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How Sleep Disorders Affect Your Family

Posted May 26 2010 5:55pm

Having a rare sleep disorder is certainly no fun; you often don’t get adequate sleep, and since the sleep disorder is rare it can sometimes be difficult to get proper treatment. Since many rare sleep disorders are quite disruptive, your sleep disorder may actually be harder on the family members living with you than it is on you personally. For example, you probably sleep through any hostile or aggressive behaviors that you display while sleeping, if that is what your rare sleep disorder causes. The people who live in the same house as you, however, do not have the advantage of sleeping through these events. To them, the threat is very real and tangible while to you it’s just something that happens while you’re sleeping and you can’t really recall later.

How do you help your family deal with your rare sleep disorder? Even if you are simply unable to get much sleep as a result of your rare sleep disorder then you’re still affecting the people around you in a few ways. They may hear you wandering around the house at night while they are trying to sleep. They may spend a great deal of time worrying about your condition. Additionally, they may have to pick up the slack when you’re too exhausted from lack of sleep to help with anything around the house. Obviously, your rare sleep disorder is not something that affects you solely.

Don’t shy away from discussing your sleep disorder with the people around you. If your family members feel as though your sleep problems are a taboo topic then they will inevitably avoid the topic, but this can lead to resentment and even bigger problems. It is far better for you to encourage your family members to go ahead and talk about your sleep problems than to be quiet on the subject. Keep in mind that this problem is not yours alone. Everyone in the household suffers when someone has a rare sleep disorder.

Don’t take it personally if your significant other suggests separate sleeping arrangements until your sleep disorder is under control. You probably already know how incredibly frustrating it can be to try desperately to get some sleep while having something keep you awake. When you have a rare sleep disorder it oftentimes means that you become nearly impossible to sleep next to. You may prefer sleeping in the same bed with your spouse, but if your spouse isn’t getting any quality sleep because of your sleep disorder then this arrangement may not work.

It may not seem fair to you that you have to not only deal with your sleep disorder, but you also have to take the sleep of everyone else in the home into consideration. Do whatever you have to do to help everyone else in the home get a good night’s sleep, and they will probably be much more willing to pick up the slack for you when you are simply too tired to help with anything at all.

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