Insomnia and Your Significant Other

There are so many side effects of living with insomnia. In this article, I'd like to discuss how insomnia can impact a relationship.

For anyone who is in a romantic relationship, you know they all come with their challenges. But when you or your partner suffer from insomnia, it can add new issues or discussions to the equation.

Insomnia impacts my family too

I personally have a lot of guilt over the way my insomnia impacts my family. Thankfully, my husband understands how delicate my sleep issues are and does whatever possible to make things easier for me. It does help that my husband is a deep sleeper since I know whatever I need to do in the middle of the night to make things better for myself won’t disturb him.

Reactions to being startled

I am not sure if this is related to my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or is fairly common among those who suffer from sleep issues but I also have an issue feeling startled. I jump back when the doorbell rings even if I am expecting a delivery, as an example.

Over the years, it has gotten so bad that I have developed a true fear of being startled. This is a huge problem in the mornings when the alarm goes off. I find because I know at a certain time I will be woken up by a loud noise, I anticipate being startled which does not help me.

When this occurs, it is impossible for me to truly allow myself to let go and remain calm enough to fall asleep. I even find I am reluctant to take any sleep aid I may have at my disposal because I am so concerned with being startled by the alarm that I would almost rather be awake than experience it.

Trial and error to find what works

I share that with you because I have had to have a lot of discussions with my husband about it. We have had to do tons of trial and error to figure out how to make the situation right for both of us. While I know my situation causes a problem for him and I do apologize for being “difficult” more often than I should, I do know it isn’t my fault.

Just like whatever issues you are struggling with are not your fault. We can only control so much and I know the majority of you reading this have done seemingly everything possible to figure out a solution that not only would help you, but benefit your significant other as well.

Doing what's best for YOU

I would also like to remind you that you are entitled to do what is best for you, regardless of whether you suffer from a sleep disorder or another chronic health condition. I have spent many nights lying wide awake because I was afraid to speak to my partner about what I was going through.

In the beginning, I was nervous he would think I was a weirdo for needing my surroundings to be so specific. As our relationship progressed, I was more concerned with how my sleeping issues impacted him than me. I found myself unable to function, but couldn’t be honest about what I needed if there could even potentially be a downside for him.

Communicating with a partner

While it is always important to care about your partner, YOU matter. Don’t be afraid to share what you are going through. If it is the right person (as cliche as it sounds), he/she will want to understand more. From there, hopefully you will begin to feel more comfortable being open and honest about your needs. I would also encourage you to let your partner know that you want to hear how things are going for them.

What about you?

Have you experienced issues in your relationship because of your insomnia? Have you been able to be open with your partner about your situation? If so, how did he/she react? Was he/she understanding? Did it put your mind at ease to open up?

If you haven’t been able to share with a significant other or are worried about getting into a relationship because of your sleep condition, tell us about it!

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