Even though sometimes it can feel impossible to get enough sleep, research shows that adequate sleep is essential to physical and mental health. Lack of sleep is associated with fatigue, mental health concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, irritability), and negative health outcomes. Sleep issues can impact the couple relationship, as one partner’s sleep problem can negatively affect the other partner. Research suggests that sleep difficulties and relationship difficulties often occur together.
Things to consider…
- Learning about sleep to generate ideas about how to improve sleep.
- Prioritizing sleep by cutting out screen-based activities before bed (e.g., watching TV, time on computer/phone) that get in the way of sleep as much as possible.
- Establishing a consistent pre-sleep routine (this could include relaxing stretches, putting pajamas on, brushing teeth, etc.), which can cue the mind that it is time for sleep.
- Consulting with a qualified health care provider if you are experiencing persistent or significant problems with sleep.
References for this page (click to expand)
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Bootzin, R. R., & Epstein, D. R. (2011). Understanding and treating insomnia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 435-458. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.3.022806.091516
Dumont, M. (2019). Coping better with night work: Interactive web tutorial. http://formations.ceams-carsm.ca/night_work/
Lammers-van der Holst, H. M., Murphy, A. S., Wise, J. (2020). Sleep tips for shift workers in the time of pandemic. Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care, 20(4), 128-130. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189699/
Luyster, F. S., Strollo, P. J., Jr., Zee, P. C., & Walsh, J. K. (2012). Sleep: A health imperative. Sleep, 35(6), 727-734. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1846
National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from www.thensf.org
Richter, K., Adam, S., Geiss, L., Peter, L., & Niklewski, G. (2016). Two in a bed: The influence of couple sleeping and chronotypes on relationship and sleep. An overview. Chronobiology International, 33(10), 1464-1472. https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2016.1220388
Silberman, S. A. (2008). The insomnia workbook: A comprehensive guide to getting the sleep you need. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from: www.sleepfoundation.org
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2021). Napping, an important fatigue countermeasure. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/longhourstraining/napping.html
Troxel W. M. (2010). It’s more than sex: Exploring the dyadic nature of sleep and implications for health. Psychosomatic Medicine, 72(6), 578–586. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181de7ff8