How do sleep disorders impact relationships?
Being a relationship therapist, many people come to me outlining their issues and why they think they are facing them, and they are often shocked when I ask about their sleeping habits. It is quite incredible to look at the impact sleep has on our relationship, for example, if a partner leaves in the night to sleep in a spare room or on the couch can actually raise feelings of abandonment.
58% of Australians surveyed who experience disrupted sleep by a partner admit to feeling jealousy, resentment or anger towards them, and if these feelings continue they can create larger issues in your relationship.
How can couples work through feelings of resentment, jealousy and anger related to sleeping issues?
The best thing to do if you are already feeling tense with some of these emotions is to communicate honestly about how your partner is making you feel, and why your sleeping arrangement is not working. If you or your partner is sleeping in a different room or leaving halfway through the night due to heat or space, it is important to make changes to resolve this. If these problems are due to your partner snoring or breathing irregularly, they can take the Philips Test for sleep apnoea to ensure they are not suffering from something more serious.
Are these sleep issues common with Australian couples?
New research from Philips show that about 80% of Australians affected by sleep apnoea are undiagnosed and that while over one third (33%) of respondents admit to having a partner that demonstrates or has demonstrated symptoms of sleep apnoea, yet almost half (49%) did not recommend they get tested for the condition.
I knew this was an issue which really needs to be addressed and discussed, but seeing those numbers makes you realise how important it is for people to take these issues seriously.