Sleeping in Separate Living Quarters
Recently, when my partner and I did an interview with one another, I asked if he ever finds me in strange places or just not in bed.
I laughed a little when he had said that 75 percent of the time I’m not in bed at all, due to parts of my insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep disorder.
Reasons I'm up during the night
Honestly, I had no idea that’s how much time we weren’t sleeping next to each other. Most of the time when I’m unable to sleep, I don’t want to bother him with my sighs and rolling over or squeals of pain when I can’t sleep because of chronic pain.
Other times, I force myself to sleep somewhere else because of how bad my asthma and allergies are (and he has cats I’m severely allergic to). When they act up, I can’t breathe through my nose because it’s so impacted and I have a deviated septum making it even harder to catch my breath.
Most of the time when I’m dealing with the nasal congestion, I lose my breath and end up needing a nebulizer or meds that wake me up even more with the jitters they so often provide after use.
Missing our physical closeness
Later on that night after our initial conversation, I told him how shocked I was about the massive amount of time I’m not actually in bed next to him. But he then mentioned he thought I communicated fine about why I wasn’t in bed. That made me feel like a bad partner.
Not because of what he said, but the fact that my insomnia prevents us from physically being close to one another when I struggle to fall and stay asleep, despite many medications (and therapy) for it.
Setting up another bedroom
So, yes, a lot of the time we don’t sleep together and I’ve gotten used to the fact that we both have to be okay with it because when he can’t sleep, he’ll also go to another room for the same reason I do - to see if that different environment will in some way help us be less restless, irritated that we can’t sleep, or get comfortable in that new setting.
So we compromised and set up a bed in another room, besides the couch in the living room, that would allow one of us to get up quietly and sneak away from the bed we share and go into the other bedroom and try to lull away. The bed is actually a dual hideaway bed that goes underneath the top mattress, but since we’ve been having so much trouble sleeping lately, we’ve now just left out the bottom mattress instead of hiding it. That’s how often it’s used.
It's hard to see my partner struggle
I’ve struggled with insomnia my whole life, so I know the anger and frustration that comes with not being able to fall, stay, or fall back asleep. When my partner started having issues, this left a giant hole in my heart. Because I’m the expert, right? I’ve been dealing with this for 30-some years so I should know the tips and tricks. But I don't. And lately, I feel like this leaves empty space between us because I've been struggling so much and now he has begun to struggle.
What about you?
Have you ever asked your partner how often they wake up and you’re not there next to them in bed? Do you and your partner share the same bed?
How have you made that “other” room into a relaxing, settling atmosphere to make the transition of leaving your partner in bed and switching rooms/beds? How do you make that room warm and welcoming during the day and transition it to be a peaceful alternate sleeping room? Register with our site and then share in the comments below.
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?