How to Keep Sleep from Ruining Your Relationship

Dr. Dan JensenFamily & Relationships, Sleep Apnea, Tips & Tricks

How to Keep Sleep from Ruining Your Relationship
Dr. Dan Jensen

Is your partner’s snoring, moving around or even snuggling habits keeping you awake at night? We’ve got some tips to deal with some of those issues and an offer to help. Sound Sleep Medical has 25 years of experience helping people deal with sleep apnea and other sleep breathing issues. Before you decide sleeping alone is the only answer – take the sleep assessment test on our website and give us a call.

Sleep is important

Sleep is critical to maintaining physical as well as mental health. Medical research also shows sleeping with a partner has its issues, but often, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Every person has different sleep patterns and different sleep issues. Snoring or breathing issues are things we can help you with at Sound Sleep Medical, but here are some other suggestions.

Men fall asleep faster

It’s true! A renowned sleep researcher from Austria says part of the reason is physiological. Various levels of hormones affect how long we sleep and the amount of time we spend in each level of sleep. Women tend to have more fluctuation in their hormone levels and thus, more issues getting to sleep. Try reading a little before you turn the light out – but researcher John Dittami warns – no iPad, laptops or iPhone in bed because the blue electronic glow is a sleep inhibitor.

Snuggling versus sleeping

Intimacy is important in a relationship, but don’t feel bad if you need to go to your own side of the bed after a period of cuddling. Dittami found that those romantic movie scenes where couples fall asleep wrapped in each other’s arms rarely play out in real life. It’s hard to get comfortable with your neck jammed into someone’s arm.

And then there’s that hot/cold thing

Humans have different core temperatures so what is comfortable for you may be too hot or too cold for your partner. Men tend to have a higher core temperature due to thyroid and testosterone levels, according to research. You may start out the night wanting the body heat from each other, but during the night it is not uncommon, according to Dittami to want to shed covers and clothes. In Europe, it is common for couples to each have their own blanket and separate sets of covers!

Every movement wakes you up

Sleep research has found men and women actually move around about the same amount of time at night, but women are more sensitive to the shifting and wake up. Sleep researchers have suggested memory foam mattresses or split mattresses with separate firmness settings may be the answer to the shifting dilemma.

Noises wake one partner up

A British study found some noises are more distracting to women then to men. When top 10 annoying night noises were categorized for men – car alarms, wind and buzzing flies made it. For women is was noise outside the home, dripping faucets and crying children. It’s not your imagination that some noises wake you up but not your partner. Noise machines or white noise from a ceiling fan can help with this issue.

Annoying unconscious habits

Your sleep partner grinds their teeth. No doubt about it, this is annoying, and it can lead to some serious dental issues. Try persuading your partner to get a mouth guard through his or her dentist. The newer models are less intrusive and annoying.

Snoring is an issue. We can help with that. There are some physical factors that contribute to a tendency to snore – high blood pressure, obesity – and then there’s sleep apnea. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. They may need a decongestant because they have sinus and snoring issues - that’s not the same as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is caused by tissues collapsing and blocking the airway when you relax during sleep. It is characterized by sudden quiet, waking and gasps for air.  It should and can be treated and then both of you will get a good night’s sleep and have a lot more energy during the day.

If you are unsure what breathing issues might be keeping you or your partner awake or causing you to wake up during the night – give us a call at Sound Sleep Medical and schedule a consultation.