Home > Sleep Problems > Family Issues and Insomnia

Family Issues and Insomnia

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 19 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Insomnia Family Noise Communication

Dealing with insomnia can make life feel very lonely. Often family members don't really understand, and they may find that it disrupts their own lives, or may feel frustrated because they can't help. In other cases family members' behaviour is a root cause of the problem. How can you reduce these stresses and strains and prevent your problems from multiplying?

Talking about Insomnia

Happy families are built on good communication, and insomnia is an issue that needs to be talked about if you want your family to help. Often family problems develop because we feel our loved ones ought to notice what we're going through, so we don't tell them. For people who have never suffered from insomnia, though, it can be hard to recognise the signs. All they'll see is you getting more withdrawn and irritated, and they'll need to know this isn't their fault.

Explaining insomnia to young children can be particularly difficult. It's natural for them to be very self-centered and focused on the present. The best approach is usually to talk to them when they are exhausted and have agreed that they want a nap. You can then explain that this is how you feel a lot of the time. Timing your explanation like this will make it easier for them to relate it to their own experience.

If you have difficulty getting older family members to accept that you suffer from insomnia, it may be helpful to take them along with you when you visit your doctor, to demonstrate that the problem is serious. Encourage them to read about the debilitating effects of insomnia in books and on the internet.

Family Noise and Insomnia

Often crying infants and teenagers playing loud music can present a serious problem when you struggle to get to sleep. If you have chronic insomnia, however, you're also likely to be more sensitive to noises that aren't really very loud, and this can make your reactions seem unreasonable. Try to get a second opinion before you get angry with your family about noise issues.

Of course, if you are woken easily even by minor noises, it is still reasonable to ask your family to respect your problems and keep the noise down at certain times. You may want to consider swapping rooms with another member of your household so that you're not next door to the main source of noise. If your partner is noisy, try going to bed after they do so they don't wake you as you come in. Remember that snoring can often be treated.

Family Responsibilities and Insomnia

If you're not getting enough sleep, keeping up with your family responsibilities can be difficult. It's important to discuss this early and honestly. If, for instance, you usually take care of household paperwork but you are suffering from memory lapses and difficulties concentrating, it may be best to hand that job over to someone else and take on less critical tasks in return.

If you have young children in the house, it's important to put safety first. Because you may become tired and not remember where you put things, make sure dangerous items are never left where children can reach them, even temporarily. If you're out with the kids, resist the temptation to sit down when you get tired, in case you phase out and are unable to keep an eye on them.

Finding the energy to look after children is hard when you're insomniac, but good planning can help you to work around many problems. Work out when your kids are likely to be most energetic and plan activities that will tire them out without doing the same to you, such as getting them to compete (against themselves or each other) at physical games. Switch to activities that require their concentration - such as drawing or building things out of lego - when they're ready to be quiet.

Having sleep difficulties does not mean you can't be a good parent. The truth is that most families have some problems, and if you love your kids and make an effort for them, they'll realise that.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Susie
    Re: Involuntary Jerking While Asleep, What Could it be?
    My partner keeps me awake he his continuously moving his arms and legs all night he doesn't realize…
    17 October 2018
  • Heidi
    Re: Involuntary Jerking While Asleep, What Could it be?
    I would start jerking the second I closed my eyes. I once counted 100 jerks in 45 minutes. They…
    8 October 2018
  • Lollipop
    Re: Understanding Lack of Sleep
    I go to sleep about 10pm, then wake at 12 and then 2am. After that I rarely can get bake to sleep. Sleeping pills don't work. I've…
    23 September 2018
  • Shorty
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    Your site is the first notice I have had of the connection between insomnia and dehydration. Now in my 80s, I have had poor sleep all…
    3 April 2018
  • Imran
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    Hello insominaics I have sleeplessness issue for 4 5 years. I could sleep after 2 3 hours after laying. But one month ago i have…
    30 March 2018
  • lyn
    Re: Sleeping Pills - Addiction and Withdrawal
    i am taking quater of rivotril for almost 4 months , please help me to withdrawl this pill
    30 March 2018
  • Geo
    Re: Body Clock and Sleep
    I have the same comments to make that Porge have stated ,is there a way to change the time to later in the evening ,such as 10.30 pm
    26 December 2017
  • Insomniacs
    Re: What Happens at a Sleep Lab?
    Sleepless in Stockpo - Your Question:I have an 8 month old who I cosleep with and since becoming a mum am struggling with…
    7 December 2017
  • Sleepless in Stockpo
    Re: What Happens at a Sleep Lab?
    I have an 8 month old who I cosleep with and since becoming a mum am struggling with insomnia. I feel like I've tried everything!…
    6 December 2017
  • Ruggero
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    Causality here can easily trick our minds. An inverse association between thirst and insomnia is known. This does not necessarily mean…
    28 October 2017