I don’t live with my boyfriend, but we stay at each others places pretty regularly, usually over the weekends and a couple of nights during the week. Usually I love having him there with me and can sleep fine, but lately when I’m with him I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night and get overcome with anxiety about not being able to fall asleep. I don’t want to turn the light on to read or disturb my boyfriend, so I end up just lying there as the anxiety about not being to sleep continues to mount, and I end up lying there for hours before eventually getting a minimal amount of sleep.
I think it’s a hang up from my last relationship, where we used to constantly fight about waking each other up in the middle of the night, to the point where it turned into screaming matched (very thankful to be out of that unhealthy situation), but it’s still left me with this situation where I get so worked up and am unable to fall asleep with someone next to me.
My current boyfriends very understanding, I’ve talked to him and I’m working on the anxiety side of things, but I want to know if anyone has any similar stories about sharing a bed with their partner? Do you love it or hate it? How important is actually sharing a bed in a relationship? How do you address nocturnal issues with your partner like snoring, without blaming them or making them feel guilty? Can you love someone enough to give up on ever having a good nights sleep again?!
Hi @MintMilano, totally understand your anxiety about not being able to sleep. When I was younger (like 8-12) I didn’t used to be able to fall asleep until 1 am most nights and it was so frustrating. 1 am isn’t late now but when you’re a kid it definitely is. Do you find your anxiety occurs more likely when you’re at his place than yours? It’s really awesome that you’re talking it out. He sounds pretty understanding, so maybe you could limit the amount of nights you stay at one another’s house whilst you get some help with this? Just a suggestion, I don’t mean to give unsolicited advice. I’m pretty intolerant when it comes to sleeping next to someone. Luckily in the past my partners haven’t snored but I have no idea how I’d cope with it! Sometimes I can even hear my dad snoring from a whole room over and it annoys me so much, haha. At the moment I’ve been seeing this guy for about six weeks and I’ve stayed over once and it was totally fine, I notice that it did take me a while to fall asleep but apparently the first time you stay somewhere new you don’t get as good a quality of sleep because subconsciously you are more aware of your new environment and making sure everything’s okay and that there’s no threats – very interesting!
@Purple that’s definitely true about not sleeping as well in new places, it took me a while to get used to sleeping at his place. the sleeplessness and anxiety has been happening at both mine and his though, so I’m not sure that it’s connected to a place as much as another person being present. it’s just weird because we’ve been together for 4 and a half months now and its the first time this has happened to such an extent. and whats worse is the more I worry about it, the more I feel like its going to keep coming back and keeping me up at night 😮 maybe I should just stop talking about it haha
@MintMilano I can totally relate to not being able to sleep with someone there! I will lie awake for HOURS worrying about disturbing their sleep because I am a total doona stealer (and it used to cause fights with an ex-partner too)
I think that prioritising sleep is the most important thing that you can do for yourself and sharing a bed is not a definer of a good and loving relationship.
I suffer from a bit of insomnia, normally exacerbated if I am sharing a bed with someone.. The problem with sleep anxiety as you would be aware is that once you notice it and it becomes ‘a thing’, it becomes more prominent and then the anxiety is heightened every time you think about it.
So yes, stop talking about it in the way that you don’t let it become a defining thing in your life (Hi, I’m Steph and I have insomnia :p) , create a night time ritual (set intention to sleep, take a bath, no phone in bed etc.), work out a happy medium of how much sleep you ARE willing to sacrifice (i.e. Friday night sleepovers perhaps so you can lie in on a Saturday together), and perhaps a herbal supplement like Valerian or chamomile can help too.
Sorry I sound so bossy. Sleep is number 1. The Huffington Post founder has dedicated a whole section of her website to sleep – check it out here <3
thanks for the advice @stephaniaaaah 🙂 I’ve definitely been working on getting in to a better night time/bed time routine and its definitely helping. I’ve been sharing a bed with my partner with no issues for a while before now so hopefully it was just more of a me thing and that it will pass soon.