The Sleep Survival Guide for Couples

By Oktay Ozadam

Sleep and Couples

Couples spend about one-third of their lives sleeping side by side and therefore should be aware of how they impact each other's sleeping patterns.

If one of you likes to go to sleep early, but the other wants to read late into the night, it can be a challenge. If one of you is a light sleeper or the other likes to have a nightly ritual to get ready to catch some z's, it can be a frustrating adjustment.

Now, problems in the relationship or within one's own life can have an impact on sleeping patterns as well. Approximately 30-40% of couples prefer to sleep alone, so it is not unheard of to have issues sleeping in the same room as your significant other. Most of these people are dealing with some emotional issue in the relationship, so it does not include the people who are just struggling to get comfortable with another human in the bed.

8 Sleep Tips For Couples to Ease the Pain

If you or your partner is struggling to fall asleep now that you are sharing a bed, here is a brief list of tips and pointers that should help you to sort it out.

  1. If you are having trouble syncing up your sleeping schedules, it is hard to rectify in regards to waking up. However, with going to sleep, you can try making a commitment to waiting one hour before entering the room if your partner is already in bed. This way, the one who goes to sleep first has a good chance of hitting their REM cycle before you walk into the room.
  2. Sometimes one person presents more of a sleeping challenge than the other, particularly in the area of snoring. If one person snores, then it can present problems for the other one to fall asleep or stay asleep. If the partner who doesn't snore is a deep enough sleeper, then you may be able to improve the issue by ensuring that he goes to bed first. If not, there are all kinds of tech gadgets and remedies to help prevent snoring like SmartNora.
  3. Make the bed a screen-free zone. Studies have shown that screens only serve to stimulate the mind, and they can prevent you from falling asleep in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, if screens are still on when you do finally fall asleep, then the type of light can prevent your mind from reaching a night of deep and restful sleep.
  4. A difference in mattress needs can also take some serious getting used to when sleeping next to a new partner. Luckily, with modern technology, you don't actually have to get accustomed to a mattress that is uncomfortable if you're willing to buy the right type of mattress. The Sleep Number 360 p5 allows you to adjust either side of the bed independently. It will even track how much you move around while you sleep, so the bed will tell you how comfortable you are when you wake up!
  5. If one of you tends to toss and turn, then, there are a couple of different remedies that you can try. Firstly, you can try utilizing a bed that is very wide and firm so that there is more space for each of you to move around and less bounce in the mattress when you do. Otherwise, you can try a humidifier with lavender-scented essential oils. The scent has a calming effect on the body and can create a more peaceful and less chaotic sleep for those who toss and turn.
  6. Some people love the intimacy of snuggling with their partner while drifting off to sleep, but others find it suffocating. For those who tend to run hot when they sleep, cuddling may not be so appealing at night. Ask your partner to use a body pillow between you to feel the effect of cuddling without the intimacy – or the heat!
  7. Now some people run hot when they sleep, but others get rather chilly at night. Sometimes this discrepancy can be solved with merely using separate blankets. However, using different blankets can sacrifice some of the intimacy of sleeping side by side. There are some bed cooling technologies to help you regulate your bed temperature while you sleep. OOLER Sleep System, BedJet Climate Control System or chiliPAD water-cooling system are the most popular products out there and they all allow controlling the temperature of both sides of the bed separately.
  8. If one of you is a light sleeper and the other tends to hit that REM cycle hard until the morning, then you may be able to solve your challenges with more traditional means. Light sleepers should try to use earplugs and eye masks as a way to block out any passing light or sound like an ambulance or something similar. Those who tend to sleep deeply should still use an eye mask because light can affect even the deepest of sleeper. When your light-sleeping partner gets up to use the bathroom or check on the dog in a fit of insomnia, you would be less likely to be disturbed by it if you can block out the light.

As with any part of a relationship, communication and respect are the most important strengths, so use them well. Talk openly about what you need to improve your bedtime regimen and value the requests that your partner makes to you. With so many tools out there to give each of you what you need while you sleep, there is no reason why either of you should suffer. If you dialogue about it and make a genuine effort to bend towards the needs of the other, then there is no sleeping obstacle that the two of you cannot tackle with success!