Sharing a Bed with Your Partner: 5 Tips for Success

Sharing a Bed with Your Partner: 5 Tips for Success

It's 11:24pm. You can't sleep. Why? Your partner is scrolling through social on their phone. The screen is brighter than the sun.

It's 2:32am. You're wide awake. Why? Covers. Your partner has stolen them. Again.

It's 4:41am. You've been kicked. Why? Snoring. Your partner says you like a combine harvester tearing up a carpark.

Any of this ringing bells?

If you answered 'yes', then a)we're sorry, and b)don't quit sleep just yet. Sharing a bed with your partner can be challenging, but it poses legitimate health and well-being benefits, not to mention being the nation's favoured method of snoozing.

In fact, research conducted by the Sleep Council discovered that for than half the people surveyed, sharing a bed with their partner is key to getting a good night's sleep.

That said, the same study also found that 50% of sleep disturbances we caused by bed-sharing. (For all kinds of reasons.

So, before you pull out the spare duvet and hit the couch, we figured we'd offer some insights on how to share a bed with your partner.

It might just save your sleep.

The Benefits of Sharing a Bed With a Partner

FYI: In sleep-science, sleeping next to your partner is known as 'dyadic' sleep (derived from 'dyad', meaning 'two') and it boasts far-reaching physiological and psychological benefits.

For example, you know those feelings of safety and security you get when you share a bed with your partner? They're real. And they're created by the hormones triggered by dyadic sleep.

Hormones like oxycontin (the love hormone), that works to reduce the level of cortisol(the stress hormone) in your system, which evens you out and promotes healthy, restful sleep.

Sharing a bed can also subtly encourage couples to hit the hay at the same time, which can affect sleep quality as found in a study that found couples with matching sleeping patterns benefitted from better sleep quality than solo sleepers.

And, of course, sharing a bed with your partner also strengthens your relationship by developing (and deepening) the level of intimacy between you, which itself poses benefits for sleep.

But we hear you. It isn't always that easy. Whether it's snoring or overheating, phone-scrolling or cover stealing, there are some...kess than peaceful aspects of sharing a bed. And left unchecked, they can wreak havoc on your sleep.

So, let's investigate how to share a bed with a partner. Especially if...

1. Your Partner is a Snorer

Let's be honest: snoring is just...irritating. A known sleep-disruptor and even a common argument starter amongst couples, snoring is made worse by the fact it's involuntary.

Woman kept awake by snoring partner

It's easy to make light of snoring, (pop culture has conditioned us to find it sort of...funny) but it's a legitimate problem that, if ignored, can cause insomnia, depression, and even the breakdown of relationships.

The causes of snoring can vary, so there's no one-size-fits-all method of addressing the problem, but people often find that making small (or significant) lifestyle changes can help.

For example, changes as simple as smoking less, drinking less alcohol, or even losing weight can remedy persistent snoring. You can also suggest that your partner experiments with a few different sleeping positions - side sleeping, for example, has been reported to reduce snoring.

That said, if your partner has tried everything (and we mean everything), they should consult their GP as the problem may be medical. Sinusitis, for example, is a common cause of snoring. As is, ironically, sleep deprivation>

2. Your Partner is a Cover Hog

Oh, cover hogs. All snug. Wrapped up in your share of the duvet. But if your dare to pull back even the tiniest patch of blanket, they're awake. And they're annoyed.

Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with cover hogs that won't end up with someone dithering beneath a blanket on the couch.

For example, it may be worthwhile keeping your bedroom at an even 16–18°C (the recommended temperature for sleeping) as you'll stay warm, even if your partner is literallywrapped up like a sleeping croissant.

Another idea might be to invest in two single duvets (or an extra double duvet if your bed is big enough) to ensure maximum protection from the cover hog.

FYI: Don't try to argue with the cover hog. They'll never admit their wrongdoing. Or, if they do, they'll point out examples of your cover hogging. A 'debate' will ensue.

And if you're debating, you're not sleeping.

3. Your Partner is a Screen Junkie

Tell them to cut it out. (Politely.)

And if that doesn't work?

Tell them the blue light emitted by their device is almost guaranteed to disrupt their sleep by tricking their brain into staying alert. Tell them that artificial light confuses our brains, making them believe that it's time to wake up.

Tell them that light from screens suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone vitals for getting to sleep.

And if that doesn't work?

Tell them to use their device to navigate to this blog. And read this entry.

4. Your Partner Can't Sleep

Real talk: you can't sleep well with your partner if your partner can't sleep well.

Because honestly, no matter how supportive your mattress, no matter how cosy your duvet, no matter how temperate your bedroom, if your partner is tossing and turning for hours on end...? Nobody is getting any sleep.

The key to dealing with the problem? Taking action. Don't grouse and grump. Don't tell yourself it will pass. Find a solution.

After all, it's you and your partner's well-being we're talking about. But where to start? Well, as seasoned sleep experts, determined to snag you better shuteye, we've compiled a whole host of insights in our sleep blog.

The key is to understand the issue. And understanding begins with questions. Is your partner snoring? Are they struggling with anxiety? Are they consuming caffeine later is advised.

Poor sleep doesn't just happen. There's always an underlying cause. And once you've identified that cause, you can make the necessary changes for a better night's sleep.

Note: If you're struggling tom identify the cause of someone's sleeplessness, it's important to consult a doctor, as insomnia can be a symptom of several serious conditions.

5. Your Partner Loves to Slam the Snooze Button.

If your partner has an earlier getup than you, it can be irritating if, when their alarm goes off they just...hit snooze, roll over and drift off. Especially if you're left wide awake.

So, what to do?

The easiest (and perhaps most rewarding) option is to sync-up your wake-up times, meaning that a) you're not woken up by each other's alarms and b) you can enjoy breakfast/coffee/cuddles together.

To achieve this sleep-wake-synchronisation you may need to stagger your respective bedtimes to make sure you each get the right amount of sleep.

If waking up together isn't an option (if, for example, your get-up times are wildly different), it might be worth investing in a vibrating alarm for whoever's up first. Or setting your phone's alarm to vibrate.

Woman sleeping in bed

Sharing a bed with your partner boasts huge physical and emotional benefits, so it's worth addressing anything that may be keeping one (or both) of you up.

Check out our sleep blog to find out everything you need to know about getting better sleep. And be sure to sign up to our email newsletter below so you don't miss a post.

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