How do sleep disorders impact relationships?

Being a relationship therapist, many people come to me outlining their issues and why they think they are facing them, and they are often shocked when I ask about their sleeping habits. It is quite incredible to look at the impact sleep has on our relationship, for example, if a partner leaves in the night to sleep in a spare room or on the couch can actually raise feelings of abandonment.

58% of Australians surveyed who experience disrupted sleep by a partner admit to feeling jealousy, resentment or anger towards them, and if these feelings continue they can create larger issues in your relationship.

How can couples work through feelings of resentment, jealousy and anger related to sleeping issues?

The best thing to do if you are already feeling tense with some of these emotions is to communicate honestly about how your partner is making you feel, and why your sleeping arrangement is not working. If you or your partner is sleeping in a different room or leaving halfway through the night due to heat or space, it is important to make changes to resolve this. If these problems are due to your partner snoring or breathing irregularly, they can take the Philips Test for sleep apnoea to ensure they are not suffering from something more serious.

Are these sleep issues common with Australian couples?

New research from Philips show that about 80% of Australians affected by sleep apnoea are undiagnosed and that while over one third (33%) of respondents admit to having a partner that demonstrates or has demonstrated symptoms of sleep apnoea, yet almost half (49%) did not recommend they get tested for the condition.

I knew this was an issue which really needs to be addressed and discussed, but seeing those numbers makes you realise how important it is for people to take these issues seriously.

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  • My hubby snores so badly it often keeps me awake, and I often don’t feel rested in the morning


  • When my partner grinds his teeth, I do wonder how he has any teeth left in his head, it’s so bad. I have always been a bit jealous of how well he sleeps. Five minutes after his head hits the pillow and he’s out, I’m still laying there wide awake.

    • My hubby is the same! Some nights ill be talking to him and hes fallen asleep! It takes me ages to drift off!


  • I’m going early to bed whilst my husband goes late. I wake early, while he wakes late. Either of us has a problem with that. No jealpusy no abondonment. The other day he told I took all the blankets we just have a laugh about it and I better watch he doesn’t take revenge, lol


  • Does your partner go to a Dentist who should be pointing out the damage? (maybe he just hasn’t told you what has been discussed about it). Stress can cause you to grind your teeth. It was suggested to me to do more of what I enjoy doing (in my case knitting and walking) You can get a mouth guard which fits over your top teeth only. I suggest it is made by a dentist so it fits correctly.


  • So long as you are honest with each other and go to bed together in the first instance, then jealousy should be put to rest and half a night’s sleep is better than none.


  • Sometimes my husband steals all the covers and it’s easier to just go somewhere else than fight him.


  • My husband snores so yes I think it can affect a relationship especially when he too tosses and turns and the dogs sleep on me or confine me further because they don’t trust him sleeping. First world problems..


  • When my partner has a few beers, he snores SO bad, grinds his teeth and his arms have a mind of their own. Luckily, we have a spare bedroom I can head to on these nights. It’s still a sleep disturbance though and I’m usually cranky tge following day


  • Definitely be honest with each other and address the issues impacting on sleep.


  • My husband snores and grinds his teeth, most mornings I am tired and irritable after a restless sleep. This has been going on for years but he has never tried to get it sorted. Something I will have to put up with I suppose

    • How horrible is the teeth grinding? I am amazed my partner still has teeth in his head, they should be worn away with all the grinding


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