How Can Couples Promote Positive Sleeping Habits in Each Other?
4 min read
Last Modified 2 June 2021 First Added 21 September 2017
With love and companionship can come sleepless nights and desperately wrestling for the duvet. Although many bedtime cuddles may be comforting, they’re not always beneficial to your sleeping habits. Experts say that if sharing a bed, approximately 50% of your sleep disturbance is caused by your partner. Therefore, if your partner is struggling to sleep, it will likely result in you getting out of the wrong side of the bed in the morning. To improve your partner’s sleeping habits, and consequently your own, try some of the following tips.
Before trying to improve your sleep quality, it’s helpful to understand how much sleep each of you really needs. While everyone is usually recommended a standard 8 hours, it’s indicated women actually require more sleep than men. Sleep expert, Dr Jim Horne states that women on average should have an extra 20 minutes in bed. The reason for this? Women tend to use more of their brain when multitasking during the day. So, if you want a little extra snooze time, don’t feel like you both must go to bed at the same time every night. As long as the later person promises to stay as quiet as possible!
Also, do not feel like you have to stay in the same bed. While the concept of separate beds may sound a little alarming, it can sometimes improve tensions which are due to lack of sleep. Sleep expert, Dr Neil Stanley says that ‘Not sleeping together, if it works for you both, is a mature pragmatic solution to a problem and has no bearing on the strength, or otherwise, of your relationship.’
Read more: Should Couples Sleep in Separate Beds?
If you’d still like to share your sheets, there are other measures you can take to improve each other’s sleeping habits. First and foremost, it’s helpful to be armed with a bedside kit to help you sleep. Having earplugs handy can help if your partner is a snorer. Also, an eye mask is useful if your partner may be checking their phone or turning on the bathroom lights in the middle of the night.
If you are the offending partner who’s likely to be using the toilet during bedtime, it goes without saying that you should try and keep your noise to a minimum. If turning on the lights is a necessity, reach for the bedside lamp instead of the room light.
If you happen to be a snorer, there are certain measures you can take to improve your partner’s sleeping habits. For example, losing weight will alleviate pressure on the airways, avoiding alcohol before bed is also said to improve snoring. Failing these lifestyle changes, there are other commercial solutions for snorers such as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) which repositions the jaw to take pressure off the airways.
Read more: What Causes Snoring? How Can You Prevent It?
You’re not always going to agree on everything, and it’s likely the two of you may have completely different sleep styles. One of you may need cuddles to sleep, whereas the other may need space. To compromise here, set aside 10-15 minutes for snuggle time, after which give each other a little distance to fall asleep. This way your intimacy needs are met while nobody’s sleep is disrupted.
If you bicker about the temperature of the bedroom, the key again is to compromise. Set your heating to number that’s between your desired preferences. If someone is too hot they can sleep outside of the sheets. If someone is too cold, they could layer themselves with an extra blanket or warmer pyjamas.
A final tip is to be understanding. Studies show 30-50% of the general population is affected by insomnia. So, if your loved one if struggling to sleep, don’t become annoyed with them. Getting irritated will only result in tension or late night arguments, which is more likely to keep you both up longer. Continuous communication and respecting boundaries will hopefully help you both improve your sleeping habits and achieve sweet dreams!
Do you have any other tips to help improve your partner’s sleeping habits? Let us know in the comments!