Sleep And Your Marriage: The Connection


Some weeks back, a daddy suggested I give my rambunctious five year old son, the 3 am treatment. He asked that I wake him up at 3am, and have a heart-to-heart chat with him.

I had this look on my face that said, “Are you for real? We are talking about a five year old child here oh.”  Even at that, he urged me to give it a try. I nodded and moved on.

The next time we met, he asked if I had tried the treatment. I just glossed over it (and I hope he doesn’t read this.). Mehn, I’m not one to wake up at 3am, when I had barely slept hours ago, just so I can have a heart-to-heart chat with my five year old son about his attention-craving attitude. Nah!

There’s a theory behind it, at least among certain persons, who are connected to me. It is believed that if you speak to someone at midnight, it really touches the core of their being, as it shows just how important that conversation was for you to wake them at such an ungodly hour to talk.

And if I was paid for every time someone suggested that talking to my husband in the middle of the night is a great strategy, I would be comfortably rich now. Unfortunately, for them and my husband, who also believes in the theory, I like to sleep at night, for at least four hours.

So, after quite a number of times when I had nodded off while he was talking, he has accepted that I do better with daylight chats or, better still, early morning chats, when I’m fresh. Anything other than that, you’re on your own oh.

Developing a healthy sleeping habit was a goal I set at the beginning of the year, and I’m nowhere near the ideal, but then I’ve still got some months to get my acts together…or maybe not.

In my effort to find enough reasons to sleep, and actually prompt my Oga at the top to let me have some shut eye, I came across some interesting and corroborating information about sleep and marriage.

One expert in sleep science, Dr. Jim Horne, explained that, on average, women need twenty more minutes of sleep than men. The researcher pointed out that women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men, leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep.

I was saying yayy!! But it wasn’t the kind of information my man appreciated, so back to the drawing board.

Here’s the result of my fact finding, although the bottom line still remains moms need to sleep, no matter what even they say. It benefits everyone around them; husband, children and everyone else she has to relate with. After all, it is said; you can’t pour from an empty cup.

A recent US study suggested yet another reason for women to get some sleep. It found out that husbands and wives, who get a good night’s sleep, are more satisfied with their marriage the next day.

Conducted by researchers from Florida State University, the study looked at the importance of sleep on self-regulation, which is the ability to move focus away from undesirable experiences, when making an evaluation of a relationship, and can influence how satisfied couples are with their partner.

Self-regulation requires energy, which can be replenished when our bodies sleep. Previous studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on processes that require self-regulation. 

However, in a surprising turn, sleepy men do not have the same impact on their marriage. Even after tossing and turning, men do not report more negative interactions with their wives.

“Women tend to be more sensitive to the highs and lows of relationships, and they tend to be more communicative when they’re feeling the stress,” said researcher, Wendy Troxel, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

So, the fact that women’s sleep problems affect both their own and their partner’s next day’s marital functioning, may say something about women’s expressiveness, whereas men tend to sometimes repress or withhold negative emotions.

Another recent study debunked all that lovey-dovey pattern of sleeping you often see in movies of sleeping couples.

The study found out that the majority of the couples surveyed slept back-to-back, rather than in the same direction, or face-to-face.

However, regardless of their positions, according to the same study, couples who sleep an inch apart tend to be happier than those who sleep 30 inches apart: Ninety-four percent of couples who fall asleep while touching their partner reported a happy relationship; only 68 percent of those who didn’t touch reported the same satisfaction.

Moving on, a partner’s  sense of gratitude towards their partner may also be determined by how much sleep they have got the night before.

It has been discovered that couples who spent the night agitated or distracted instead of snoozing serenely, are less likely to feel appreciation for their relationship or demonstrate appreciation the next day.

It has become very clear that how good tomorrow turns out to be, is determined by how much of a good night sleep the woman has.

I know it’s hard and this is like the case of the kettle calling the pot black, but women need to sleep more.

Get some shut-eyes mamas…when you can, and save the earth. Lol!!!



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Photo credits:

1. The Lovelint





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