The wrong side of the bed
Do you share a bed with your partner? Or have you ever spent the night cuddling with a friend or fling?
While the idea of sleeping with someone you love is wholly romantic and satisfying, the reality is often somewhat less ideal. Picture a big, comfy bed that you have all to yourself, then split it in two. Add in noises, motion, and odors, give or take different preferences in position, temperatures, and schedules, and suddenly that big, comfy bed doesn’t seem so great.
A good night’s sleep is essential to a healthy life, as well as to a happy relationship. Yet sometimes, the only ‘night terror’ is your bedmate.
Yes, we love the people we share a bed with, but that doesn’t mean we love their sleeping habits. Now, there’s a way to fix it. Here are some simple solutions to even the most aggravating cons of sleeping with your partner.
Screentime in Bed
Who doesn’t love dozing off to their favorite show, turning on the news in the morning, or trying to squeeze in just one more episode of your favorite show before bedtime? Even more so than a couch, your bed might be the coziest place to watch TV, stream something online, or simply snuggle with your phone.
Studies show that too much light (from any source) late at night is no good for our circadian rhythm, and that blue light especially (such as from electronics and screens) is the most disruptive in the evenings and before bed. Not to mention that too much noise or light coming from one side of the bed while your partner tries to sleep is bound to affect their sleep schedule one way or another.
Solution: Agree on a bedtime, or at least on a lights out/ screens off policy. If you need to squeeze in some late-night TV, don’t choose the bedroom as the place to do it. If you’re on your phone or mobile electronic device in bed, see if it has a “night light” setting to reduce the amount of blue light.
Snuggling and Cuddling
So you did it: you’re finally sharing a bed with someone you love. But do you both have the same expectations about sleeping together?
Sometimes, the biggest problem a couple faces in bed is that one wants to touch and cuddle—whether to stay awake longer or because it helps them sleep—while the other needs their space so as not to feel suffocated.
Cuddling can be great, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable and distracting, especially given the temperatures in the bed and bedroom. According to sleep experts, this can be fixed with a conversation. Both partners need to lay down the law and explain their feelings on the matter, especially if one of them can’t sleep while cuddling. Communication is key!
Ah yes, the quintessential sleep problem.
Someone else snoring may be the #1 reason you lose sleep when sharing a bed, so naturally it’s an extremely valid concern. In fact, you probably know of a couple that has agreed to sleep in separate rooms when snoring gets especially bad.
But it turns out this isn’t just a one-person solution. The snorer should be aware of his or her problem, and they can tackle it by changing their sleeping position, keeping their head elevated, side sleeping, and avoiding certain food and drinks (such as alcohol) before bed.
The other partner, however—that is, the one who can actually hear the snoring—should pay attention. Is it just some light snoring, or could it be sleep apnea? Is your partner waking up continuously after bouts of snoring? Just to be safe, the snorer should discuss it with his or her doctor.
Next: stealing the sheets. Keep reading!