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Zoe asked...

Tags: relaxation , Stress , sleep

My partner is experiencing disturbed and general trouble sleeping. He's 33, an active runner and in good health. He has recently moved into his own home (Within the last 6 months)otherwise has no worries and stress. We are a new couple and so are adjusting to sleeping in the same bed, however his sleep is also disturbed/poor when I am not there. He has cut down on his caffine intake but this has had no noticable improvement on his sleep. His sleep is often distubed with talking/mubling whilst asleep and wakes very early and then cannot go back to sleep. Any suggestions to establishing a sleeping pattern as its starting to get him down?

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The Answer

The day after a disturbed night’s sleep can be a struggle but if this is occurring most nights then the individual affected will become chronically tired. If your partner is talking in his sleep then he is likely to be in the middle of a dream which is a lighter, less refreshing, form of sleep.
Some factors which negatively impact on sleep include stress, depression, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, working late at night or exercising later in the evening. Try to encourage him to have at least a one hour period of winding down by not doing anything too mentally taxing before he goes to bed − this will allow his mind to settle into a calmer state. If possible it would be better if he were to do his running in the day or at least no later than three hours prior to intended sleep, as exercise is known to stimulate alertness for a few hours. Even watching TV or reading a book just prior to going to bed in some cases can stimulate the mind too much, which may encourage a less refreshing sleep.
Relaxation therapies can be very helpful but need to be performed regularly to maintain the skill of mentally winding down.

Answered by Dr. A Wright.

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