Twelve Ways To Share A Bed

Is your sleeping partner to blame for your poor sleep? Are you bothered by your sleeping partner? Does he or she keep you wide-awake when all you want to do is slumber? Too much wriggling, moving, sprawling across the bed, snoring, taking the blankets? While there can be many pros to having a sleeping partner, it’s not always easy sharing a bed with someone.

Recent research is showing us once again that sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for our relationships and this is worse if both members of the couple are affected. So, here are some practical solutions to help you get a good night’s sleep with your sleep partner.

  1. My sleeping partner wriggles, sprawls and moves around a lot

The best solution is to buy a larger bed, this way when your sleeping partner moves you will be less affected. If you already have a large bed then it could be that you can opt for a firmer mattress so that when your partner moves around you feel it less. You can also find mattress toppers that can help with this if you don’t want to buy a new mattress. Another option could be to have two single beds pushed together, this way you can still feel close to your loved one but without the negative wriggling and moving around that is reducing the quality and quantity of your sleep.

  1. My sleeping partner snores

Did you know that one reason that some people may get sleepy during the day is because they aren’t sleeping properly at night but they don’t even realise. I have a friend who snored and it took him ages to understand the connection between his daytime sleepiness and his undiagnosed sleep apnea. He thought he was making a fuss about nothing but now that it is diagnosed and being treated he is feeling much better during the day with no sleepiness. 

I have prepared another article on snoring which offers some creative ways to address snoring. But I would like to underline that if the snoring is a serious problem then make sure you get it checked out by a health care professional. This is because it could be sleep apnea and this is something that needs to be looked at.

  1. My sleeping partner takes my pillow

My husband calls me the pillow monster because I like plenty of pillows, well actually it’s not that I like plenty of pillows I just like a fluffy and full pillow.  They come in so many shapes and sizes and are so versatile whether you are sleeping on your back, on your side or on your stomach, some are designed to help keep your spine aligned while you are sleep.

So the best solution is to invest in several good quality pillows that suit how you and your sleep partner sleep. Then assign each person his or her specially tailored pillow to ensure no misunderstanding. Pillows can offer a lot of comfort, they are almost like a teddy bear, so it’s a pleasant and cost effective thing to get right.

  1. My sleeping partner sweats in bed and this bothers me

The issue of body temperature is interesting. The fact is that the average core body temperature of women is slightly higher than men. There are also other physiological reasons why a female may feel colder than a male. This means that on average a female bed partner may prefer a warmer room or a warmer bed compared to a male bed partner. Here are two solutions; the first could that the sleeping partner who is more likely to get cold during the night wears warmer PJs to bed or alternatively you can go for the separate blankets option as described below. This way, each sleeping partner only uses the blanket covers they need to stay warm while they sleep, and this will also prevent excessive sweating in bed too.

  1. My sleeping partner takes my blankets

You may want to understand why your sleeping partner is taking the blankets.  Is your sleeping partner moving around a lot in bed? Is the bed too small?  Is your sleeping partner getting cold during the nights? There are several reasons why they may be taking the blankets and the solution will depend on this. The simplest solution is that each of you has a separate bed cover.  Depending on how you make your bed, it may not look very beautiful when you fix the bed in the morning but at least you will stay warm and snug at night.

  1. My sleeping partner loves to eat in bed and I hate the crumbs

My husband doesn’t like it when I eat in bed because somehow the ‘crumbles’, as he calls them, get everywhere, or least he thinks so. It’s important to respect your sleeping partner and communication is key to this. 

One solution is to agree not to eat in bed – late night snacking has other disadvantages too. Another solution or rather a placatory compromise would be to ensure that you clean the crumbs out of the bed as soon as possible.

  1. My sleeping partner loves to sleep with our pets but I am not so keen

Well, let me disclose that I am rather biased towards the pets in bed option, but not everyone feels the same way. However, I must say that dogs, in particular, can wiggle around a lot and it’s not always conducive to high quality sleep. So, communication with your sleeping partner is key and also bear in mind that pets appreciate their routine.

 A good compromise with your sleeping partner is that your pets sleep in your bedroom but on their own bed, if your pets are trained to stay off the bed. That way you can feel close to them but they won’t necessarily disturb your actual bed space.

  1. My sleeping partner has a different sleeping routine

Different sleep routines could be the result of different employment schedules like night shifts, it could be a result of sleep disorders, or it could simply be about personal preference. This is a tough one for me. My sleeping partner is a night owl and likes to stay up late and often takes a nap in the afternoon. My sleeping routine is completely different. Depending on the reason, the main route to a solution is likely to be through some kind of compromise. I would love to know if you have any tips.  I can do another article to explore this issue.

  1. My sleeping partner likes to keep a light on in the bedroom

My sleeping partners like to keep a light on at night, when he gets up to go to the bathroom he stumbles around so he likes to have a light. On the other hand, I don’t like lights on at night I feel they disturb my sleep. The best solution is to have an orange tinted nightlight. This will please your sleeping partner because they won’t trip on the way to the bathroom and at the same time the orange tinted glow of the night light should mean that your sleep is not disturbed.

  1. My sleeping partner loves a very warm bedroom. It’s too hot for me!

My sleeping partner loves a very warm bedroom. Science shows that it is better to keep the room cool at night time, as it supports better sleep and aligns to what happens in nature.  So the best solution is to encourage your sleeping partner to use additional blankets and maintain a cooler bedroom temperature.

  1. My partner watches the TV in the living room and the sound keeps me awake

There are several solutions that can help with this. If your sleeping partner loves you they probably don’t understand that you are experiencing some discomfort so firstly it’s important to talk to them and find some ways to solve this, this could include, lowering the volume of the TV or the possibility that they use headphones – these solutions address the sound source, but this might not be a solution if you have no control over the source of the sound – like when it’s a neighbour over who’s behaviours you have no say. Good solutions that you can apply to yourself are ear plugs or ear phones, sensory deprivation napping hats and white noise machines or a white noise app.

  1. My sleeping partner likes to play on mobile device and the light of the screen bothers me when I try to get to sleep

Blue screen light keeps you awake, it mimics daylight and suppresses the release of melatonin which you need to sleep. You can suggest to your sleeping partner to try out the f.lux app or the Apple Night Shift. These can be added to hand held devices, laptops and desktops and work by adjusting the display light and colour. Alternatively, another solution is to cover device screens with an orange tinted cover. This way the light of your sleep partner’s device will not disturb you.

The ultimate solution

Good sleep is key to maintaining a happy relationship, so if your sleeping situation is deteriorating or beyond repair then one solution is to sleep in separate rooms all of the time or on a part-time basis. This isn’t an option available to everyone but many couples do this and they are perfectly happy with this solution.

An important thing to remember is that sleep deprivation puts relationships under strain and this is worse if both members of the couple are sleep deprived. So the bottom line is come up with practical solutions that are supportive to you both.

If you have ingenious sleep solutions that you would like to share, let me know and I’ll do a part two! Thank you for reading.

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