Many adults do not get the full eight hours of sleep they need per night. A new baby, a hectic work schedule, stress, anxiety, and many other factors may contribute to this lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is more than just an annoyance though. It could take a toll on your social life. Let’s explore how limited sleep may hurt your relationship and what you can do to correct that.
Crankiness And Irritability
Sleep deprivation can make you more irritable. Small issues that you would normally brush off become huge sources of conflict. These conflicts can drive a wedge in your relationship. Your spouse now feels picked on, like a constant target for your frustration. He or she may even think you have anger management issues because of your overly sensitive reactions.
What causes this crankiness? As you sleep, your brain has a chance to sort through all the information you processed that day – emotions, memories, tasks at work, etc. If you do not get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t get everything sorted for the next day. It’s like walking into an office with papers all over the desk and plopping a new file on top. Translation: chaos. By getting the proper amount of sleep, you can eliminate some elements of crankiness.
Humans thrive on predictable routines. Wake up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time. This isn’t always possible to achieve, but it is ideal. Relationships also thrive in these kinds of routines. Couples that have regular date nights and predictable patterns tend to have less stress as a whole.
Sleeping is a crucial element in these routines. By establishing a bedtime for the household, you also set a schedule for conversations and bonding moments. This will help you connect with each other on a regular basis and open the doors for proper communication. This will also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because your body will get used to the schedule – eliminating some of the crankiness mentioned above.
You don’t have to be awake to bond with someone. Just being in the same room while you sleep will help you feel closer as a couple. If one person is up watching TV in another room, the person left alone in bed may feel inexplicably distant. If you get in a habit of going to sleep together when possible, you will subtly improve the strength of your relationship.
Tackling Sleep Deprivation In Couples Counseling
Talk about your sleep deprivation during your couples’ counseling. Your counselor can help you figure out if there are underlying issues triggering your lack of sleep. For instance, depression and anxiety can both influence your sleep patterns. Stress from work or finances is another possible contributor. If you learn what is causing the lack of sleep, you can figure out a way to conquer the cause. This will improve your relationship and speed up the progress of your couple’s counseling.