Love and Sleep – The Connection Between Rest and Relationships

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Health & Fitness, Sleep

There are all these songs about how the night is turning into dawn and the lovers are either wishing it lasted longer, or feeling it is too long because they are awaiting the return of their lover.

Not too many songs about what happens after marriage when they discover that one of them snores. Loudly. Or that one prefers to work late at night, the other wants to work early in the morning. 

There is a direct connection between Rest and your relationships. It’s simple. The deeper your rest, the greater your relationships. The quality of your shut-eye directly impacts your love life, and vice versa. It’s a beautiful, messy tango between sheets and snuggles, a dance choreographed by hormones and fuelled by pillow talk.

But first, I cannot resist telling you this little joke.

A young man goes to his priest and says – “Father, is it alright if I sleep with my girlfriend?”

The old priest smiles and says – “Of course! As long as both of you are sleeping!”

Sleepyheads and Sweethearts

Sleep Deprivation is the slayer of love. Even the most romantic of relationships is going to feel like a burden after pulling an all-nighter fuelled by stale coffee and desperation to meet some deadline.

You cannot think of romance then, all you want is a bed, pillows and a cozy blanket. 

Oxytocin is the cuddle hormone. Our bodies squirt us with this when they feel all warm and fuzzy and romantic. Sleep makes it thrive. A sleepless night suppresses it and this means decreased affection, fewer cuddles, and a general coolness that could leave your partner feeling like a forgotten houseplant.

Meanwhile Cortisol the Stress hormone loves sleep deprivation. Your body ramps up cortisol production when you don’t sleep enough. This amps up your anxiety, making you irritable and quick to snap. Suddenly, a playful banter turns into a passive-aggressive warzone, and those whispered sweet nothings morph into sleep-mumbling accusations.

You lose the ability to decode facial expressions and all your empathy evaporates. Your significant other feels like they’re communicating with a particularly dense wall of pillows.

Consistently sleeping well reverses all of the above. Oxytocin surges means you become a dreamboat of a lover. Cortisol slump means you are not a grumpy goblin any more. And as your empathy returns, that special understanding that you had is strengthened. You are able to navigate the tricky waters of a relationship with skill and grace.

Just as good sleep impacts a relationship, a great relationship means you sleep even better. It’s almost impossible to sleep after a bitter argument. A fight can turn your bedroom into a battlefield and sleep goes for a toss. And when you have not slept well, your patience is low and you are at an edge. Sleep and Love need each other. Do remember that if your partner has not been able to sleep for some reason and give them the space they require. Once they have got their rhythm back they will naturally transform from the werewolf they had suddenly become into the wonderful person you love so much.

Power-down with Your Partner

The basics of a sleep sanctuary are – a cool, dark, cozy, silent place where you and your partner feel completely at home. A cocoon of love. I have written extensively about creating the ideal sleeping environment in our book Sleep Your Way to Success. Read that, or go through our online course Secrets of Sleep on our community Flowzone for more details.

A few tips to create great sleep together:

A Sleep Quiz for Lovers

Take this quiz together. Tally up your answers and see what they mean at the end.

1. Night Owl or Early Bird?

A) I’m a bat, happiest after midnight. 

B) Up with the larks! I greet the sunrise with a chipper yawn and a wal in the park..

C) Somewhere in between. I like to enjoy the evening, but I also need my beauty sleep.

2. Pre-Sleep Rituals:

A) Phone scroll until eyelids glue shut, maybe some Netflix thrown in for good measure.

B) A quick book, some stretches, lights out by 10 pm sharp. Efficiency is my middle name.

C) Warm bath with my partner, followed by calming music and whispered secrets. Romance and relaxation is my style.

3. Snuggling Style:

A) I sleep solo. Space is my jam

B) Spooning for warmth, but if a limb strays, it’s getting gently relocated. Boundaries are important, even in dreamland.

C) Entangled limbs, shared blankets, and maybe a little midnight smooching. We’re practically one big sleeping cuddle puddle.

4. Dreamland Disruptions:

A) My phone buzzing with notifications is my worst nightmare.

B) The slightest noise jolts me awake. I don’t know what I hate more – Ticking clocks and snoring partners

C) I sleep like a log, unless my partner starts sleep-talking about spreadsheets. Then I get my laptop out and try and follow what they are saying.

5. Morning Mood:

A) Grumpy and irritable until at least my third cup of coffee. Don’t talk to me before noon.

B) Chipper and productive! Early mornings are my prime time. 

C) Happy and refreshed, ready to greet the day with a smile and maybe a shared breakfast in bed. Provided I am not the one making the breakfast.

Mostly As: You might be a sleep-deprived love warrior, sacrificing snooze time for screens and late-night adventures. Remember, prioritising sleep can boost your relationship happiness more than any Netflix binge-watch!

Mostly Bs: Efficiency is your mantra, even in the land of dreams. While early mornings are great, loosen up your evening routine a bit, and try connecting with your partner before hitting the hay. Sleep for two is better than sleep for one.

Mostly Cs: You’re a sleep-savvy snuggler, balancing romance and rest like a pro. Keep up the cozy bedtime rituals and communication about sleep needs – you’re on your way to relationship snooze heaven!

Bonus points:

For every time you fight over the thermostat: -1 point (compromise is key)

For every shared bedtime chuckle: +2 points (laughter is always welcomed)

For every “I love you” whispered before drifting off: +3 points (sweet dreams are sweeter with someone special).

Duo Sleeping Challenges

If you are mostly A or B – read on. If you managed mostly C, please comment and tell the world about your sleep secrets!

The first is the snore. If you are a light sleeper, and your partner snores… You don’t sleep. You become grumpy and belligerent. Romance is out of the window.

The second is the restless sleeper. They are fast asleep – but they toss and turn. They may even talk in their sleep. You are continuously disturbed through the night and wake up tired and frustrated. 

For a lot of people, a few gentle words or a quick push is enough to counter their partners nocturnal noises or movements. Peace reigns soon after and you both sleep well.

The third is the blanket battle. Getting a nice warm blanket pulled away from you in a cold room is going to wake you up muttering curses. You should get separate blankets if this happens a lot. Or a really big blanket that simply cannot be pulled away.

Finally, if one person prefers to work late into the night, while the other sleeps, they need to be extra careful when they finally do decide to get into bed. And if another wants to start their day really early, then please get out of bed as quietly as possible so you don’t awaken your partner. Definitely don’t do Bhastrika at 5:00 am while your partner is sleeping. Do your Kriya in another room.

Sometimes, it may simply not be possible for both of you to get proper sleep in the same bed or the same room. You then need to consider sleeping in separate mattresses, or even separate rooms. This should never be interpreted as a compromise on the love you feel for each other. In fact, its the other way round. Because you care for each other so much and understand that great sleep makes great love, you choose to give each other the space and the peace both require so that the two of you can love each other even more.

A Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

PS Meditating together can take your romance to another level – but that’s a story for some other time…

We will continue to share more about wellness, sleep, and holistic success through articles on our blog and videos on our YouTube channel, BnD TV – Do subscribe and boop that bell button. You truly don’t want to miss any of the videos we upload there.

Meanwhile, if you want even more from us right away,  consider joining our premium online community Flowzone. Here, you’ll not just read or hear about transformative ideas; you’ll experience them.

Get access to hundreds of hours of quality content that we have created and are continuously creating especially for our community.

By subscribing you show your love and support for our work, and that means the world to us! Thanks in advance 🙂

On Flowzone, you’ll have exclusive access to:

    • The audiobook version of our book “Sleep Your Way to Success,” a guide that will revolutionise your approach to rest and rejuvenation.
    • The audiobook version of our book “Happiness Express – A Journey to Everyday Wellbeing”. Both these audiobooks are expertly narrated by Dinesh (with small bits by Bawa)
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    • Audiobook version of our book Ready Study Go! – Smart Ways to Learn
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About Us

We (Bawa & Dinesh) are best-selling authors. Our three books have sold more than 100,000 copies. We have spoken at various corporate houses and educational institutions all over the world. We teach Meditation, Craniosacral Therapy and Bach Flower Remedies. We live at our beautiful home amidst nature at the Art of Living’s International Retreat in Bangalore. We love good food, music, reading, long walks and movies and theatre with happy endings.