Anyone suffering from insomnia knows how difficult it can be to make your partner understand. When one person is snoring the second their head hits the pillow, they can’t imagine why their partner just doesn’t go to sleep. Meanwhile, the one suffering is left bewildered how their partner gets to sleep so easily.
There are different causes of insomnia, and depending on what is causing yours, you may want to have a different approach to trying to get your partner to understand.
“Just go to sleep!”
Hearing these words, especially from a close partner, can be almost as frustrating as not being able to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation explains that insomnia can be caused by a variety of psychiatric and medical conditions, both psychological and physical, and some people are more prone to insomnia than others. Stress, anxiety, and depression don’t cause sleeplessness in everyone, so even if your partner shares your stress, it may not manifest the same way it does in you. This may cause them to be less likely to understand when you have a different reaction.
Separate your partner from your insomnia
It can be tempting to wake your partner up in the night for comfort or at least complain about your lack of sleep the next day for sympathy. Having your partner’s support can help you feel better for at least a moment. However, it can be healthy to separate your insomnia from your partner. It may frustrate you to see how easy it is for them to sleep when you can’t. If you can’t sleep, try moving to a different room so their sleeping doesn’t frustrate you. Resist the urge to complain about your lack of sleep. It will make your partner feel guilty for being able to sleep and you feel resentful. Their lack of understanding may only add to your frustration and anxiety.
Try to change your sleep habits and form healthier ones, visit your doctor, or try new methods of coping with your problem. Not only will this make you more likely to fall asleep and have better sleep hygiene, but your partner will see you taking steps to correct the problem and may have an easier time understanding that it truly is something out of your control and that you are trying to take steps to improve your condition. The American Psychological Association cautions that depression and insomnia are often linked. Often one will cause the other. If depression is part of your sleep problems, it is especially important to seek medical care so you can get back to enjoying your daily routine.
Insomnia is a condition that affects your entire life, including your health and your relationships. The better your partner understands your insomnia and the more you can separate your sleeping problems from interpersonal problems, the less it will negatively affect your personal relationship. Visit the National Sleep Foundation for more explanation and advice on how to deal with this ailment.