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It might come as a surprise that co-sleeping (or not!) with your partner has a significant effect on your relationship. According to a study done by the Sleep Medicine Review:
“the ritual of going to bed with a trusted and secure partner provides many couples with the opportunity to unwind and digest the stresses of the day prior to falling asleep.”
This means falling asleep next to your partner not only strengthens your connection, but can help you achieve a better night’s sleep. Furthermore, not sleeping next to your partner can impact the quality of your sleep and thus your relationship.
The Sleep Medicine Review continues to explain, saying that:
“sleep deprivation affects emotion regulation, frustration tolerance, and cognitive functioning, which could, in turn, lead to more negative marital interactions.”
It can seem arbitrary but sleeping next to your partner can help contribute to a feeling of security and comfort within your environment. This lowers alertness which then allows you to fall asleep sooner and enjoy a deeper sleep.
However, it’s fairly common for partners to not be the most compatible sleeping partners which means sleeping with one another is a lot easier said than done.
If you and your partner are on different sleep schedules, one preferring late nights, the other enjoying early mornings or perhaps one of you is an aggressive snorer or blanket stealer, any number of these issues can make sleeping together seem impossible.
Luckily, there are some useful tips that you can try out and implement into your sleeping habits and relationship in order to get the most out of your nights.
Article at a glance
Starting At Square One
This one might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked, and that is the importance of investing in a new mattress for the two of you — instead of just hanging onto the one your partner has had since they were a sophomore in college. The two of you sharing a mattress means you need to find the right one to make both of you comfortable, but that can be quite the challenge.
As the experts at Leesa explain:
“The sheer number of options can be daunting, but what it really boils down to is: Does it help you sleep better? In general, most mattresses on the market these days can be broadly categorized as innerspring, foam or hybrid (some combination thereof).”
Finding a mattress that is big enough, the right firmness, and doesn’t break the bank are all important things to consider when on the hunt for a new bed. Together, shopping online or in-store can help you make the best decision for the two of you.
Mattresses are extremely important to quality sleep so the right mattress in conjunction with better sleeping habits will almost most certainly help you both get back to enjoying those important z’s.
Setting The Mood For Two
It’s fair (and healthy!) that you and your partner enjoy different things. However, sometimes our distinct preferences can interfere with our partner’s sleep. Creating a bedroom where both of you can feel relaxed, comfortable, and cozy is vital to getting that quality sleep but it can be difficult trying to cater to both of your needs, especially if you prefer totally different sleeping spaces.
At times, it can feel as though you and your partner are stuck in the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears: this bed is too hard, this one is too soft, this blanket is too hot, the fan is way too loud. Being comfortable is important to help us fall asleep and stay asleep so finding the right formula for the bedroom will be worth it.
For example, there are pillows and sheets on the market that utilize cooling technology which can help regulate body heat if one of you runs a lot hotter than the other. This means instead of lowering the thermostat or opening a window, consider investing in this cooling gel infused bedding.
They can cool down one of you without turning the other one into a popsicle. It also might be worth getting two separate blankets for your bed to stop the blanket hog in your relationship from always stealing the covers at night.
Essential oils is another great tool to take advantage of at nighttime. Diffusing oils in your bedroom such as chamomile, lavender, and rose oil can relax your body and mind. Light can also play a big role in the bedroom, specifically the light coming in through your windows.
If you live in the city it can be a challenge making your bedroom that perfect kind of darkness for sleep.
Maybe you need natural light to help wake you up in the morning. Curtains are such an easy solution to resolve some of your sleeping problems.
Investing in blackout curtains or ditching the black out curtains can help tremendously with you and your partner’s sleep regime. However, if one of you requires natural daylight to wake up in the morning, and one needs complete darkness, finding a sleeping mask is also an easy solution to utilize.
Ear plugs are also another great, simple tool to help block out those whale sounds your partner has to play at night to fall asleep. Making these little adjustments can be extremely beneficial and it’s important to not overlook them!
Back Away From Your Phone
As important as we find it to be connected to world, the light from your devices are likely making it harder for both you and your partner to fall asleep. As the experts at The Sleep Foundation explain:
“careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness.”
Sometimes, it can feel as though the only way you can unwind at night is by scrolling mindlessly through your social media feeds or even playing a game of solitaire, but that light from your device is likely causing you to lose sleep.
Furthermore, the light can affect your partner next to you, disrupting their sleep. It can be a difficult habit to break, but turning off your devices at bedtime will help save both you and your partner from some sleep loss.
Co-sleep With Your Partner — Not Your Pets
This might be really difficult to hear, but if you find that you and your partner are consistently struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, despite the right mattress, room temperature, and lighting, it might be time to face the fact that the culprit is probably your four legged, fur baby.
While it can be very comforting to sleep with your pets, they inadvertently take up a lot of space, give off a lot heat, snore, and tend to be quite the bed hogs. As an alternative to bed sharing with your much beloved pet, Sleep.org recommends crating your pet at night, saying:
“it might take a few weeks to get your animal comfortable with a crate, but it will benefit you—and your sleep—in the long run.”
Furthermore, sleeping with your pet can also lead to becoming sick more often as bacteria and disease can spread a lot easier while sleeping in the same bed as your pet. And it pretty much goes without saying that when you’re sick, falling asleep can be even tougher.
Even though it’s certainly a heartbreaking habit to break, it’ll be beneficial to everyone in the long run if you and your partner are the only ones joining you in bed. Besides, getting better sleep means you’ll have more energy for the really important stuff like play time and walk time with your fur baby.
Stop the Snoring Before It’s Too Late
Snoring not only affects your own sleep, but your partner’s as well. Furthermore, while it’s important for partners to sleep with one another, if a snoring partner is constantly disturbing your sleep patterns it can seriously impact the health of your relationship.
Snoring can have a surprisingly strong impact on intimate relationships and can drive your partner to split at bedtime, opting to sleep somewhere quieter. Moreover, snoring can have an effect on the waking hours.
Snoring is actually a pretty common irritant when it comes to fights. Partners can come to resent their snoring partner which leads to more arguments. It also doesn’t help if the irritated partner is running low on sleep because of the snoring waking them up at night.
Unfortunately, this means that arguments can become quite serious and cause a disconnect between partners due to the mental effects lack of sleep causes.
Luckily, there are several solutions for snoring that individuals can try until they find the perfect fit. From mouth guards to headgear and even a change in diet, these are fairly easy solutions to a snoring problem.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that if snoring habits become extreme, also known as sleep apnea, speaking with a medical professional about undergoing surgery or utilizing a CPAP machine is definitely worth considering. Snoring can be difficult to manage but reducing it will result in a better night for everyone as well as less fighting in the A.M.
Changing Your Diet Has Its Perks
If you’ve been in relationship for longer than a year, it’s likely you two are pretty comfortable with passing gas in front of each other. It’s totally natural and nothing to be embarrassed about! However, with that being said, if your gas passing constantly wakes your partner up in the middle of the night, this can also become a serious issue between the two of you.
Passing gas is healthy but if it’s interfering with you and your partner’s sleep then it’s worth addressing the problem with a few changes, particularly with your diet. It’s recommended to try regulating your digestion with supplements, increasing your water intake, eating more yogurt and fennel seeds, and trying to not eat right before bed.
Additionally, certain foods can cause more gas than others, as Snore Nation further explains:
“there are foods that automatically bring forth more gasses. Examples of such foods are beans, broccoli, onions, fried foods, prunes, peas, Brussels sprouts, oat bran, potatoes, bananas and the like. Such foods contain a high level of fiber and will produce flatulence rather quickly.”
There are also anti-gas pills you can take if all else fails. When you’re asleep your muscles are relaxed, meaning you don’t have the same control as you do when you’re awake, making it harder to manage your gas. By changing your diet you’ll both sleep better not having to worry about a surprise in the middle of the night.
It’s Time To Let Old Habits Go
Sometimes, the biggest roadblock against quality sleep is refusing to let go of certain old habits. Growing up and during your single days you may have been able to have everything the exact way you like, but now that you’re in a relationship it’s important to let go of a few arbitrary habits that are causing a rift between the two of you.
For example, if your bed is overcrowded with a collection of your favorite stuffed animals, your nightlight is too bright, or you need eight alarms in the morning these habits can cost your partner necessary sleep and are not a huge sacrifice in the long run.
So, what that in mind, it’ll be worth deciding if these habits are worth the arguments and resentment from you partner for continually disrupting their sleep. This of course works both ways so sitting down to discuss what old habits you both can change to help one another out so that you can sleep together better.
Relationships are often about compromising and working together to find the best solution for a problem affecting you both. Getting quality sleep is one of the most important necessities for a healthy life and in turn contributes to a healthier relationship.
Finding and implementing solutions will be important to getting both on of you back on track towards the all important dreamland. You’ll both be happier and well-rested and well-rested means a happier, healthier relationship.