My Partner Can’t Sleep (Top 3 tips)

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided

In this brief article, we are going to look into the various reasons as to why your partner can’t sleep and how you can help them get a good night’s rest.

Why can’t your partner sleep?

The fact that your partner can’t sleep could have several underlying reasons. Let’s get to the bottom of what could be keeping them up at night.

  • Stress
  • Irregular sleeping schedule 
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Mental health issues
  • Sharing a bed makes them uncomfortable 
  • High caffeine intake throughout the day
  • Specific sleep disorders
  • Consumption of alcohol and other substances 
  • Unhealthy or fast-paced lifestyle 
  • Physical illness or pain 

What can you do to help your partner sleep better?

There are many things that you can do to help your partner sleep better, such as: 

  • Making sure that they do not use their phone or any other device in bed
  • Sleeping and waking up along with them at a set time 
  • Not letting them consume caffeine late at night 

How to cope with your partner’s snoring?

If a partner’s snoring is keeping you from getting adequate sleep as well, here’s what you can do:

  • Nudge your partner to roll onto their side and place a place a pillow as support
  • Wear earplugs 
  • Consult a doctor if the snoring persists

When does your partner need to see a doctor to deal with their irregular sleep?

Here’s how you know your partner needs professional help to sleep:

  • When self-help and your help has not improved the situation 
  • When they choke while sleeping or wake up with a start often in the middle of the night
  • When they fall asleep at random times during the day or in-between tasks

Sleep is an essential function that allows us to recharge through the night, so that we wake up feeling refreshed with both the mind and body alert to seize the day. 

Simply put, it’s necessary for survival because neither can the body, nor the brain function properly without adequate and well-rested sleep. 

If your partner is the one who cannot sleep, you may be concerned for them and be physically affected by their disruptive sleeping patterns as well. 

Finding out why your partner can’t sleep is the first step towards the solution to this problem. 

Why can’t your partner sleep? 

Stress

One of the biggest reasons for sleep disorders is stress and it may be why your partner can’t sleep. 

Some people are more vulnerable to sleep problems that are induced by stress. With the mind in overdrive, it creates hyperactivity.

This leads to sleep deprivation which in turn can cause ever more stress. It’s important for the affected individual to break this vicious cycle. 

Relaxation methods like mediation may be able help your partner get a good night’s sleep. 

Irregular sleeping schedule 

The body has an internal clock (also known as the circadian rhythm) that is set to match day and night. If your partner has an irregular sleeping schedule that doesn’t align with it, it’s probably why they can’t sleep.

The disruption of this self-timer arises when an individual is not consistent with their sleeping pattern. 

Even an hour later than usual can cause a setback and it may take some time for their body to get used to this new schedule again. 

The easiest way to get their inner biological clock ticking properly is to follow a schedule and stick to it. Once reset, they should feel sleepy at the same time and wake up feeling refreshed. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Poor sleeping habits

A person’s sleep quality depends on their sleeping habits. If they have poor sleeping habits, it may be why your partner can’t sleep. 

Some of these unhealthy choices include using their phone while lying in bed, pulling all-nighters, oversleeping on the weekends, and not unwinding before bedtime. 

Making little changes and refraining from these common practices can help them sleep better. 

Mental health issues

If your partner is suffering from mental health issues, it could be why they can’t sleep. Dealing with conditions like depression and anxiety can give rise to problems with sleeping. 

These disorders can stir up negative thoughts and hyperarousal activity in the brain causing a disturbance in sleep. 

Approximately 40% of people that have insomnia also have a mental disorder. It’s crucial to sort out this issue for your partner to avoid further aggravating their disorders.   

Sharing a bed makes them uncomfortable 

No matter how much they love you, some people find sharing a bed with another person uncomfortable. If your partner is one of them, they may find sleeping difficult because of this. 

Not only can it be troublesome for their sleep, it may also chip away at the romance. 

According to Jennifer L. Martin, a clinical psychologist and behavioural sleep medicine specialist at UCLA, lack of sleep “can lead to more conflict and less satisfying relationships”.

Figuring out why they can’t sleep next to anyone is a must if you want to help them avoid tossing and turning all through the night. The other solution is to sleep in different beds, if that works for the two of you. 

High caffeine intake throughout the day

There is a deep connection between caffeine and sleep problems. Consuming large amounts of coffee, tea and other sources can be why your partner can’t sleep. 

Caffeine stimulates the body’s nervous system and a huge intake of it throughout the day can seriously mess up a person’s sleep cycle. 

Ask your partner to limit themselves to a single cup of coffee, if necessary and keep an eye out for other sources of caffeine and absolutely none before bedtime.

Specific sleep disorders

Obstructive sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) are two of the many sleep disorders that can keep someone up at night. Having any of them can be why your partner can’t sleep. 

Lapses in breathing and temporary interruptions while sleeping can be because of sleep apnea and needs to be treated by a doctor. Similarly, RLS, which is the powerful urge to move the legs, diminishes restful sleep. 

Other abnormal behaviours during sleep like having nightmares, sleepwalking and sleep paralysis can stem from stress. 

Consult a professional if these parasomnias are a recurrence.  

Consumption of alcohol and other substances 

Alcohol has sedative properties, which might cause people to think that it helps them sleep, but this does not hold true. In fact, it can lead to poor sleep quality and duration.

The consumption of alcohol, especially right before bedtime may be why your partner can’t sleep well. 

Reliance on other substances to sleep largely messes up a person’s sleeping pattern too. 

The impact of alcohol on the individual’s sleep largely depends on them, but many studies have shown that it can augment the symptoms of sleep apnea. Hence, it’s best to avoid it, especially at night. 

Ask your partner to have a soothing cup of chamomile tea 45 minutes before bedtime instead. 

Unhealthy or fast-paced lifestyle 

Trying to manage a hectic life can be strenuous for anyone. People may not be able to keep track of their diet or find time to exercise, but nonetheless, it’s important that they do. 

The lack of a proper diet and regular exercise can contribute to sleep deprivation. If your partner is finding it difficult to keep up and missing out on these two, it may be why they can’t sleep.

Since diet, exercise and sleep are deeply intertwined, talking to a doctor about personalised recommendations can definitely help. 

Physical illness or pain 

People with chronic pain like lower back pain, splitting headaches, arthritis often struggle to get a good night’s sleep. If they are suffering from it, it is probably why your partner can’t sleep. 

The substandard quality or complete lack thereof is because of the bidirectional relationship between pain and sleep. Persistent pain can also cause long-term sleep deprivation. 

This makes prioritising sleep essential to speed up the process of recovery and vice versa. 

Take your partner to consult a doctor and remedy this as soon as possible. 

Conclusion:

Some changes in lifestyle, a proper routine and better habits should help your partner sleep. If after doing everything, the problem still persists, visiting a specialist is recommended. 

What we recommend for Relationship issues

Professional relationship counselling

If you are suffering from relationship issues then ongoing professional relationship counselling could be what you need. Relationship Counselling can be done individually or with one or more partners.

Relationship counselling helps you regain the amazing elements of your relationship and provides you with the techniques needed to avoid conflicts, misunderstandings and the most common issues most relationships struggle with.

FAQs: My partner can’t sleep

What can you do when your partner can’t sleep? 

Figuring out why your partner can’t sleep is the first step. Once the cause has been identified, it becomes easier to find solutions. 

The most logical way to go about it would be to make small changes in lifestyle, and if the problem still persists, to seek professional help. 

How do you help someone who can’t sleep?

Help them follow a meticulous routine to get their sleep on track (set time for sleeping and waking up).

In addition you can always make sure that they have a relaxing environment during bedtime that can help drift them off to sleep. 

Can insomnia ruin a relationship?

There is a risk of increase in conflict if one or both partners are not getting enough sleep. This can cause a strain in the relationship, but most sleep-related issues can be treated.

Consulting a sleep expert can surely help. 

What does it mean when someone can’t sleep?

There are so many possible causes for why someone can’t sleep. Poor sleep habits, stress, anxiety, depression or taking medications can all contribute to insomnia.

References: 

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/when-your-sleep-partner-has-sleep-disorder
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322994
https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-problems-almost-destroyed-my-relationship-until-we-tried-the-extreme#The-sandman-offensive
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/alcohol-and-sleep
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/diet-exercise-sleep
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/pain-and-sleep

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]