We can snuggle first and then when he knows he’s starting to doze, he leaves. It works for us because he can fall asleep in seconds.

If intimacy is important to both of you it can be maintained sleeping apart, or even enhanced.

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Angelica

To all couples suffering from sleep depravation, please do an sleep apnea test! We are in our early 40’s and have been married 19 years and my husband snoring got louder and louder and louder when he started working full time, 15 years ago. I could not sleep due to the super loud, constant snoring, and over the years we tried everything! Nose strip, pillows, mouth guards, etc. Nothing worked and I was desperate. We knew well that sleeping in separate bedroom will break our marriage over time, and I begged him to go to the doctor. The family doctor told him the problem was that I was a light sleeper but “just to please her” he referred my husband to a sleep study. He went reluctantly, “just to please me” and we discovered he had had a severe case of sleep apnea all along!!!! We were shocked and relieved. Ever since the first night using this tiny, quiet CPAP machine we both sleep in silence all night!!!! For the first time in 15 years we sleep comfortably. My husband is average weight, height, plays sports, and eats a healthy diet. We were prejudiced against sleep apnea because brochures and commercials show old and overweight men. I had the test myself a week after this wonderful discovery. I have no sleep apnea. Please go see your doctor.

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