Can a Lack of Sleep Secretly Damage Your Relationship?


How sleep problems negatively impact your relationship

Are you having problems with your love life? Do you constantly argue with your partner? Is there a part of you who suspects a lack of sleep may be at the root of your problems?

If so, you wouldn’t be alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep.

And that can spell bad news for your love life.

Argumentative, impatient, and short-tempered people are often sleep deprived. Lack of rest depletes human being’s capacity to function and leaves them firing on fewer cylinders.

As a result, they can be oversensitive to the environment, causing even the slightest of challenges seem like a big deal.

We know from clinical research that not getting enough sleep is linked to anxiety and depression. In the world of relationships, the symptoms can often manifest in specific ways, such as being emotionally distant or exhibiting increased irritability.

According to sleep neurologist and sleep expert Christopher Winter who authored the book, The Sleep Solution, when you don’t sleep well, “Your brain’s ability to do things gets whittled down to: find food, urinate, get through the day,” he says.

In other words, your brain’s bandwidth becomes limited in ability and can only focus only on life-sustaining essentials. When in survival mode, there’s not much space for much else, including relational maintenance activities (conversation, sexytime, etc).

unhappy couple bed sleep problems

To keep it real, sleep deficiency makes you less forgiving when your partner doesn’t behave the way you would prefer. You snap, making abrupt comments that can damage your relationship.

“One of the first things I assess for as part of couples counseling are lifestyle factors. This includes the amount of sleep each person experiences on a nightly basis,” says Heather Holly, a licensed psychotherapist. “In many cases, we find a lack of sleep to be a contributing factor to relationship problems. More often than not, couples are oblivious to this issue” she adds.

Signs sleep deprivation may be negatively influencing your relationship include growing resentment, more arguments than usual, a decline in enthusiasm, and reduced rapport.

The more inadequate sleep damages your partnership, the further apart you drift, and being together becomes a chore rather than pleasurable.

If the description fits, look at your relationship with sleep to discover if it’s damaging your love life. You need roughly eight hours of shuteye a night, and if you don’t meet your sleep target, you won’t operate well or be able to offer your mate a healthy connection.

You’ll sleep better if you find out the cause of insufficient slumber. Consider whether you’re comfortable when you try to rest at night. Is your mattress lumpy? Is your bedroom stuffy and too hot? And what about noise levels – is your room quiet?

If can’t find the cause of your sleep disturbance, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor. Sometimes, an underlying medical condition can contribute to certain conditions, such as hypersomnia.

To help your relationship, get to the bottom of why you can’t sleep and make positive lifestyle changes. Once you get plenty of shuteye, you’ll be less fractious and friendlier. Hopefully, you’ll also find an improvement in your love life.

About MJ Duff 44 Articles
Marie-Jones Duff is a Los Angeles based freelance multimedia journalist and frequent traveler with a fondness for all things bizarre and nerdy. Look for posts that focus on everything from men's fashion to science.