How Relationships Affect Sleep

by Martin Reed Patient Advocate

A study performed at the University of Pittsburg showed that women who are in stable marriages, or who are dating a new partner, experienced less insomnia and slept better.

Individuals who are in good relationships tend to have a greater sense of well-being, as well as lower stress levels. There is also a sense of perceived personal and financial security. All of this contributes to good quality sleep. Individuals who are married also tend to be healthier and live longer than their single counterparts.

The average age of the females in the study was 46. Of the nearly 3,000 women who were part of the research group, one-third was single, one-third was happily married, and one-third was unhappily married.

The study showed that those who were unhappily married were 50 percent more likely to deal with insomnia than the happily married – while the unmarried were 30 percent more likely to have insomnia.

It seems that it isn’t so much marriage/partnership that brings about a better quality of sleep as it is a happy union. It was the unmarried and the unhappily married who presented the insomnia symptoms over the two-week research period. The symptoms included: difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, restless sleep, and waking too early.

The research shows that what happens during our daily life does have an impact on our sleep. Being in a healthy loving relationship with a partner has its perks, and it seems sleep is one of them.

If the thought of looking for love is not something you are ready for – or you are going to wait until it finds you – there are still some things you can do to try to rest like your happily married peers:** Sleep hygiene**

Stick to a sleep schedule and avoid late afternoon naps. Avoid alcohol and caffeine late in the day. Exercise regularly, but save the strenuous types of exercise for the afternoon. Make sure your sleeping environment is inductive to sleep. This means you have bedding that meets your needs, dim lighting, and a room that is not overly warm.

Invest in friendships

You can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends. Having a trusty group of friends around that you can call on for advice, fun, and companionship can work wonders on your emotional and physical health. Friends can also give you a sense of belonging which can help prompt quality sleep.

Financial planning

As a single woman with no partner, it is wise to plan out your financial future. Seek out the help of a friend or financial planner if you need guidance. Financial worries are a top cause of insomnia.


Everyone deals with stress. Find a solitary outlet that helps you de-stress. De-stressing that can be done alone is one of the keys to keeping insomnia away. Find what helps you and participate in it regularly. Ideas include yoga, meditation, spiritual pursuits, exercise, journaling, gardening, cooking, and countless other activities that are not dependent on others.

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Land’s free sleep training for insomnia. His course will help you identify the issues that are harming your sleep and teach you how to fix them. Over 3,000 insomniacs have completed his course and 96 percent of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend.


Troxel, Wendy M. et al. "Marital/Cohabitation Status and History in Relation to Sleep in Midlife Women." SLEEP. Vol. 33, No. 7, 2010. Accessed June 16, 2015.

Martin Reed
Meet Our Writer
Martin Reed

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Coach, an eight-week course that combines online sleep education with individual sleep coaching. His course helps clients improve their sleep so they can enjoy a better life with more energy and start each day feeling happy, healthy, rested, and refreshed. Martin also runs a free sleep training course that has helped over 5,000 insomniacs. He holds a master’s degree in health and wellness education and studied clinical sleep health at the University of Delaware.