Among the resolutions that people make for the New Year is trying to improve their close relationships. If you’re one of the people who are trying to achieve that goal this year, then one great place to start is getting better sleep. Sleep makes it easier to have productive conversations with people in close relationships. And for many people, treating snoring or sleep apnea is critical to getting good sleep.
How Sleep Impacts Your Relationships
We’ve talked before about the impact of poor sleep on relationships. Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to specific relationship problems. When one person doesn’t get enough sleep, they are more likely to neglect their partner. This makes sense: they have less energy to devote to their partner. It follows then that the neglected partner would feel unappreciated, leading to more conflicts.
But now a new study has looked in more detail at the ways sleep impacts couples. This study looked at couples that had been married from 3 to 27 years. These couples also reported sleep ranging from 3.5 hours a night to 9 hours a night. The study showed that getting more sleep didn’t eliminate conflicts between couples. Fighting is universal in a marriage, and all couples in this study had sore spots. Researchers brought the couples in to talk about these issues and recorded their interactions. They then scored these interactions to see which were more positive and productive, and which ones were more harmful and less productive. This was measurable at a metabolic level: it correlated with increased inflammatory response.
They found that couples who got better sleep were more able to deal with their conflicts in a productive way, but those that didn’t get as much sleep were more likely to get angry and not resolve their conflicts. Over time, this has an erosive effect on relationships.
Better Sleep Leads to Better Relationships
This study reminds us that sleep is critical to essentially every aspect of our lives. In our personal lives as well as our professional ones, getting good sleep leads to better functioning.
Unfortunately, when one partner is snoring or has sleep apnea, good sleep isn’t really possible. No matter how much time you spend in bed, you may be waking up too often to reach the deep, restorative levels of sleep, and you may be missing out on hours of sleep each night.
And if you’re snoring, then your sleep disordered breathing is also disrupting your partner’s sleep as well.
But when your snoring and sleep apnea are treated, you will immediately notice the difference. You’ll feel the improved rest immediately, and it won’t be long before the impacts of that improved sleep become clear in your personal and professional relationships.
Let Us Help
If you suspect that sleep disordered breathing is impacting your relationships, your health, and other aspects of your life, we can help. Please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.