Wedding Season Part 2: Tips For Sharing A Bed With Your Significant Other
Does your significant other snore loudly, mumble incoherently or sprawl across the entire bed, all while slumbering peacefully while you lie awake staring at the ceiling?
Sharing a bed with the person you love can be a fulfilling and intimate experience, but good bed manners, consideration for the comfort of your partner and a willingness to compromise all play a role in its long-term success.
A National Sleep Foundation poll found that about a quarter of the people said they lose some sleep because of their partner's sleep problems.
Obstacles that prevent both partners from getting the rest they need include snoring and restlessness caused by health issues, different preferences for room temperature and lighting and bad habits such as bed-hogging and blanket-snatching.
Here are a few tips to help you and your bed partner get a better night's sleep:
- If either of you has a chronic problem falling or staying asleep, it's time to see your doctor. Health problems, including diabetes, hypertension and anxiety, can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep. Sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and insomnia, can rob both you and your partner of the sleep you need. With proper treatment, the health issues and disorders can be alleviated and both partners will benefit from getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Evaluate your mattress. If it's sagging, lumpy or shows signs of wear, or if it's more than five to seven years old, it could be the source of your sleepless nights. Your mattress also needs to be as big as is practical considering your budget and size of your bedroom. According to the Better Sleep Council, a common mistake couples make is buying a mattress that's too small. The council points out when couples share a double mattress, also known as full-size, each sleep in the same amount of space as a baby's crib. By investing in the largest mattress you can fit in your bedroom, particularly if one partner requires a lot of space to sleep comfortably, you'll both reap the health benefits provided by quality sleep.
- Create an environment that's conducive to both of you getting a good night's sleep. Decide the room temperature that's ideal for both partners. According to WebMD, a temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, but more important is that the agreed-upon temperature allows uninterrupted sleep for both of you. Another important factor to consider is whether there should be any lighting in the room. Dark rooms are usually best for sleeping, but if one person frequently gets up during the night, a low-wattage night light will help prevent accidents.
- It's also important to discuss whether electronics, such as TVs, laptops and smartphones, should be allowed in the bedroom, and if so, what time they should be turned off. A Harvard Medical School study indicated that the blue light emitted from most electronics can disturb our sleep cycles, and keeping electronics out of the bedroom is recommended for people who have difficulty sleeping. If couples do decide to watch TV or read their Kindles in bed, an established time for "lights out" will help prevent the bedroom from becoming a battleground.
- Practice bedroom etiquette and be sensitive to each other's needs. Quiet conversation, backrubs or cuddling promotes a peaceful transition to sleep, but reminding your partner about undone chores does not. A comforting bedtime routine in which partners can express their commitment to each other will keep them sleeping in the same bed for many years.