Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Commented

Poll

'Til Sleep Do Us Part

Lack of sleep can spell trouble for couples

En español | If you're a Mrs. who's missing sleep, get some z's: It could improve your relationship with your husband, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. When wives had trouble sleeping, it meant trouble the next day — for both partners.

See also: 7 signs of sleep apnea.

photo collage illustrates how trouble sleeping may cause marital tension

Lack of sleep can cause marital tension. — Illustration by Stuart Bradford

In fact, when wives were tired, couples' interactions were far more negative compared with those of spouses who both got enough sleep. (Interestingly, when husbands slept poorly, couples reported little to no change in interactions.)

"Sleep affects all aspects of functioning, including the health of our marriages," says researcher Wendy Troxel, Ph.D. " These results may be particularly important for older adults, who have higher rates of sleep disturbances."

But why the focus on wives? Troxel theorizes women are generally more expressive than men and, thus, more likely to show irritation when tired. Women are also more likely to have insomnia. To ease tension, wives can spend time solo — husbands should be glad to stay away! — and wives should be honest about their fatigue. (Husbands may then find it easier to empathize.) And if either party has insomnia more than three times weekly, for one month or longer, Troxel advises contacting a health care provider.

You might also like: Separate bedrooms, better marriage?

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Blog

300_line

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cheryl's

Members save on custom baked goods packages arrangements from Cheryl’s.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Members get 5% off on select cruises + other special offers with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Community

Single & Mingle

Cruise on over and meet a diverse and active group of sophisticated singles. Join

Love and Romance

Whether you're in a relationship or looking for one, share your ideas and thoughts with other romantics. Join