How Insomnia Could Save Your Relationship This Valentine's Day

Patient Expert
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We hear about the downside of insomnia all too often. Let's use this Valentine's day as an opportunity to turn insomnia into a positive. It can be a great excuse for some additional bonding, and it can provide the perfect opportunity for you to get even closer to your partner.

Start by getting turned off...

By switching off electronics such as TVs, computers and cellphones before bed, you'll be creating a more healthy sleep environment. Electronic devices with backlit screens emit blue light, which suppresses our natural production of melatonin - an important sleep hormone. These devices are also distracting and increase stimulation of the brain.

… to get turned on!

If you switch off all the electronics, you'll probably be shaking up your regular evening routine. This alone can be exciting, but it's also a great opportunity to talk to your partner instead of zoning out in front of the TV or computer. Chat or try to learn something new about your partner. Consider a party game. You'll be amazed at the effect swapping the TV with one-on-one time will have on your relationship on Valentine's day, and over the long term.

Know what to avoid...

Although it's tempting to open a bottle or two on Valentine's day, be aware that alcohol harms sleep quality. Sure, it helps you fall asleep when you have a few drinks – but the quality of that sleep will be far worse than if you made it an alcohol-free night. It's also a good idea to avoid the after-dinner coffee, too – the effects of caffeine last for up to 12 hours!

… to get what you want!

By avoiding alcohol, you may find it easier to have a serious discussion with your partner – and you'll probably remember what you discussed the following day, too! Maybe now is the time to bring up that burning question you've always been afraid to ask...

Bring someone else in...

If you or your partner is struggling with chronic insomnia, it should not be ignored. Sleep therapy could be a great Valentine's day gift – for both of you. Sleep deprivation is tough on the insomnia sufferer and their partner. Research shows that sleep therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps 70 to 80 percent of insomnia sufferers; But it requires a lot of commitment.

… to kick insomnia out!

If you and your partner decide that CBT is the right choice, it's important that you both support the decision. One part of CBT requires the insomnia sufferer to go to bed and get out of bed at specific times. This will likely affect the sleep of the non-insomnia sufferer, too. However, things will get better, and when the therapy is over, you'll have destroyed insomnia by working together as a couple.

You know what they say...

Getting through life's toughest challenges makes us stronger. The same is true when it comes to defeating a chronic condition like insomnia by working together as a couple. Creating a healthy sleep environment, practicing good sleep hygiene and being supportive of sleep therapy are good opportunities for you to forge an even closer relationship this Valentine's day.