It’s one thing to have some sleep envy when you are nursing a baby to sleep while your partner gets extra shut-eye (yes, glaring at them while you rock them to sleep yet again as your partner snoozes is super normal). But, a new study shows it goes much beyond those years and much beyond new parents. In fact, Unisom’s sleep study of 2,000 people recently released concludes that 1 in 4 couples with different sleep schedules say it has caused tension in the relationship.
Furthermore, 72% of adults have negative feelings about their partner getting 7+ hours of sleep on weeknights, while they don’t. Only 45% of the partners say they themselves are getting that much sleep. Sounds like the makings of a midnight argument. In addition, one in three couples has had arguments over the fact that one partner can fall asleep so quickly. It makes sense — just 30% of us are rating our sleep as “great” or “excellent” so the idea that our partners are getting something we don’t have, and biologically need, can cause some problems.
The study also reveals some generational differences. Younger generations rate their sleep quality much higher than older generations, as follows:
Gen Z: 37%
Gen X: 27%
If you are one of those resentful nonsleepers really wishing you got as much sleep as your partner, or could fall asleep in an instant, you might have your work cut out for you, but you can improve your sleep. Just as you may have had to sleep-train a baby on purpose, you might have to re-sleep-train yourself on purpose. It’s called “sleep hygiene” and it simply means getting your act together when it comes to sleep best practices. Try this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say:
Observe a consistent bedtime just like you would for your kids
Get your phone, TV, and computer out of your bedroom
Cool down your bedroom to a comfortable temperature, and keep it dark and quiet
Avoid large meals and caffeine right before bed
Exercise during the day for better sleep at night
Though it’s easier said than done, maybe 2024 is your year of epic sleep, and therefore epic health, and for your partner to envy your awesomeness instead.