Portland Relationship Therapy: Want a Healthier Marriage? Sleep On It

March 5, 2014 by

Unless you’re a superhuman who thrives on very little shut eye, you probably already know how tough your day can be after you fail to get a good night’s sleep. Even with the aid of coffee, you don’t have enough energy, you have trouble concentrating, and you begin nodding off during the day. This can obviously be detrimental to your work day, but one thing you may not have thought about is that it can also harm your relationship.

How so? One recent study found that people who get poor sleep are less likely to appreciate their romantic partner and feel less appreciated in return. And it’s not only that—one third of couples who live together have reported that their relationship is negatively affected by sleep problems, and a lack of good sleep can lead to a loss of sexual interest.

Improving your sleeping schedule is easier said than done, but try these tips to get a better night’s rest and keep your relationship healthy.

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep from Portland Relationship Therapy

Work out. If your problem is that you lie awake for hours at night, struggling to fall asleep, you may benefit from making exercise a part of your daily routine. Working out can help tire you out—in a good way—so that you’re able to fall asleep more quickly once your head hits the pillow.

Separate cuddling from sleeping. Physical intimacy is important, and spending some time talking and cuddling in bed with your partner can help strengthen your bond, but it’s not necessarily the most comfortable way to fall asleep. Try leaving time in the evening to spend in bed with your partner, but also know when it’s time to move to the other side of the mattress and get some sleep.

Turn off the electronics. If you like to check your phone right before bed or think that you need to leave the TV on to help you fall asleep, you’re actually doing more harm than good. The artificial light produced by these screens—in addition to the fact that you’re trying to do something other than sleeping—helps convince your body that it’s actually still daytime and makes it harder to get some rest.

Talk through relationship problems before bed. If there’s something that’s bothering you in your relationship and you’re keeping it bottled up, you’re probably going to spend some time lying awake at night and cycling through the same thoughts over and over again. To prevent this (and deal with your problems in a healthy way) make time to sit down with your partner and discuss the issue. Work together to come up with a resolution or compromise so that you won’t be as stressed out.