Posts Tagged ‘evening hours’

3am Conversations Create More Problems Than are Solved

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Have you ever had the urge to have a conversation with your partner in the wee hours of the morning?

Have you had concerns about the kids, job, school, your partner, anything that has bothered you to the point where it affects your sleep? If so–you’re not alone. I’m guilty of this as are many others.

Why do we do it?

According to Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University in California insomnia fuels a cycle of anxiety which results in our catastrophizing at 3am . Say, for example, you have a 9am interview. You go to bed but toss and turn for an hour. You wake up at 3am with nervous thoughts about the interview. Your anxiety spreads to all the other things you need to do the next day.

For me, there were issues about my marriage and the option was not available to discuss these issues with my partner during day time or evening hours.

The lesson I learned: If the only time available for conversation is in the middle of the night I rob not only myself but another person of needed sleep. If the only available time for conversation is during normal sleeping hours, the reality is that there is no time available for conversation.

Ideally life conversations need to happen when you and your partner are fully awake and willing. If you feel that despite concerted effort on your part you can not have a conversation with your spouse then you’ve got a decision to make.

Conversation is vital to your relationship. Without it both you and your partner will feel cheated. Eventually the relationship will die or you will stay together but wish you weren’t as you will merely exist in each others space.

Steps You Can Take to Create Conversation:

Let your spouse know you would like to have a conversation.

Set a date and time that is mutually agreeable and meet at that time.

If it has been awhile since the two of you have had a conversation put a time limit on it. Say 30 minutes. When that 30 minutes is up end the conversation and set a date for the next one. In the beginning allow at least one full day between conversations. When you do this you give each other time to think about the previous conversation as well as the next one. If you both want to increase the amount of time spent during conversation make sure the decision is mutual.

While in Conversation Do the Following:

State the issue at hand from your perspective.

Be specific–not vague. Your partner will appreciate your directness. Remember you’ve only got a total of 30 minutes which means approximately 15 minutes each. Your partner is not a mind reader–be as clear as you can.

Once you have stated the issue at hand from your perspective it is your partner’s turn to respond.

Don’t interrupt your partner.

If the conversation begins to feel uncomfortable for either or both of you end it. Walk away before tempers flare.

Always aim for respect in conversation.

If you feel that your relationship is beyond the point where you can have¬† mutually respectful interaction–don’t attempt it without seeking professional intervention as soon as possible.

We all have occasional wakeful times in the middle of the night that keeps us from normal sleep.¬† However, when you see that anxiety disrupts your normal sleep pattern and you are waking your partner in the process you need to take action quickly as it doesn’t take long for insomnia to get out of hand.

Sleep is precious as are our relationships.