Don't Let These Sleep Differences Come Between You and Your Partner

Don't Let These Sleep Differences Come Between You and Your Partner

You just started a new relationship with someone who makes your heart leap and your stomach, what's the issue?

Well, you two have some sleep differences, to put it nicely. Whether it's sleep positions, snoring, sleep apnea, or opposite wake schedules, you're having some trouble accepting the ugly truth: your new sleeping companion is...difficult. Don't let sleeping issues come between you two.

With all of the other relationship problems, sleep doesn't have to be one of them! Today, I'm going to talk about a few common sleeping issues in a relationship and offer a few of my best solutions. You and your partner deserve a comfortable night's sleep tonight! 

Different Sleep Positions

If you sleep on your stomach and your partner sleeps on his or her side, your limbs may get in the way of a comfortable sleep.

I have experience with this issues, as I sleep on my back with my arms and elbows out to the side. (My boyfriend calls them my wings.) He sleeps on his side. (Imagine a baby in the fetal position.) So my "wings" clunk against his elbows, causing us both a lot of pain. Want to know a great solution to this common problem? A larger bed!

As soon as I move into a space that can house a California king (or even a regular king) we are going to invest in one, stat! If we just had a few more inches between my "wings" and his elbow we would be sleeping like babies every single night. 


Snoring is a common complaint in a relationship. While this issue is prevalent, let's not underplay how serious it can become. Let's be honest, for many of us, a snoring parter is a deal-breaker.

I've heard friends speak about the snores echoing off of the walls. If that doesn't make you shutter, I don't know what will! Instead of lying there resenting your partner, it's time for a change.

You've decided that this person is worth it, right? So, now you've got to figure out a way to get a quality sleep each night. After all, sleep deprivation can be detrimental to all areas of life- from work concentration to relationship presentness. At this point you realize that waking your partner up every hour is not working. They just roll over begin snoring again.

Try everything - snoring strips, elevating the bed, quit drinking, try to lose weight, and treat nasal congestion. Perhaps your partner could benefit from talking to a sleep specialist. 

Wake Schedules

Are you a night-owl and your partner is an early riser, or vice versa? Uh-oh! It can be frustrating to wake up to the sound of your partner banging drawers or stomping around loudly. Or, it can annoy your partner when you try to tip-toe around but then he/she inevitably wakes up.

Instead of forcing yourself to sync up, let's talk about a few options. Can you muffle out the tip-toeing sound with earplugs and the sound of a fan or sound machine?

Having an open conversation about being quieter can help your partner understand. If they're absentmindedly being noisy, they may need a reminder about how their noisiness affects you. You two could decide on a reasonable time that it's acceptable to begin using the blender in the kitchen.

Being open, honest, and sensitive about your sleeping needs can do wonders for your relationship. 

Sleep Disorders

There are a whole host of sleep disorders that can come between you and your partner. Whether you're dealing with your partner's insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea, it can take an emotional toll on you!

It may be worth looking into coping skills for you. Sure, the sleep specialist talks about ways to treat your partner's sleep issues, but what about the way it affects you. You two are in this together, so don't neglect your own emotions on the matter.

If your partner tosses and turns for hours at a time each and every night due to insomnia or wakes up gasping due to undetected sleep apnea, you've got to talk to someone about this! Not only so your partner can immediately get help, but also for your own sanity.

You won't be able to sleep because you're so concerned about your partner's well-being. Do everyone a favor, and talk to a professional about coping skills. 


You may fantasize (or dream...) about your perfect partner. The two of you gaze into each other's eyes until falling into a comfortable and deep sleep together. Then, the two of you rise at the same time, feeling well-rested and ready to take on the world.

Unfortunately, this isn't how the real world works. Issues arise in relationships and you've got to be able to handle them. I hope you realize these two truths:

1) Deep sleep is a necessary human function. 

2) There may be ways to overcome the sleep problems in your relationship. 

Don't let sleep come between your relationship! I hope you find ways to work through your differences and get the peaceful slumber that you two deserve. Sweet dreams! 

Annie Foley

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