Sleep loss can kill a relationship. In a study at the University of California at Berkeley, researchers found that sleep deprivation fractures brain mechanisms that tame our emotional responses to stressors. In other words, once provoked by a spouse or significant other after sleep deprivation, there’s no guarantee we will play nice. And that kills sex and considerably lowers the chances of staying together. Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen.
[step-list-wrapper title=”” time=””] [step-item number=”1. ” image_url=”” title=”TALK TO YOUR PARTNER.” ] Be factual, brief, and don’t bring in other issues. Avoid personal criticism. Women who refuse to discuss sleep issues with their partners may be putting themselves at risk for more than insomnia. A Maryland study recently found that women who “self-silenced” during conflicts with their spouses were four times more likely to die over a 10-year period than women who did not.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2. ” image_url=”” title=”EMPHASIZE THAT IT’S “OUR” PROBLEM.” ] That makes it clear that you’re in this for the long haul and you’ve got his back.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3. ” image_url=”” title=”ENCOURAGE HIM TO GET HELP” ] Suggest he make an appointment with your family doctor to discuss the issue and consider whether or not a referral to a sleep center certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine would help.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4. ” image_url=”” title=”USE PROPS.” ] Eye masks, ear plugs, white-noise machines, mattresses with “firmness” controls, feather boas—use whatever it takes to increase the likelihood that you’ll sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”5. ” image_url=”” title=”SEPARATE.” ] If the problem is long-term, think twin beds or separate rooms. You can always tiptoe in for a morning cuddle after a good night’s sleep.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]
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