What’s Your Position on Sleeping in a Shared Bed?
4 min read
Last Modified 3 March 2021 First Added 28 October 2014
We all have those images of going asleep snuggling our partners, having a blissful night and waking up refreshed. But, the reality isn’t always so peachy. So where you do you stand when it comes to sleeping in a shared bed? Or more to the point, where do you lie? We take a look at some of the struggles of bed sharing and how you can fix them.
There are actually 39 recognised sleeping positions, all with colourful names such as ‘The Cliffhanger’, ‘The Zipper ‘and ‘The Paper Dolls’. Most notorious of all though is ‘The Starfish’, which is the arms-and-legs-spread-everywhere nightmare that is virtually impossible to sleep next to. So, if your better half is using their half of the bed to sleep in a position that’s keeping you awake, then you need to start experimenting and find a sleeping shape that suits you both. Maybe you can invent your own position, like ‘The Side by Side in Harmony’.
Who hasn’t had that 3am half-asleep-argument about duvet hogging? You know the one – the tug on the duvet and murmured incoherent phrases about being cold before the duvet is yanked from your body and you’re suddenly wide awake. Well, there’s two ways around this one: simply visit your nearest store and choose a duvet that’s actually larger than your bed size, so that there’s more cover for both of you. Or, go for separate duvet covers, which will work fine next to each other on a double bed.
Discover more about different duvet options.
Recent research suggests that there are psychological benefits to sharing your bed, so it’s definitely worth putting up with. Apparently, it makes us feel safer and more secure and lowers our cortisol – stress hormone – levels which, in turn, improves our mental health. It also increases our oxytocin – love hormone – levels which make us feel closer to our partner and more at ease.
It may not always be convenient to go to bed at the same time, but if you can synchronise your sleeping habits, there’s a far better chance of a more restful night for both of you. That way, you won’t have one person coming into the bedroom, turning lights on and making noise while the other one sleeps. Stage 1 sleep is the lightest, meaning you’ll be easily awoken during this time.
It’s a fact, not a cliché, that men are a lot more likely to snore than women, but, if either of you do snore, you should take steps to try and stop it. It might be worth a visit to the doctor to see if it’s a breathing problem they can help with, or whether there’s a simple solution such as not sleeping on your back, which can often cause snoring. One possible solution is an orthopaedic pillow, which encourages proper sleeping positions by keeping the neck in line with the spine.
An old and worn mattress is unlikely to be comfortable, and the same goes for a bed that’s simply not big enough. Your shared sleeping problems could perhaps be solved by an investment in what you’re actually sleeping on. Sleep is a time for relaxation and restoration. Let your body get its proper rest with a comfortable place to sleep!
Related – Sleeping Positions Guide
What are your tips for bed sharing? Have your say in the comments!