Have you ever had one of those nights where you stayed up later than you wanted, or just couldn’t fall asleep, or for those of you that have kids, was up every 3 hours because your precious little one was completely out of sorts? Sleep exhaustion is even worse than a hangover if you ask me. You have all the pain without the fun night out or special dinner party to make it worth it.
The challenge with being exhausted is that life and all it’s glorious responsibilities don’t stop just because you’re tired. Those of you that have kids you know this even better than the rest of us. Despite being tired, you still have to get up and go about your day and take care of saving the world in whatever way that looks like.
So how does this impact our relationships? As our exhaustion levels increase, our ability to reason goes out the window and we often become emotionally reactive. Exhaustion prevents our ability to see the big picture and yet it also causes us to make each moment significantly bigger than it really is (I believe I have actually cried over spilled milk because I was sleep deprived). As such, when we communicate we resort to All-Or-Nothing talking and it can become much easier to see the other person as 100% responsible for all of the issues in your relationship. We tend to start blaming and all of the strategies to communicate effectively that we know we should use fall to the weigh side.
So what should you do? For starters, if there are consistent things that are getting in the way of you having a good night’s sleep, sit down and devise a plan on how to change them so you can reduce, if not eliminate, their frequency. Life will always come up but it is important both for ourselves and our relationship, to remove as many stressors or triggers as possible.
It is also important to try and shelve all important conversations until you are both feeling more rested. I know that it feels good to work through these as they come up, but you want to set yourself up for success. Bringing things up when neither of you feel well will likely cause things to unravel.
Do what you can to take care of yourselves and to get as many good night sleeps as possible. I think you will notice how much better everything seems when you do!