What to Do When Your Partner Has Insomnia

by Martin Reed Patient Advocate

If your partner has insomnia, it impacts your life, too.

You may feel that your once loving partner has disappeared and some grouchy demon has shown up and taken over your partner’s body.

On the other hand, your partner may seem to have no mood at all, as well as no interest in doing anything. Their emotions may be flat and your partner may have fallen into a depression.

Just know that your partner is still your partner. They are just dealing with an issue that is very overwhelming. The good news is you do have a role in the recovery process. Here are some things to keep in mind if you have a partner that is dealing with insomnia.

Treat it like a health issue

When you are living with an insomniac you may deal with frustration. You may ask yourself why your partner just doesn’t lay down and go to sleep. You may look at them surfing the internet or watching television and inwardly think they are to blame for their own lack of sleep.

The truth is insomnia is a health issue just like any other. If they could sleep, they would be sleeping. If they could sleep, they wouldn’t be surfing the internet or watching infomercial after infomercial in the small hours of the morning.

Insomnia is not a ‘bad behavior’ or something they can snap their fingers and make go away. Yes, your partner may do things that exacerbate their insomnia, but they should not be blamed for the insomnia itself anymore than you would blame them for having another health issue such as asthma or diabetes.

When it comes to talking about and coping with your partner’s insomnia, treat it like a health issue.

Support their recovery

What works for one insomniac may not work for another. Your partner may try countless things to deal with their inability to sleep before something finally works for them.

Support your partner’s recovery. Welcome new techniques and treatments they may want to try. Help them obtain what they need. Be their true partner and cheerleader just as you would if they were battling any other health problem.

Yes, it can be a drag sometimes as you go from one thing to another until what works is finally found – but understand that having the support of a loved one when dealing with a monster such as insomnia is an important part of recovery, as well as the health of your relationship.

Be encouraging

It is easy for an insomniac to slip into the blues and become depressed. To think you may never have a full night’s sleep again is scary, especially when you are already fatigued and feeling overwhelmed.

Insomnia can make a person feel out of control and helpless to help themselves. Remind your partner that you love them, that countless other people have found help for insomnia through techniques, medications, and various methods.

Remind them that you are there with them every step of the way and that they are not alone.

Remain calm

Almost everyone has gone without sleep from time to time. You know how irritable and moody it can make you.

Imagine going without sleep night after night after night. Sleep deprivation greatly impacts mood. It can make a person irritable and sullen. It can make them hard to be around.

If your partner is acting like a jerk, remain calm. Recognize that it is probably their lack of sleep talking and don’t let yourself be dragged into an argument. Just let them know that you don’t like the way they are talking to you, that you understand they are tired, and that you’d prefer to discuss whatever the issue is later.

Insomnia isn’t just an individual problem. It can impact all areas of a person’s life. If your partner is struggling with insomnia, look at it as a problem that you both need to address.

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Land’s free insomnia sleep training course. His insomnia help course will help you improve your sleep without sleeping pills. Over 3,000 insomniacs have completed his course and 96 percent of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend.

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.