The Strange Reason You Aren’t Sleeping

March 13, 2019 Updated: April 4, 2019

There are many reasons we can’t sleep, like drinking coffee late at night, exercising before bed, stress, an uncomfortable bed, and medical conditions. But did you ever think that who you share your bed with could also be a risk factor?

“Although a large body of evidence shows that relationships are important for health, we are just beginning to understand how the characteristics of people’s close relationships affect health behaviors, such as sleep,” said lead author Chloe Huelsnitz, a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota.

“The findings of our study suggest that one way that relationships affect health behavior is through their effects on an individual’s stress.”

Whether you’re newly sharing a bed with someone or have been sharing a bed with someone for years, sharing your sleeping space could be messing with your sleep.

A statement on Huelsnitz’s study details the findings.

“The quality of a person’s romantic relationship and the life stress he or she experiences at two key points in early adulthood (at age 23 and 32) are related to sleep quality and quantity in middle adulthood (at age 37),” read the release.

Sleep disorders concept
When we don’t sleep well, it can lead to more negativity in a relationship. (Shutterstock)

“Sleep is a shared behavior in many romantic relationships, and it is a strong contender for how relationships ‘get under the skin’ to affect long-term health,” it continued.

Previous research has found that sleep can affect us in significant ways when it comes to relationships.

“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s,”  said Amie Gordon social psychologist at the University of California–San Francisco.

sleeping on couch
Sleeping on couch (Pixabay/Pexels)

Some reports suggest that many people are engaging in “sleep divorces,” which entails sleeping in different beds, either in the same room or in different rooms. Many couples who have tried this have reported an improvement in their relationship as a result.

Mohan Garikiparithi has a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. This article was originally published on