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5 Ways to Keep a Bad Night’s Sleep From Ruining Your Love Life

5 Ways to Keep a Bad Night’s Sleep From Ruining Your Love Life

Anyone who’s gotten sucked into an all-night Law and Order marathon knows a lack of shut-eye can wreak havoc on you—poor sleeping habits make you cranky, make it difficult to focus, and in the long-term, have even been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.

And now research is showing that poor sleep habits are negatively impacting your love life, too.

The UC Berkeley study enrolled over 60 couples between the ages of 18 and 56 in two experiments. The first experiment asked couples to keep a journal of their sleep patterns and how the quality of their snoozing affected their feelings about their significant other. The second experiment tasked the couples with problem-solving tasks.

Turns out, you’re not the only one snapping at your significant other after a night of tossing and turning. In both experiments, researchers found that participants were less appreciative and showed less gratitude towards their partners after a bad night of sleep. “Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s,” explained UC Berkeley psychologist and lead investigator of the study Amie Gordon.

A night of sleep that leaves both of you exhausted can leave you feeling “too tired to say thanks” and less attuned to your partner’s needs and moods. And even if it’s just one of you who’s sleep-deprived, the partner who got their full eight hours can still end up feeling unappreciated and taken for granted.

So what’s a snoring, tossing and turning, sheet-hogging couple to do?

1. Have Enough Blankets to Go Around

Sharing a blanket is cozy when you’re cuddling in front of the television, but when it comes to turning in for the night, make sure there’s enough blanket to go around, even if that means separate blankets. No blanket-hogging means fewer interruptions during the night, which means a more peaceful sleep.

2. Take Snoring Seriously

Snoring is annoying—and it can also be a sign of a serious underlying cause, like sleep apnea. It also doesn’t tend to go away on its own, so if you or your partner snore, address it with a doctor who can suggest treatments and remedies. A little quiet goes a long way when it comes to getting a good night of rest.

3. Upgrade Your Mattress

A king-sized bed or a memory foam mattress can make all the difference in giving you both enough room and comfort to sleep well. Consider it an investment towards your relationship.

4. Let There Be No Light

Turn off iPhones and laptops before crawling into bed, and, if your bedroom lets in too much light, consider blackout curtains or wearing a sleeping mask to bed—you’ll sleep more deeply when your room is dark.

5. Make Your Bedroom a Kid-Free Zone

Lots of families co-sleep with younger children, but having the kids snooze alongside you can have an impact on the quality of your sleep, leaving you distracted and moody the next morning. Consider gradually weaning your kids off co-sleeping if you find yourself tossing and turning or waking up in the middle of the night. The same goes for the kids’ toys in your room—keep the bedroom off-limits for playtime for a more peaceful atmosphere when you’re ready for bed (bonus: no more stepping on Legos when you get up to pee in the middle of the night!)

Related:
10 Habits for Better Sleep
6 Reasons Your Cat is Waking You Up at Night

Read more: Dating, Love, Relationships, Sex, ,

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Diana Vilibert

Diana Vilibert is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. You can be blog-friends with her at dianavilibert.com, or tweet her at @dianavilibert.

306 comments

+ add your own
9:36AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

2:25PM PDT on May 7, 2013

I rarely have any problem sleeping. I am extra exhausted EVERY night

10:49AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

One of the things I really love about being retired is if I can't sleep there is always nap time! I can go to bed whenever I want and wake up when I want.

That being said, I can really sympathise with having to get up and go to work on little or no sleep.....been there, done that!

8:03AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Thanks for the article.

3:39AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Thanks

9:58PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

So..... what happens after age 56? Not addressed here. Practical common sense suggestions; but are very difficult to put into practice sometimes. And, given the complex circumstances of modern day life & family dynamics, getting a good night's sleep is often hard to obtain for many. Much easier said than done, Sleep deprivation is a real problem & robs people in lost productivity, opportunity & motivation in many places outside the bedroom.

5:17PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Good tips, but my husband won't go to the Dr for his snoring! He even wakes himself up!

10:04PM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Thanks

9:36PM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Thanks for posting.

8:01PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Good tips, thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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