Sleeping well next to a snoring partner - Sarah's Story
Sarah’s sleep problem in brief:
+ 18 months of sleeping separately from partner
+ Struggles with sleep since childhood
+ Expecting not to sleep
+ Anxious about going to bed, stressful dreams and waking with a start
Sarah had moved to a separate bed from her partner due to his snoring but she was still not sleeping well. She was feeling anxious about her sleep, feeling that her sleep was light and poor quality and was waking with a jump on a regular basis. She was feeling very tired but it also upset her to be sleeping separately from her partner. She had a lot of worries about what might be causing the problem and whether it could ever be resolved.
In her words…
Describe how things were for you just before you started sessions (e.g., how long the problem had been going on for, how much sleep you were getting, how you were feeling).
Over the previous 18 months my partner and I had taken to sleeping in separate beds because I struggled to sleep with the sound of him snoring – not that it was even very loud. I investigated a whole range of strategies to solve the problem from chin straps and nasal strips, meditation apps, sleep music, ear plugs and medication. We even visited the GP to ask for help. Nothing worked, not even a little bit. I was convinced there was something wrong with me and thought maybe it was my age and I got to the point where even the thought of sharing the bed would make me feel stressed. We kept going not really acknowledging the impact it was having on our relationship. The situation finally came to a head when our daughter was coming home from university and we needed the spare room back. I had started to think about sleep therapy but was sceptical about it working and therefore worried about the cost. However, we didn’t have much choice we were desperate.
Describe how things are for you now since ending your therapy sessions. What has changed?
I had 3 or 4 sessions in total and noticed a difference almost immediately. My partner and I are now back in the same bed and much happier for it and I get a far better quality of sleep than I have for many years. I realise now that I didn’t have to just accept chronic tiredness and it has nothing to do with my age. My partner and I are both really happy and relieved with the outcome
If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice or support when you were struggling, what would it be?
It seems like a lot of money but it’s worth it and works – just do it
Are there any other comments you would like to make?
I would encourage anyone with sleep issues to try therapy. Sleep is so important to our overall feelings of health and wellbeing.
A note from Emma
Sarah had created lots of reasons for why she thought she was struggling to get good quality of sleep but actually the issue was simply her mistrust of sleep and the anxiety she had about night time. As soon as she started to work through the SAFE sleep formula her sleep started to improve which then gave her the confidence to sleep next to her partner again and they were able to sleep well together for the first time in 18 months. It is rarely anything external that is keeping you awake on a regular basis, just the way you feel about it.