How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Relationship 100%

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

parents with twins - JoAnna Inks Sleep Solutions

We all know how a terrible night’s sleep makes us feel and isn’t it true that it also makes other people almost unbearable?

It certainly seems this way.

One night of lousy sleep and the next day people are driving like lunatics, taking forever with their Starbucks order, and asking you the same stupid question at work that you’ve answered a million times before!

I often wonder if this is just the universe messing with me?  Or, is there a hidden camera with YouTube pranksters cracking up as they put these people in your path?

More than likely, the explanation is that your poor sleep is making it nearly impossible for you to react normally to irritating situations.

Researchers from the University of Arizona released a study back in 2006 which, forgive me, I just discovered this week, showed that people who were deprived of sleep over 55 hours had…

  • An increased tendency to blame others for problems.
  • Reduced willingness to alleviate a conflict situation by accepting blame.
  • Increased aggression.
  • Lower willingness to behave in ways that facilitate effective social interaction.

This probably isn’t a big surprise to most of you, but I think it speaks to a bigger issue.

Let’s say that you and your fantastic partner are the proud parents of a new bundle of joy.  You’re so blessed, but having a baby is a HUGE responsibility, and they do require us, parents, to make one zillion decisions each day.  This is just an estimate, but I’m sure it’s close 😉

For every decision you make, you and your fantastic partner usually need to find common ground that it’s the right way to go.

  • What time is a good bedtime?
  • What do we do if baby starts crying?
  • Should we breastfeed?  Are we able to?

These are all questions that need to find common ground and then be reevaluated if things don’t go well.  And, these are just THREE of the one zillion questions you’ll have to answer in the first few weeks of being a parent.

Every one of these questions presents an opportunity for disagreement.

Hopefully, you and your fantastic partner can solve your disputes amicably.  And, you may have already ironed out a lot of things before you even got pregnant.

But, as any parent knows, the minute the wheels start falling off the bus, all of these decisions are up for debate.

So, there you are, needing to make decisions, all of which need to be agreed upon by you and your partner.

You’re no doubt frustrated because things aren’t going smoothly, and on top of that, your ability to respond and react to each other in a rational, civilized way has been severely compromised.

There you are, a couple, forced to debate the most important decisions you’re likely to make about your baby, and you’re primed to blame one another, get angry, and way less likely to accept any responsibility for what’s going on all due to sleep deprivation.

Disaster, right?

On top of that, couples who don’t get enough sleep are less likely to show gratitude towards one another, and much more likely to feel unappreciated, according to Amie Gordon, a doctorate candidate in social-personality psychology at UC Berkeley.

And as if that’s not enough, lack of sleep decreases libido, which means you’re not having sex as often, if at all!  Yikes!

I’ve worked with countless couples who’ve shared with me that they’ve stopped having sex since one of them is on the couch, or baby is co-sleeping.  And, in the rare moments when sex might happen, they’re just too tired and not in the mood.

Many couples get through this period with their partnership very well intact.  I’m certainly not trying to suggest that lack of sleep is going to be the end of your relationship.  A baby that doesn’t sleep well won’t lead to divorce, but I can say undoubtedly, it will not help!

Babies truly are a gift.  What can compare with those first few months when you both stare at this amazing creature that you created together?

It’s super romantic, and it’s also a time in your life that deserves to be cherished.  That’s extremely difficult to do if you and your partner are always fighting because you’re suffering severely from lack of sleep.

There is a myriad of reasons to make your baby’s sleep a priority when it comes to their health and well-being.  But, let’s take a selfish detour and consider what it can mean for you, your partner, and your relationship. Because there’s one gift that children always appreciate and it’s seeing their happy parents, united and in love.

Before you dive into couples therapy, move to separate bedrooms, or get into one more heated argument about which wipes to use, try taking 1 week to commit to getting your baby sleeping through the night and see how life looks through well-rested eyes.

What’s the result when everyone in the family is getting the rest they need?

It’s nothing short of phenomenal.

You’re ready for a well-rested family.  

Book A Call with me today so that I can learn more about your specific sleep challenges and I can share exactly how I can help your baby sleep better in a few short days!

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