Could your sleeping patterns be affecting your relationships?
Sleep tends to have a strong impact on your mood, with many people finding themselves more irritable and defensive after a bad night’s sleep. This can have a negative impact on relationships as you are more prone to overreact in situations which usually would not affect you. Leading to an inevitable conflict within relationships, as tensions mount.
A good night’s sleep can boost communication skills, as concentration and listening skills are increased when you’re well-rested; attributes that are vital to maintaining a strong relationship.
Silentnight’s sleeping expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, expresses that, “It’s more than just having a good night’s sleep and more energy, it’s a rekindling of passion, inspiration and courage.” A lack of sleep can negatively affect your relationships as you lack energy, and sometimes desire to put effort and time into your relationship.
A lack of sleep has been clinically linked to higher levels of illness, from the common cold to heart disease, which can also have an affect on your relationships. Illness prevents you from taking part in many activities which in some cases can cause your relationship to become restricted and therefore lead to increasing tensions. These issues can be enhanced if there is a necessity for someone to take the role of a caretaker in the relationship, increasing stress levels, which can have a knock-on-effect, too.
Sharing a bed with your partner may also be a source of tension, especially if you are different kind of sleepers. Dr Nerina helps you to work out what category of sleeper you are with her separation of ‘Sensitive Sleepers’ and ‘Martini Sleepers’. She describes that “if you’re a Sensitive Sleeper you wake at the slightest noise; you have to sleep on a certain side of the bed; you might have to travel on aeroplanes with your own pillow or blanket”. However, ‘Martini Sleepers’ can “sleep ‘any time, any place, anywhere’”.
Problems can arise if there are differing types of sleeper within a relationship as ‘Sensitive Sleepers’ can struggle to adapt to sharing a bed and as a result may have a limited quality of sleep. This can lead to a decrease in their mood or even a resentment towards your partner, particularly if they are a “Martini Sleeper” who has no issues with sleep. Thankfully, this does not have to be a permanent issue as Dr Nerina believes that it can be resolved by “lovingly negotiating when you will sleep together and when you can’t”. Sometimes there is a need to accept that separate beds are perhaps the most reasonable option to retaining a healthy relationship and reducing tensions, arising from a lack of sleep.
Can taking naps solve this issue? Dr Nerina believes so, as she suggests that “napping can almost help to reprogram your body to rest, relax and let go”, making you more at ease and less likely to engage in conflict with your partner. It can sometimes be more beneficial to allow your partner to sleep when they need to so that when you do spend time together, the focus can be on each other, instead of being distracted by tiredness.