How can you minimise the effect of your insomnia on your bed partner?

One of the worst aspects of my insomnia, which has struck for acute bouts for at least four years now, is that it has a negative impact on my partner.

There is a very interesting article by Colin Espie on the site here: http://www.sleepio.com/library/article/poor-sleepers-impact-on-their-bed-partners/, but do you have anything to add to it?

Thanks!

Posted 28 Feb 2012 at 10:07 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 874 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Maybe once your partner sees your improvements he will see for himself the advantages, and maybe just maybe he will use some of the tools himself, obviously naps are not good for you, as you say it is up to him in the end to make that decision
    All the best ….Andy

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    My biggest problem with my partner is that he likes cuddling but he is a very light sleeper, and I like to toss and turn when trying to get to sleep, which wakes him up every time. So it's either him waking up frequently because of me, or not getting to snuggle, and since we have a long distance relationship and see each other less than once a month, that's challenging. I've found it easy following the Sleepio course when he's not around, but I've just started sleep restrictions and will be seeing him in a few days and staying with him for a week. Not sure how he's going to like it. Any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    My partner feels the same as yours. He doesn't' t mind that I usually get out of bed every night, he knows he snores badly! He does worry about me not sleeping more. I have sleep apnea as well as insomnia but have such a hard time falling asleep with it on. Plus the noise from it disturbs him and I feel bad. I end up turning it off and going into another room to try and sleep. Someone needs to invent a little portable c pap machine.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    That's unfortunate that the CPAP prevents you from falling asleep. I thought it was supposed to help! My partner uses a CPAP and sometimes it is very noisy. I have finally figured out the solution – ear plugs! They work amazingly well so now I don't hear the machine at all. Has your partner tried ear plugs?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 11 comments
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    Session 3

    I can definitely relate to this post! My poor husband puts up with my insomnia and tossing and turning every night. I think he is more excited about this program than I am! Hoping that I can sleep well after Sleepio.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi k-k-Katie,
    I have the same problem as you. It's a terrible dilemma, when you aren't always together. I really want to snuggle up with my partner but usually after up to an hour of being awake I give up and move to spare room; or sometimes I fall asleep and wake up about an hour or two later and then move to the spare room. My partner was a bit hurt to start with but has got used to waking up with me gone. But I really, really want to be able to sleep with him and wake up together in the morning. The Sleepio course has been helping me with my sleep when i'm on my own, but hasn't yet had any impact at all on my ability to sleep with my partner. So if you figure something out, do let me know!!!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Nightlight, just read your comment about sticking it out and very good for you. I am struggling at the moment, next session session 5. Your comments have encouraged me. Thank you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Betty, Glad to hear you are sticking with it. It is easy to get discouraged, but just remind yourself what you were like before you started Sleepio. I was absolutely desperate. Things are by no means perfect now (or I wouldn't still be posting). But I am in control. I still have bad nights from time to time, but I don't worry about insomnia any more. I know I can cope.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Nightlight, thank you for your positive comments. I feel exactly like you, I have found the Sleepio
    Course really helpful and all the tools are brilliant. They have covered everything we need to know on how to be better sleepers. Yes before Sleepio I just didn't have many coping strategies, just bits I had picked up from various books and articles I had read but this course gives us strategies based on the information we give them and it seems very personal and Individual. How good is that. I hope your sleep keeps improving and stays that way. Thanks again you really helped me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am only in a very new relationship and I fear that my sleep is going to very negatively impact our relationship. How do other people's partners cope with the emotional dis-regulation sleep causes you? And the constant getting up and out of bed on sleepless nights? Can anyone provide advice?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    He worries that my not sleeping is causing my blood pressure to be very high. Along with my snoring he feels I should seek professional help.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 12 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I was honest with my parent when our relationship started and told him not to take it personally if I leave the bed in the middle of the night (which is pretty much every night). He (now husband) has gotten used to it and actually prefers his own bed as he gets up super early for his job. It works for us. Good luck.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    My partner tries to insist I stay in bed when I can’t sleep and when I intend to go read somewhere else till I get sleepy again. He also doesn’t like me waking up at the same time every day, even though I argue it’s improved my sleep a lot. He has poor sleep habits too, but he’s not bothered when he sleeps poorly- just rolls with it. My poor sleep and efforts to solve it has definitely added stress on the relationship.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I find that I can't quite follow the Sleepio routine completely, due to my partner. I'm guessing it's the case with a lot of couples.

    For one, my husband prefers to cuddle in the morning, when I'm trying to bolt out of bed to make the bed a 'sleep' zone. It seems a little offensive to him when I do that, even though I explain the reasoning. Cuddling releases a hormone cocktail – dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, and is thus a part of bonding and overall stress-reduction, he argues.

    Also, I haven't quite adapted to my husband's nighttime breathing, which isn't that bad, but I'm a light enough sleeper that it wakes me up a few times.

    He also wants to sleep in on the weekends, when I'm trying to keep to a consistent bedtime and wake- up schedule. I get growled at when I continue to set my alarm for 6:15 on Saturdays and Sundays.

    This course has great tips, but it seems to lack some flexibility for any of us that may be sharing the bed with a partner. I'll add the caveat that I'm still scoring over 90% in my sleep logs; partly because I sneakily abandon ship in the night to sleep elsewhere when I frequently find myself tossing and turning. The disconnect between my attempts at good sleep and my partner's preferences are causing me some consternation.

    How can Sleepio be better adapted to those of us sharing a bed with a partner who has his/her own preferences? Any tips?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 2

    Tempted to get ear plugs because my partner has insomnia and often gets up/moves around in the middle of the night and wakes me up.
    I'm not sure how he can stop his insomnia with the awkward hours he works as he works very late shifts at the moment and I work a regular 9-5 so there's not much we can do except me trying to block out his insomnia movements.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    week 2 for me and I adjusted our evening routine of watching TV and we both spent the last hour reading . I went to a different room from hubby and also did some relaxation . Got into bed and didnt want to waste the relaxation and on a sleep schedule wanted to go straingt off to sleep. ( this didnt work anyway and I was up again half an hour later doing stretching exercises for restless legs syndrome!)Trouble is he misses the routine of cuuddling before sleep and if I then do that I am wide awake again.
    As the programme progresses I am tempted to go to bed with him as usual and get up again if I need to.I could go and sleep somewhere else, set my alarm a few minutes before his and slide back in again. Its got to be about compromise and that should be on both sides but its difficult, especially if I need a lot less sleep than he does. Its all so complicated!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Iris Helen
    Oh I know it’s hard. Have just replied to you on the other article – stick to what you are doing for the moment. When you get to Session 3 the prof will give you your SR (sleep restriction) time. Then you’ll be able to sort out a routine for you and your hubby. If you can manage the next three weeks on your new sleep restricted hours and get into a good sleep pattern, it’s then that you might be able to tweak it to fit in more with you and your hubby :)
    It seems a long time, but it soon goes.
    Sadly with all the night terrors and restless legs my OH has we are in separate rooms, but it means we both get better quality sleep.
    Best sleepio wishes!
    Kurly :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    many thanks . I will stick with it and maybe have a more relaxed attitude. So many factors to my poor sleep I cant deal with them all at the same time. Trouble is you get so desperate you want that magic wand and you have to grow one of your own from a seed!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 3 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    many thanks . I will stick with it and maybe have a more relaxed attitude. So many factors to my poor sleep I cant deal with them all at the same time. Trouble is you get so desperate you want that magic wand and you have to grow one of your own from a seed!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 453 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I know Iris Helen, but do give yourself a pat on the back – you’re here doing something about your lack of good quality sleep and you’re only in session 2.
    Take care of yourself during the day and relax giving yourself the gift of time for YOU.
    Kurly :)

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