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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your overall health, your mood, and your stress levels. Because of the effects of sleep deprivation, it can take a real toll on relationships. If you find yourself struggling to get along with people, it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to improve sleep quality so your lack of sleep isn’t affecting relationships. By sticking to a schedule and creating the right environment, you can prevent sleep deprivation and have healthier relationships. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to sleep deprivation and relationships.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Relationships?

Poor sleep can infographic

1. Poor Sleep Can Heighten Emotional Reactions

Considering sleep deprivation and relationships is important when it comes to emotional reactions. A lack of sleep can affect your amygdala function, which is a part of your brain that connects emotions and memories. A sleep-deprived person may be overly sensitive to the emotions of others, or they may not notice others’ emotions at all. Obviously, these are both serious issues in a relationship.

2. Poor Sleep Can Make Us Less Empathetic

Empathy, or the ability to understand and share feelings with another person, is essential in a healthy relationship. When you don’t get enough sleep, the parts of your brain that deal with empathy function poorly. By learning how to sleep better, you can actually help yourself become more empathetic in your relationship.

3. Poor Sleep Can Affect Your Health

Getting enough sleep is a crucial part of your physical health as well as your emotional health. Sleep deprivation is strongly associated with several health issues, from high blood pressure to heart disease and even stroke. It’s hard to be in a good mood when you’re not feeling well, so your physical health is an important part of sleep deprivation and relationships. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you need to change that.

Sleep deprivation can lead to infographic

4. Poor Sleep Can Make Us More Judgmental

Being overly judgmental doesn’t work out well in relationships, and poor sleep can actually make you more judgmental. Your level of empathy and stress as well as your ability to react to emotions are all important parts of not being judgmental, so people tend to be more prejudiced when they’re sleepy. This can manifest itself in many ways in a relationship, so it’s another reason sleep and love are intertwined.

5. Poor Sleep Can Increase Feelings Of Loneliness

Sleep deprivation can also increase feelings of loneliness, which can make a person feel rejected in their relationship even if that’s not the reality. People who are sleep-deprived may have a harder time approaching others and may react poorly in social situations, which can certainly take a toll on your relationship.

6. Poor Sleep Can Boost Stress Levels

Like sleep, stress can lead to tons of mental and physical health problems. What’s even worse is that sleep deprivation can boost stress levels, which affects your mood and the way you interact in your relationship. Increased stress levels can also make it harder to sleep, so you can end up in a vicious cycle of not being able to sleep even though you’re stressed due to a lack of sleep.

How to Improve Sleep Quality for a Better Relationship

Ultimately, sleep has a profound impact on our physical and emotional health, and as such, sleep deprivation and relationships are certainly intertwined. So, what would our lives and relationships look like with a better night’s rest? Research has demonstrated that a majority of Americans would be happier, healthier, and safer if they got just an extra 60 to 90 minutes of sleep per night.

Extra sleep and happiness infographic

Below, we’ve included some tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep:

Get On the Same Sleep Schedule

Combining sleep with love can be tough if you’re not on the same schedule. If one person in your relationship is having trouble sleeping, try going to bed at the same time and see if that helps. It can be tough to sleep when there’s somebody watching TV in the other room or crawling into bed late at night. Plus, being on the same sleep schedule means you don’t have to worry about waking each other up when you get ready in the morning.

Increase Light Exposure During the Day

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural clock, and it works best when you’re getting plenty of natural sunlight during the day. If you’re not the type who spends a lot of time outdoors, try getting outside a bit more to increase your exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D from sunlight can also help improve your mood, so increasing the amount of sunlight you get is a great way to improve your mental health and your relationship.

Reduce Blue Light Exposure At Night

Blue light comes from all the screens you look at, and it’s a big problem at nighttime. Blue light has a negative effect on your circadian rhythm, so try to avoid blue light for a couple of hours before you lie down in bed. As tempting as it might be to check your phone or watch TV as you’re winding down for the night, that light can actually trick your body into thinking it’s daytime. Avoiding screens also gives you more time to spend with your partner.

Consider Sleep-Enhancing Supplements

When you need a little help getting to sleep at night, sleep-enhancing supplements such as melatonin can be helpful. It’s important to keep in mind that many sleep aids have side effects, especially with long-term use. You should talk to your doctor before taking any sleep aid other than melatonin, and focus on solving the root cause of your sleep issues rather than relying on medicine to help you sleep.

Improve Your Sleeping Environment

Your environment has a big effect on how well you’re able to sleep. Make sure you know how to make a comfortable bed and eliminate potential distractions in the room you’re sleeping in. If noise bothers you, consider a white noise machine. If you’re sensitive to light, try a sleep mask. You can even invest in new sheets, pillows, and blankets, or you can upgrade to a brand-new mattress. Improving your sleep environment is a big step in the right direction if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Sleep Deprivation And Relationships: FAQs

What are the emotional effects of sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can make you feel less empathetic, heighten emotional reactions, make you more judgmental, increase feelings of loneliness, and increase stress levels. These effects can take a serious toll on your relationship over time, so getting enough sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy relationship. Insomnia relationship problems are common for people who have a hard time sleeping, so you might want to consider seeing a doctor about your insomnia if you can’t get a good night’s sleep even after changing your habits.

Can sleep help relationships?

Getting enough sleep can help you manage stress, be more empathetic, be less judgmental, and it can even improve your overall health. Being on the same sleep schedule can also give you more time to spend together, plus you don’t have to worry about waking each other up when you’re going to bed at night or getting up in the morning. All things considered, making sure you and your partner are getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your relationship.

You should be getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, although the exact amount of sleep required can vary from person to person.

What are the benefits of sleeping next to someone you love?

As far as sleep deprivation and relationships go, sleeping next to someone you love offers a lot of benefits compared to keeping separate schedules. Sleeping next to someone you love can help boost your mood and improve your general wellbeing, and it may even help you sleep better at night. If you’re keeping the same sleep schedule as your partner, you also don’t have to worry about waking each other up if you’re up later at night or earlier in the morning.

Photo of empty bed

Final Notes

Sleep deprivation and relationships are closely intertwined, especially when both people aren’t getting enough sleep. So, how many hours of sleep do you need? According to most experts, you should sleep at least seven hours per night. A lack of sleep can cause turmoil in your relationship as a result of the emotional effects of sleep deprivation.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you might need new bedding. MedCline pillows are specifically designed to provide the comfort and support you need for quality sleep. Whether you’re looking for shoulder support or a wedge pillow, MedCline pillows can help you get a good night’s sleep.

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