Women in happy marriages get good sleep. Sleeping for women in unhappy marriages–not so much. How can insomnia help you improve your marriage and your life?
Women in happy marriages were 10% more likely to get a good night’s sleep than women with unhappy marriages concluded a recent study by Wendy M. Troxel, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh.
Wendy reviewed questionnaires from 2000 women who participated in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). The women reported on their sleep quality (how often they had trouble falling asleep, if they stayed asleep, and how early they woke up) and the quality of their marriage.
The women with happy marriages had less trouble getting to sleep, were more likely to stay asleep, had fewer sleep complaints and had more restful sleep. Sleeping for women in unhappy marriages was not as good.
…After all, these women are in bed with the person they are not happy with.
…After all, relationships are very important to many women and relationship issues are bound to trouble women.
…After all, an unhappy marriage is bound to increase stress.
Wendy points out that her study does not examine which comes first–the bad marriage or the bad sleep, but only that poor sleeping and women in unhappy marriages go hand in hand.
While this study comes dangerously close to stating something so intuitively obvious that it doesn’t need stating, there is a deeper point you can learn.
Too often we look at the pieces of our lives and forget the big picture. No doubt some of these women have gone to doctors with sleep issues and have received medication for insomnia. No doubt some of these women attribute their sleep problems to the many stresses (besides their marriage) in their lives.
But at the core, these women are not happy in their marriage. And some of them are not happy at all.
If you view the symptoms of your health as clues to your deeper needs, then insomnia becomes an opportunity to ask, “What is really going on with me?”
If you view the symptoms of your health as clues to your deeper needs, then insomnia becomes an opportunity to ask, “What is really going on with me?” Instead of shouldering your stressful life unquestioningly, look at your health and assume that you most likely, barring the whims of fate, would be healthy. If you can’t sleep at night, then ask why not?
It is hard to look at your life without blinking, and as a woman, harder still to face the cold realities of a troubled marriage. But in doing so, and accepting what is really happening, you become free to both improve your relationship, and get a good night’s sleep.