There are all sorts of articles out there proclaiming to have the “key to a healthy marriage.” Many of these articles talk about things like communication, your sex life, and keeping romance alive—but one thing that often gets overlooked is the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Now, I’m not making the claim that sleeping better is the only important factor in a healthy marriage. If you and your partner have been having ongoing relationship issues, you may want to visit Houston relationship counseling to learn how to better communicate and work through your problems. However, if you’ve been noticing that your lack of sleep is making you irritable and you’re taking it out on your partner, it might be time to think about how you can get more shut eye.

There are plenty of reasons why we don’t get as much sleep as we should: a packed schedule, stress, our partner’s snoring, having young children at home. Whatever the reason, though, failing to get enough sleep does more than just make us groggy the next day. According to a recent study at UC Berkeley, poor sleep is a contributing factor a lack of appreciation for our partner. And when a partner doesn’t feel appreciated, that can lead to bigger relationship problems.

So, how can you fix the problem?

Get Your Sleep Schedule Back on Track

Stop your partner’s snoring. If your partner’s snoring is behind your lack of sleep, you may have good reason for feeling less than appreciative in the morning. Start with simple solutions like turning your partner onto their side, asking them to try a breathing strip, or even wearing earplugs. If that doesn’t work, talk to your partner about seeking help from a sleep specialist.

Exercise. If you lie awake for hours at night feeling restless, you may be able to solve the problem by incorporating more physical activity into your day. If your partner has the same problem, consider making regular plans to go for a walk, run, or bike ride together—just don’t exercise right before you’re planning to go to bed.

Set a bed time and stick to it. While you might not like the sound of setting a bed time as an adult, getting into a regular sleep routine can help you fall asleep more quickly once your head hits the pillow. Keep electronics like your laptop or phone away from the bed (definitely don’t bring work to bed with you) and if you have a TV in your room, make sure it’s off before you go to bed.

Set aside stress-free time before bed. Stress is a common reason why people end up lying awake at night, so no matter how busy your day is, make sure you and your partner set aside some time in the evening to relax and unwind. This is also a great way to spend meaningful time with your partner.

If none of these things work, contact our Houston relationship therapy offices and we’ll see how we can help.