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Grumpy Partner? Are They Getting Enough Quality Sleep?

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

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29 April 2024 8 min read

Is your partner acting grumpy? Maybe he (or she) is not getting enough sleep! Let's see how you can help your grumpy partner turn that frown upside down.

Do you have a grumpy partner? Before you blame your husband or wife, think about why are you so often confronted with your partner's bad moods and what's actually wrong. If nothing comes to mind, your partner probably didn't get enough sleep the night before.

However, when such days are repeated, it is about something else. In most cases, exhaustion turns into a chronic problem. Such persons equally have a negative effect on themselves and the people in their environment. The cause of grumpiness can be many other conditions or situations. We have relationship advice for you and many more things you should learn to help your moody partner overcome problems with their own mood. Relationship experts cite stress as one of the many reasons for emotional abuse and divorce.

Reasons for grumpiness

An image of a person covered with duvet holding a cup.

Grumpiness or rotten mood is the result of some unfulfilled need in the family or relationships. What can be a source of nervousness? For example, it is normal to feel nervous when we change jobs, have a public appearance, or even go for a medical examination. When faced with such situations, the body secretes stress hormones in response to the circumstances.

It is also a preparation for dealing with “threatening” events. It is an evolutionary mechanism that helps us survive. Of course, it can be repeated from time to time, depending on life circumstances.

Some other situations that most often cause nervousness are meeting an unknown person, preparing for a trip or moving.

Lack of quality sleep

The consequences of lack of sleep are numerous, including a high level of irritability and changes in the partner's moods. This can turn into a vicious cycle, as stress causes insomnia. Fortunately, applying the proper procedures can solve this problem. Due to such a condition, expressing positive emotions and seeing when someone is happy is more difficult.

For example, a positive facial expression can appear neutral if your partner is grumpy. Lack of sleep for a long time can lead to hallucinations and distorted perception. Remember the old methods of torture and interrogation. Extreme lack of sleep would wreak havoc on the human psyche. So it hurts the brain and even causes low-self esteem.

Medical conditions

Health conditions affect people differently, but some health conditions can cause anxiety to develop and lead to the worst mood. It can be diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, psoriasis, or cancer. The cause can also be a lack of folic acid, vitamin B5, and vitamin C. They are responsible for regulating cortisol levels. They can be found in fish, legumes, whole grains, sunflower seeds, fruits and vegetables.

We can blame the cold you had last month for the grumpy phase. Even though the cold symptoms are gone, the mood does not always improve. When the immune system fights a cold, it releases cytokines. These are molecules that cross the blood-brain barrier and stick to neurons. As you know, they manage emotions and therefore cause grumpiness. The effect of a bad mood lasts for weeks or months. Some viral infections can leave a post-viral syndrome.

Stress and anxiety

Nervousness is a natural response to some demanding life situation through which our body and mind tell us that we are not fully ready for the challenge we face. New technologies and high demands today often lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction. We often are unable to respond to new conditions. In this way, grumpiness can become a fairly common condition.

However, things always seem better than we subjectively feel them to be. You must have once thought that everyone around you notices how nervous you are, and at the same time, those around you perceive you as a confident person. Through various techniques, you can overcome and control grumpiness. You can also help your partner with stress management. Talk to him or her to engage natural inner potential and return the body to a neutral state.

Effects of poor sleep

An image of a woman in a bad mood.

The most apparent consequence of lack of sleep is undoubtedly fatigue. The brain needs sleep to process emotions through glycemic composition. It also leads to a decrease in leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. You're more likely to crave high-calorie foods, as research confirms that sleep deprivation weakens appetite control for certain foods.

Your skin ages faster due to increased cortisol production. It's a hormone that breaks down collagen, the protein that keeps your skin looking young.

Problems with reactions and judgment are possible, as well as with the heart and blood vessels. Lack of sleep also affects the level of testosterone, as well as the number of spermatozoa and their mobility.

Mood swings

Mood swings are an integral part of life. Are they normal? They are, as long as they don't interfere with your life and the lives of the people around you. Since many things can affect your emotions during the day, it is not easy to find the cause. In women, one of the leading causes is hormonal disorders. There are other health issues that you should consider. Every true partnership and relationship will try to solve deeper issues and temper their own reactions to problems.

These are disorders in the work of the cardiovascular system or the thyroid gland. The food you eat also determines your mood, as does the presence of physical activity. Stress can also result from dissatisfaction with work or other aspects of life. Whatever it is, it is directly related to the quality of sleep.

Weak immune system

Due to problems with the immune system, the body is more susceptible to infection. People who lack sleep are much more likely to get colds and flu because such a habit threatens the immune system. Then you are more exposed to numerous microorganisms and harmful bacteria.

That is why it is essential to take care of the quality of your sleep because this way, you will stimulate the production of antibodies that protect your body from harmful influences. Anxiety, an accompanying symptom of lack of sleep, contributes to a poor state of the immune system. Mental stress takes an even greater toll and complicates the body's fight against the virus.

Poor memory and concentration

Insufficient sleep negatively affects cognitive abilities, including memory. Problems can occur with learning and memorising new content and increased forgetting of previously learned content. Cognitive skills are supported by specific neural networks and affect perception, motor skills, language, visual processing and executive functions.

The required quality of sleep is not the same for all of us, but the average is at least seven hours. You should take care not to oversleep because too much sleep can cause daytime sleepiness. Your ability to remember and recall information at key moments will surely improve.

Strategies to improve sleep quality

An image of a chess piece taking other chess pieces

Better sleep quality is achieved with healthy habits. First of all, we mean waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Yes, it's essential to do it on weekends too. What do you achieve by doing so? You help your brain determine when it's time to sleep. That is why melatonin will start to be secreted half an hour before bedtime and prepare you for quality sleep.

Minor variations are acceptable, but having an exact bedtime is preferable. By waking up at the same time, you regulate sleep phases. To help you relax, create bedtime routines. A bed should be intended only for sleeping, not for performing many other tasks. Consider the conditions you sleep in, including room temperature, light flow and insulation.

Sleep hygiene

To establish good sleep hygiene, it is vital to limit the use of electronic devices before bed. It is preferable not to keep them in the room because they only wake you up. This also applies to TV. Screen lights tell the brain that it should not secrete melatonin and that it is time for activity. If this seems unattainable, gradually reduce their use and turn on the device's night mode. Many people also sleep during the day when they are tired.

However, think about what you want to get out of it. For example, getting 10-30 minutes of sleep can increase your performance, concentration and mood. On the other hand, by sleeping longer, you risk entering the REM phase many times, which means you will have difficulty waking up.

It disturbs the night's sleep. Exercise during the day because physical activity will relax the body and prepare it for sleep. Of course, be careful what you put into your body in the evening. It will help if you avoid large meals, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages and energy drinks.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

It is the most common method of psychotherapy that is proven to improve mental health and quality of life. Unhealthy emotions like depression, anxiety and anger lead to dysfunctional behaviour. Fortunately, it's not the things that disturb people but how they look at them. That's why cognitive behavioural therapy is the solution. It starts from the fact that thoughts cause these feelings and behaviour, giving you space to change your perception and feel better. It is also used by mentally healthy people who need help solving minor problems.

For example, the problem is mental fatigue caused by excessive work. It is also successfully used for insomnia, problems with aggression, and eating disorders. Cognitive-behavioural therapies include homework assignments such as keeping notes about feelings, moods, sleep habits, or other activities.

Medical treatments

The solution to stress, tension and insomnia can also be medication. They can be classified into three groups. These are natural remedies, sedatives and hypnotics. Before you buy and drink any sleeping pills, even if they are natural, you should try changing your lifestyle and seek professional help. It is also important to consult an expert, as each condition requires a different approach. Recently, it has been found that behavioural therapy and behavioural changes can help most people improve their sleep quality.

Natural sleep remedies can be valerian, peppermint or chamomile. You can also explore different supplement offerings like melatonin or magnesium. Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergies. Some of them also have a sedative effect, which is why they help you to fall asleep easier, sleep better, and reduce anxiety.

The 5-minute techique

It is necessary to approach everything in a constructive way. The solution to the marriage problem depends on the cause of poor sleep as well as the cause of grumpiness. For example, someone has long-term insomnia while another person feels the effects of a time zone change. Therefore, different approaches are used. Regardless of choice, healthy lifestyle habits are a prerequisite. Using techniques to relieve stress and nervousness is not out of place. One of the most famous is the “5 Minute Technique”. It is a word repetition technique.

A person attaches a certain emotion to one word in a stressful situation and just repeats it. Eventually, that emotion will manifest itself. The point is to focus on one word for a moment and then turn your attention back to what you are doing. Abdominal breathing exercises are equally effective. Point out potential solutions to your partner.


Hopefully, that's all you need to help your grumpy partner turn that frown upside down! But if you have any tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments. After all, the area of grumpy partners and the cure to their grumpiness is an endless science!

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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