Ever had difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep? You’re not the only one. Insomnia has become an unfortunate part of modern life.
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, chances are you’re suffering from insomnia.
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Feeling tired upon waking
However, studies have shown that relationships, such as family, friends or spouse, can also have an impact on your sleep cycle. This is mostly true for young, unmarried individuals, especially teens and pre-adults don’t get the amount of sleep needed to start off fresh the next day.
Researchers are keen to find out how the relationships with family and friends affect the nighttime sleep – particularly for teens and pre-adults.
Relation with Spouse
A study was conducted with 29 couples who were asked to maintain diaries about their everyday relationship experiences and sleep habits.
Here is what the study found:
Women: a positive reaction with their partner leads them to have a more efficient sleep.
Men: a positive relationship experience with their partner leads them to have efficient sleep.
Among U.S. college students, a general sense of security in relationships with others was linked to better sleep – regardless of whether or not students were currently in a committed relationship.
Socializing in College/ University
900 Canadian students were asked about their social life during their first year of college.
The results showed that students who socialized more had little trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
Having more active and positive social life during the first year of college helps manage the stress better and gives fewer sleep troubles. This habit is then carried forward until the third year of college.
The students who faced difficulty in sleeping were the ones who chose to socialize a year later instead of the first year of college.
Thus, it can be said that a better and healthy sleep cycle helps in combating stress.
Children and Teens
In this study, 71 American youth were observed for 3 days.
Students were given a watch-like sleep monitor to be worn on their non-dominant wrist. The watch uses a technique called ‘actigraphy’ that tracks your sleeping activity the entire night. This eliminated the argument about having individuals explaining how they slept.
The total number of hours they were asleep, how long it took to fall asleep after going to bed and the actual percentage of time spent sleeping relative to how long they lay in bed were measured.
The participants were also asked to report how much time they spent interacting face to face with friends and family.
For youth, the more time they spent interacting with friends, the more beneficial it proved to be when falling asleep as compared to spending more time than usual with family. This was true in situations where spending time with family might have included events such as parent-child conflicts, chores or discussions about the day’s events – all of which could delay the start of sleep.
Teens over 16.3 years of age had opposite results. More time spent with family as compared to friends was found beneficial for them. This may be due to increased academic and social problems, which require extra family support.
Under 12.7 years of age – family time had no effect at all.
How to Improve?
Teens need to put more importance on their friendships. Friends help regulate negative energy out from your body which gives you a sense of relaxation.
Poor sleep has been linked to a number of mental and physical health issues, which includes depression and cardiovascular disease.
Parents and teachers should help encourage budding friendships among youth for their child’s well being.
And as for the pre-adults, parents need to listen and be understanding of whatever problems their child is facing, as it would save them from a lot of stress.