QMy husband is a very sleepy sleeper. He wakes up multiple times per night. I’m a light sleeper and get woken by his stirring. It’s causing arguments as I’m someone who really suffers when I don’t get a proper rest. I’m going through a period of broken sleep myself so when I do finally drift off it’s infuriating to be woken by him. Sometimes he will spend the night in the spare bedroom reluctantly. We are in our early 50s and he says we’re far too young for separate bedrooms, and I do agree. What can we do?

A We all shift and move around at night, but it’s a common cause of marital aggravation.

You describe being disturbed by your partner’s restless sleep; he fidgets and tosses and turns, thumping the mattress as he rolls over. This would be difficult for many of us.

An anonymous woman, who lives in the UK, asked Clare Bailey for advice on going through a period of broken sleep (file image)

An anonymous woman, who lives in the UK, asked Clare Bailey for advice on going through a period of broken sleep (file image)

But because you are going through a period of broken sleep and worrying about being exhausted in the morning, this has led to a vicious cycle — the more agitated you get, the harder it is for you to settle back to sleep.

The next day you feel irritable, resentful and anxious about being disturbed.

You have my sympathy as my husband Michael is also susceptible to restless sleep. He will often wake up at 3am and wander around the house, or go into the spare bedroom to read a boring novel, sometimes falling asleep there, and then tiptoeing back to bed.

His restlessness can be annoying, but I can’t complain as I sleep-walk and am sometimes found wandering around at night, or waking Michael worrying about burglars or lost hamsters (we haven’t had hamsters for a decade).

Clare Bailey (pictured) recommends looking at practical ways to reduce restlessness

Clare Bailey (pictured), recommends that you look at practical ways of reducing restlessness

Your partner doesn’t seem to be too troubled about his restlessness, but understandably doesn’t want to be banished from the bedroom for ever. You are worried about the consequences of disrupted sleep.

How can we avoid a cycle that causes anxiety, exhaustion, resentment?

I’m a big fan of making sure we get enough vitamin D, often known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ since exposing your skin to sunshine is the source (without getting burnt). As winter approaches, the UV rays are less powerful, making one fifth of adults deficient. Supplementing is a good option to avoid this. It can help you maintain strong bones and muscles, strengthen your immune system, and may even lower the risk of developing Covid. 400-800 IU is the recommended vitamin D supplement. I will be taking it until I’m in shorts and T-shirts. 

1. Reduce your caffeine intake, reduce alcohol consumption, and avoid sedatives. They can disrupt normal sleep cycles. Do regular exercise and don’t eat late at night. To reduce movement, get a better mattress, a warmer room and a heavier blanket.

2. You can make an effort at reducing your agitation. Reframe how you see his restlessness: it’s not his fault, it’s his body clock. Do simple relaxation exercises at night and mindfulness in the morning.

3. Both look at stress in your life as something that can reduce your sleep quality and cause you to be restless and your mind racing. This can also be linked to depression. For help if you feel overwhelmed or very troubled, consult a professional.

And in the bigger picture, make sure you are making time to enjoy each others’s company, including in bed . . . 


Clare recommends placing an Under Desk Cycle under your workspace to prevent your blood pooling and getting you fit while doing emails

Clare suggests that you place an Under Desk Cycle underneath your workspace to prevent blood from pooling and keep you fit while you are working on emails. 

Many of us spend hours sitting at our desks, whether at home or at work.

Sometimes I use a standing desk but I prefer to sit because it is easier. You could also exercise at your desk.

Place an Under Desk Cycle under your workspace. It will prevent blood clots and keep you fit while you work on your emails.

Clare can be contacted at drclarebailey@dailymail.co.uk Daily Mail, Northcliffe House 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT.