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Why is my boyfriend unable to sleep peacefully?

Q: My boyfriend is 40 years old. He is an industrialist and a freelance photographer. He has been working out at a gym for the past 20 years now. He is very muscular and takes protein supplements too. For the last few years, he has not been able to get a good sleep. Whenever asked what troubles him, he says nothing but just random thoughts keep striking his mind though they are not negative. He is quite impulsive and very insecure. He is always tired and has a habit of shaking his leg or arm again and again whenever he is free. He is so tired that this has started to affect our sex life too. Though he gets an erection quickly, he is unable to retain it for long. He takes a lot of time to ejaculate. Recently, he has started to complain that I snore too much so he is unable to sleep. I am sure I do snore but not that badly. The world snores but this does not mean that their partners become insomniacs. Why is his sleep so delicate? It breaks too quickly. He says he has not slept well for years now. I am very worried about him. I am afraid this might affect our relationship too. Please help.

A:Well sleep is the great nourisher. And as we all know although all humans have a similar sleep wake cycle, each one has a different sleep schedule. Some like to sleep early, get up early, some sleep late, get up early etc. there can be many permutations and combinations. It is known that certain individuals can be light sleepers and wake up at the drop of even a pin, while some others can be heavy sleepers and sleep through in a train station. Sleep disturbance can be secondary to various causes and it can be either primary insomnia or secondary to causes like sleep apnoea syndrome and other medical causes, and also at times secondary to illnesses like underlying depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric causes. Sleep can also be disturbed because of stimulation like watching the TV at late hours, coffee intake or smoking late or late night partying and even at times snoring. I would suggest that if sleep is still disturbed even after properly following sleep hygiene techniques (like avoiding stimulation close to sleep time, having a fixed time for sleep and using the bed only for sex and/or sleep, avoiding afternoon naps, having a fixed place to sleep and getting up at regular times) it would be good to have an underlying disorder ruled out.

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