Our Little Chicks Paediatric Sleep Consultants Singapore logo
Written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
1 June 2020

Sleep deprivation breeds conflict with your partner

Have you found that when you have a night of poor and broken sleep, the people around you seem much more annoying the next day? This could include your partner, your children,  colleagues, clients, etc.

Studies have shown that people who were sleep deprived for 55 hours had a higher tendency to blame others for problems, higher levels of aggression and less willingness to cooperate and come to an agreeable compromise with others.

So imagine then that you and your partner have welcomed your new baby into this world.  While there is no doubt that you have been blessed, let's not fool ourselves; nurturing a baby/child requires parents to make countless decisions every day.

Additionally, you and your partner need to agree on the right course of action before moving forward. Eg  What should we do if baby cries? Why is baby crying? When should we put him to bed? When should we feed?

These are just a few out of hundred of choices that you'll have to make. And there is an opportunityto disagree in every one of them.

Now, you and your partner may have a great way of settling disagreements, and you may have already decided on a lot of these questions before baby arrived. However, as any parent knows, all of those decisions are up for renewal as soon as things start going wrong.

So now you have to make all of these decisions, all of which need to be agreed between both you and your partner and you're frustrated as things aren't going according to plan. To top it all off, you've lost a lot of your ability to recognise and respond to each other in a reasonable, civil way. Nightmare right?!

And if that wasn't enough, being sleep deprived means you would probably be less likely to show gratitude toward each other and therefore likely to feel under-appreciated. Furthermore, sleep deprivation lowers your libido, which means you won't have sex as often, if at all. Many of the parents I've worked with have told me they've stopped having sex because one of them is always sleeping with the baby and when they do get the chance to get it on, they both say they're too tired or not in the mood.

Many couples get through this period unscathed, and as such I am not saying that sleep deprivation will ruin your relationship. A baby who isn't sleeping well, isn't going to necessarily lead to divorce. But it certainly would not help.

There are numerous good reasons to prioritise your child's sleep when it comes to their health. But I'd like you to take a moment to think about what it can mean for you, your partner, and your relationship. After all, if there's one thing your kids will always love, it's seeing you both loving toward each other, united, and happy.

So before you decide to go to couples counselling, try giving your child a week to sleep through the night and see how you all feel once you've all had the rest you need. I am confident that the the results will be life-changing.

Article written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Based in Singapore
Trained in the Sleep Sense Program

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts