Sleep Deprivation and Relationships

I know a lot of you out there have infants and toddlers, so I’m sure the topic of sleep deprivation is not a new one for you. Those of you who have a partner that snores or tosses and turns can also attest to not getting enough sleep. Here are a few ways that lack of sleep can effect you and your relationship.


When someone is deprived of sleep, it is harder for the brain to process daily activities and stimuli. This makes it easier for us to become overwhelmed. When we are easily overwhelmed, this spells trouble for our relationship.

We tend to hurt the ones we are closer to more than others and when we are overwhelmed it gets easier to complain or to say something hurtful. When we are tired, we don’t read other’s facial expressions as well and may not pick up clues that our partner is happy,sad,angry,etc… This can lead to a higher chance of misunderstanding and possible conflict.


  • Keep children and pets out of your bed (I know, this is a hard one)
  • Limit screen time ( put down phones and turn off television 20 minutes before going to sleep. If you need the sound, white noise machines are an inexpensive option)
  • Attempt to come to a compromise or schedule about taking turns getting up with infants during the night
  • It is completely ok to sleep (or have your partner sleep) in a separate room or on the couch if snoring and tossing/turning is bothersome. This does not mean your relationship is in trouble! Have a honest conversation with your partner, make time for cuddling and affection early in the bedtime process, then move into the other room. Your relationship will run much more smooth if you both get your sleep!

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