Making the transition from sleeping alone to sleeping next to someone can be a difficult change to make. Adjusting to someone else’s bedtime routines, sleeping position and nighttime habits can cause serious tension within a relationship. In fact, over 30% of couples now say they sleep in separate beds or in completely separate rooms. Let’s avoid a sleep separation and talk about some of the pitfalls couples face when sharing a sleeping space and ways to resolve these issues.
You’re peacefully sleeping the night away when suddenly your partner wakes you up with a swift, yet unintentional, elbow to the face. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you. Adjusting to sharing a bed can take time, and in the middle of the night it’s easy to forget that you can no longer occupy the entire bed. If you, or your partner, have a tendency to flail their limbs while they sleep, then a bigger bed is definitely better. For two people, at least a Queen-size bed is recommended for a comfortable night’s sleep, but if you have some extra space in the bedroom a King-size bed would be best. If a King isn’t an option, use a body pillow as a barrier between you and your partner to avoid black eyes and bruised ribs.
If your partner’s constant tossing and turning makes you feel like you’re sleeping in a Bouncy Castle, it may be time to replace your mattress. A mattress made with memory foam, latex, or individually wrapped coils will minimize the amount movement you feel from your partner’s side of the bed. So, toss the old mattress before you toss your partner out of bed.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night on the brink of hypothermia? If your partner is a blanket hog there’s a simple solution that will keep you both toasty all night long. All you have to do is change your sheets! If you sleep on a King-size mattress you can use a normal King size fitted sheet, but here’s the trick… instead of using one King-size flat sheet, use two Twin XL flat sheets and two Twin XL blankets. This gives you each your own individual sheet and blanket, so you can control the temperature of your side of the bed without worrying about a blanket bandit. You can cleverly disguise this with a King size comforter and keep your sheet secret to yourself.
While getting a new mattress and changing your sheets might be easy fixes, your partners annoying sleep habits may be harder to break. According to a survey conducted by Sleepy’s, the biggest pet peeve among couples is their partner’s snoring. While snoring can be a sign of a more serious issue, like sleep apnea, there are a few tricks you can use to help reduce your snoring. First, try changing your sleeping position. Back sleepers are more prone to snoring because this position restricts their airways. Try sleeping on your side or your stomach instead. Using the correct pillow can also help dissipate your unfavorable habit. The right pillow will correct your sleeping posture, aligning your neck and spine and opening up your airways. So, quit keeping your partner up all night and change your pillow.
So, why do we put up with it all? It could be because sleeping next to someone makes us feel better. Studies have shown that there are physical and mental health benefits that directly correlate to sharing a bed with the one you love. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “shared sleep in healthy relationships may lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Sharing a bed may also reduce cytokines, involved in inflammation, and boost oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that is known to ease anxiety and is produced in the same part of the brain responsible for the sleep-wake cycle”. And although sharing your bed with a blanket hog or a snorer may be difficult at first, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
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Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy