Having trouble sleeping at boyfriend's house!


New member
Hi everyone,

I am fairly new to Poly. I have had two boyfriends for a little over a month now and I am also married. I am loving being Poly! But my frustration is that when I spend the night at their house, or even at a hotel, I cannot sleep at all. I think I got maybe one hour of sleep at one of their houses. But usually I just don't sleep. So lately I have been leaving in the middle of the night just so I can sleep. I think I am making things worse though by worrying about not sleeping. Is this fairly common for some people at the beginning? I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to it? I feel like it kinda ruins things when they ask about spending the night because then I worry about sleep. And of course, I know that I am not there to sleep ;).... but I am starting a new job and I don't want to get sick. I need at least a few hours of sleep.
I feel you. I've had this my whole life - it takes me a long time to adjust to a new sleeping partner. It's not even just an 'I prefer my bed' thing. Even when Nina is away, it will take me a few days of little to no sleep to get used to her being gone, and then when she returns, it takes me a few days again to get used to her being home! So frustrating. I'm not really sure what the solution is, if any, but I'm curious to hear others' thoughts and tips. So far, my solution is the same as yours - I prefer not to have overnight stays with other partners at all, so make sure to head home at the end of the night. I do worry that to some it might reek of couple privilege, but I've always had trouble sleeping, and so I just hope that the people I date are sympathetic to that. It will be hard if and when she wants overnights with anyone she sees because her absence is just as disruptive as someone else's presence, but that's just something I'll have to deal with if it happens.
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Thanks for sharing how you can relate! I felt really bad this last time because my boyfriend surprised me by saying he wanted to get a hotel. It was a really nice one too! But I had already stayed at a hotel earlier in the week with the other guy and I didn't get any sleep. So I told him I decided to leave early, at 1 a.m. He understood.
I generally have a huge amount of difficulty sleeping in a bed other than my own. Compounding that, because of stuff in my past, I often have a hard time falling asleep if someone else is in bed with me. (I've been involved with Hubby for seven and a half years, living with him for six and a half, and it's still difficult for me to fall asleep if he's in the bed; unless he's ill or really overtired, he'll usually stay up for at least an hour or two after I go to bed so I can have time to fall asleep before he joins me.) So I can definitely relate.

Spending a night with another partner was not an okay thing during the first year and a half or so that I was practicing polyamory, and that was partly because of my sleep issues. It was also because Hubby wasn't comfortable with the idea of another man sleeping beside me. A bit over a year ago, about three months into my last relationship, I asked for that to be changed... because I had fallen asleep with my boyfriend holding me, which showed me that it was possible for me to sleep--in the literal sense--with him. For the rest of that relationship, the only time I had trouble sleeping at my boyfriend's place was when my fibromyalgia kicked up, because pain makes it hard to sleep anywhere.

With my current relationship, spending the night together has been a thing since the first night we transitioned from platonic to, um, not platonic. That was only about five weeks ago. Since then, I've spent about 10 nights total with him, and it's only been the most recent two nights that I've actually slept instead of just dozing and waking repeatedly throughout the night.
I generally don't have any trouble sleeping anywhere, with or without anyone. But I have had a LOT of practice (travel, call-rooms, friends couches, etc). When S and I were planning a two week "car camping" trip I was worried I would have trouble sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent - So I set the tent up in the backyard to give it a try!

Perhaps baby steps, taking the "boyfriend" aspect out of the picture. - if you have a guest bed in your own home, you could try that first, then maybe a friends guest room/couch. Do you have trouble sleeping in hotels on vacation? How about at your parents?

Have you tried any over-the-counter sleep aids? (unisom, tylenol PM, zquil, melatonin, etc) There are also prescription sleep meds that can be used on an as needed basis.
My friend cathy hates to be touched in her sleep. Has to sleep alone to rest. She always gets rooms with 2 doubles. That way she can snugglecuddle intimately connect before and after sleep but still gets rest. This doesn't sound like the OP issue, but I figure it could be helpful for some.
It always takes me a couple of months to adjust to sleeping with a new partner. I'll sleep very lightly and wake up at every little movement. It's usually just a getting comfortable and gaining trust period for me then I sleep just fine. I do still sleep better in my own bed, but that's because I find it the most comfortable. Especially with the random aches and pains I have at being 7.5mos pregnant. I CAN sleep on Boy's firmer mattress, but my soft one is sooo much more relaxing!
The only person I can sleep soundly with is Cat, anywhere. I can also sleep just about any place alone, except Cat and I's bed. I can't get restful sleep if I am alone there.

I suggest Tylenol PM. It relaxes me enough to sleep with others.
I have had two boyfriends for a little over a month now and I am also married.

You're new to poly and you're having sleepovers with two new people within one month and you're startng a new job. That is a LOT of new stuff to absorb in a very short period of time. Yes, you can press on, trying to get some sleep this way and that way, but another option is to allow your relationships to develop at a much slower pace. Your body might be trying to tell you something.
I also have difficulty sleeping with other people. It took me 6 months to adjust to sleeping with Blue. I always came home from his house needing a nap, lol. Now, I sleep great with him (better than any previous partner.) I say just give it time :) Using a sleep aid may work but I don't like how I feel afterwards. My solution was just to go to bed earlier the next night, or take a nap.
Have you tried various non-habit forming sleep medications? ZZquil or whatever they call it? Not sure if those work for you, but if could be worth a shot. I wouldn't want to have to take those all the time, but if taking them a few times just to help with the transition would help then it could be worth it!

I am someone who doesn't function well on little sleep and I have no idea how I'd survive if I had trouble sleeping in places other than my own bed. Thankfully I sleep like the dead under most circumstances. I hope that you're able to find something that helps!
Hi KGMlove,

I've been sleeping alone now for like a few years, and find I am very comfortable with it. Waking up kind of sucks, because I want to sleep longer and my body won't let me. But that's another topic.

Maybe the thing to do (if I were you) is sleep with the boyfriends less often? I think if you explain the sleep difficulty you're having they'll understand. Are you taking sleep aids at all? Melatonin is a good one because I think it's something the body produces naturally anyway.

I hope you can get some more rest!
Kevin T.
I have no trouble sleeping alone anywhere. I usually have trouble sleeping with anyone, anywhere. I'm a light sleeper and the slightest movement jerks me awake.

My husband works out of town and is only home every other weekend. If I stay up until I'm adequately zombified, I can sleep with him. Otherwise his restlessness keeps waking me up. I fall back asleep easily, but it's still annoying, and after 4-5 hours I'm usually up for good if that happens.

My girlfriend is a very cuddly sleeper and I sleep hot, so cuddly sleeping makes me roast. Can't sleep that way either.

In theory, I *like* the intimacy of sleeping with partners, but in practice I always regret it. And if I have an exam the next day, I don't let anyone near my bed.

I suggest Tylenol PM. It relaxes me enough to sleep with others.

The active sleep ingredient in Tylenol PM is just Benadryl. Skip the acetaminophen (paracetamol across the pond) and just buy generic Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride. ZzzQuil and Unisom are other brand names of the same thing.

That said, it doesn't work for me. If I take a high enough dose to feel anything at all, that feeling is my skin crawling and being completely out of it mentally... but not sleepy. Does a hell of a job cleaning out my sinuses when I'm really sick though! It's also the "runny nose" ingredient in nighttime Tylenol cough, cold, & flu.
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Thanks for all of the replies! I wasn't getting the notifications or I would have responded earlier. It struck me what someone said about the slower pace. As far as intimacy goes there is no way to go back. Especially the one b/f I am with, we are extremely connected. But if slower pace means not sleeping over, then I can do that. I know I need to take care of my health first and foremost. I have not tried a sleep aide because I'm not really into that, though I would be willing to try melatonin as long as it works and isn't addictive. I think I just need to give it time. It's nice to know that others can relate though but that they eventually get used to it.

My wife sometimes has trouble sleeping at her boyfriends. Usually she says its because when they are intimate it is like a heavy workout and they both need time to cool down after. Even after their cool down period she sometimes can't get to sleep because her mind starts racing about things. So, what she does is always brings a boring book to his place. She reads it for 30 minutes and its lights out!
I prefer to sleep alone. In fact, Ren and I have slept in separate bedrooms for many years. Sometimes I will start the night in his bed, for cuddling, but after falling asleep his snoring usually wakes me up and then I just take myself to my own bedroom for a good nights sleep.

I don't always sleep well when I am at Bo's house. I will take this into account when scheduling dates - I would't spend the night at his place the night before an important work thing or job interview etc. As it is, I don't mind a night of less sleep because I love spending time with him and he is an awesome cuddler. I don't mind losing some sleep if it means morning cuddles and late night talks. Also, he makes the best breakfasts :)

I sleep a little better with Bo when he is at my house, and the best nights sleep I get with him is when we are at a hotel or B&B. Come to think of it, when I am on vacation with Ren, I can sleep in the same bed with him for weeks and have no problems. Hmm....

edited to add: my very best nights sleep are when it's just me, alone, in a hotel room. The bliss of crisp clean sheets that you can slip between after a hot shower in a pristine bathroom that you don't have to clean up the next morning. Ah.
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As far as intimacy goes there is no way to go back. Especially the one b/f I am with, we are extremely connected.

Depends what you mean by "intimacy." If you mean that feeling of connectedness, then probably not. If you mean it as a synonym for "sex" then of course you can. My husband and I felt an instant connection when we met, but we explicitly decided to wait for sex for a month while we developed the emotional connection. We got a little carried once in that month, started having sex, but pulled ourselves back right there and then, and waited out the month. In fact, deliberately holding back on sex can be one of the greatest ways to make it that much more exciting when it does happen.

Of course, it worked out for us that we ended up never really having a sex-based relationship. We have a deep emotional connection, we're very intimate which we express by cuddling and those little touches whenever we're in the same room together, but sex isn't really our thing together.
Just an update: broke up with one boyfriend but still with the one whom I am most connected to (we are Soulmates) The last time we slept together--- at a hotel even-- I slept. yay! (and yes, I meant sex, by intimacy). i think it helped that we had a full glass of wine, and had a relaxing talk before bed.
Glad to hear things are improving.
Thanks.... although an update.... I didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at his house this week. I don't know what to do and I don't want to take drugs!