I have often mentioned the importance of sleep to the health of your marriage, your sex life, and physical health. I have also mentioned a bad night of sleep for her is worse for your marriage than a bad night for you. A new study from UC Berkeley adds additional proof poor sleep is harmful to your marriage.
The study found couples are more likely to fight after a poor night of sleep. What’s more, they learned poor sleep resulted in feeling more negative during discussions of difficult issues. Even worse, a lack of sleep reduced conflict-resolution skills and impairs being able to gauge accurately your partner’s emotions. In a nutshell, bad sleep increases arguments, makes them worse, and reduces the chances of reaching a solution.
You probably know the things recommended for better sleep, but as a reminder:
- Make your room very dark, and avoid bright lights before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Find ways to make your bedroom quiet; add white noise, or wear earplugs.
- Get a quality bed. (I am partial to the “sleep number” type beds). Yes a good bed it expensive, but if you understand how poor sleep hurts you, it’s worth it.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Avoid spicy food and alcohol in the evening, and don’t have a large meal too close to bedtime.
- Keep evening liquid intake low so a full bladder doesn’t wake you.
- Develop an evening routine.
- Try to keep the same bedtime and wake up time all week, including the weekend.
- Use your bedroom for sleep, sex, and changing ONLY.
- Avoid heavy exercise too close to bedtime, but do get good exercise.
- Sex is a natural sleep aid!
As with anything, your mileage will vary. For example, some folks can drink coffee before bed and sleep just fine, while others have to cut off all caffeine by noon. All of these will have some impact on your sleep, but some will be too minor for you to notice. If you are having trouble, apply everything then back off on them one at a time and see what makes sleep worse.
Please don’t see sleep as a waste of time or laziness. Good sleep is essential to good mental, physical, and marital health. See sleep for what it is, an investment in your life.