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Seven ways sleep deprivation is ruining your relationship

experts news  |  educational, hope bastine, science, simba hybrid, sleep

Seven ways sleep deprivation is ruining your relationship

Seven ways sleep deprivation is ruining your relationship

Let’s take this to the bedroom. It could save your relationship, but not in the way you’re thinking.

We like to think we know a thing or two about keeping the peace, having designed the Simba Hybrid® Mattress to minimise motion transfer (that’s when your partner rolls, and you end up rocking). But if you’re not getting Simba quality rest, what happens the morning after?

We asked the experts, turning to Professor Vicki Culpin, author of The Business of Sleep, and Hope Bastine, our resident psychologist and mindfulness expert for the answers.


Your homelife is essentially World War Three.

Remember when you had control over your emotions? Your other half probably doesn’t either. Suddenly, every little thing is a cause for concern and they evidently just don’t care about you. Or so you think. Hope says: “When you haven’t had enough shuteye, your reactions to emotional stimuli can send your feelings into overdrive, triggering mood swings.” In a nutshell, nobody likes spending time with someone who is confrontational and erratic - exactly what you’ll be if you don’t get enough good sleep.

You forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer. Again.

When you don’t catch enough Zzs, your brain cells don’t have the precious time they need to rejuvenate. You could find yourself forgetting deadlines, birthdays and the fact you put the oven on over three hours ago. But it doesn’t end there. Studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation can even cause your brain to conjure up ‘false’ memories, which could have dire consequences for your love life. But hey, everyone loves cereal for dinner, right?

You just want to be left the hell alone.

That feeling of wanting to be around absolutely no one when you’re tired is actually rooted in physiology. Vicki comments “A study at the University of Berkeley used MRI scanning to show that after one night of no sleep, the area of the brain that encourages social interaction shuts down.” That’s fine every now and again - we all need our me-time - but factor a constant need for solitude into a relationship, and you don’t really have a relationship, do you?

You stay up all night watching re-runs on Dave

Does your other half really want to listen to a six-year-old episode of Have I Got News For You drifting in from the next room? You might assume staying awake until the early hours will help tire you out, but this behaviour simply turns into a cycle - and will only make your sleeping pattern more inconsistent. The blue light emitted from your TV and phone screen doesn’t help either, as it obstructs production of crucial sleep hormones.

You’re bringing them down with you.

You might think that you’re the only one actually suffering from the sleep deprivation blues. Not true. Says Vicki: “In the same study at the University of Berkeley, not only were the participants seen as lonely and less socially active but, incredibly, this feeling was contagious. People who watched a 60-second clip of the sleep-deprived individuals said that they themselves felt more alienated.” So spending time with the sleep-starved version of you could negatively affect your partner too - and you could both end up in a cycle of cold-shouldering.

You’re running out of paper bags.

Research has found that tired people come across as less attractive, and not just because of the inevitable eye bags. Tired people actually look less healthy, less intelligent and less sociable. Plus, it won’t matter whether your significant other still thinks you’re supermodel material or not - you’ll be so grumpy, you won’t believe it. The result? You’ve guessed it, more arguments.

You’re the proud new owner of literally everything.

Being tired seriously affects your decision-making, so you could find yourself splashing out on luxuries you never normally would. Whether it’s a family-sized chocolate bar that you have no intention of sharing or that outrageously overpriced watch you’d previously filed under ‘I wish’, making a dent in the family finances probably won’t impress your partner.

So the big question: how do you fix it?

You know you need to try to get a full night’s sleep, every night. As Vicki explains, “The effect of poor sleep doesn’t need a night of total deprivation. Research shows if you’re woken up around four times in one night, for ten minutes each time, it’ll have same impact on your mood as if you’d had only four hours sleep.” Luckily, there’s lots of great advice out there for getting better about bedtime (much of it on this blog), from revamping your bedroom to fine-tuning your routine.

You can start with a critical look at your current mattress - especially if it’s been a while since you bought it. Is the sagginess is giving you a sore back? Are you and your partner see-sawing all over the place with every turn? If so, you might want to check out a mattress that’s designed to be supportive, oh-so-comfortable and great at keeping your wriggles to yourself. The Simba Hybrid® Mattress was developed using data from ten million sleepers to suit every body type. And you and your partner get 100 nights to give it a go - so you might well find it’s another match well made. After all, isn’t it time to wake up to a better night’s sleep?

Vicki Culpin’s book, The Business of Sleep, is available from Bloomsbury. Find more from Hope Bastine on this blog and at Fresh Perception.

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