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Melbourne, Jan 30: Sleep disorders are drawing a rift between couples in the bedroom and hurting their relationships, a study suggests.

More than 80 percent of troubled sleepers in an Australian survey said that the problem had a moderate to considerable negative effect on their relationship with a bed partner.

About 20 percent had given up sharing a bed and slept in different bedrooms, News.com.au reported.

Partners often played a role in prompting their beloved to seek help, with 46 percent of sleep disorder patients reporting it was their partner who identified the problem.

68 percent said that seeking treatment had improved their relationship.

But a quarter of those surveyed waited one to three years before getting treatment, while 18 percent waited three or more years.

Dr David Cunnington, a physician with the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, said that people could be slow to seek help because of a perception that there was a lack of treatment available.

"People shouldn't see that as a barrier and should be seeking help because there are a range of treatments available," Dr Cunnington said.

He said sleep disorders could interrupt the slumber of both the sufferer and their partner.

Bed partners either can't sleep because of the loud snoring or they lay awake worrying that their partner is not breathing properly, he said.

He added that when you have a sleep disorder you wake feeling tired, and throughout the day you can be irritable and moody because you are exhausted. And if both partners are not getting enough sleep, then it can put a lot of pressure on a relationship. (ANI)

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