If you’re not sleeping well with your bed partner, you are not alone.
But it doesn’t have to be long-term problem. These tips should help.
Couples spend nearly one-third of their lives sleeping together, or at least trying to. With different sleep needs, preferences, and problems, it can be as much work trying to get a good night’s sleep together as it is getting through our waking hours.
While many partners can live happily together; they just can’t sleep well side by side. Research from the Better Sleep Council (BSC) found that on average, one in three Americans report that their partner’s sleep problems negatively impact their own quality of sleep. If your partner’s sleep style has you headed for a separate room, here are some tips that just might bring harmony back to the bedroom and into your relationship.
“Sleeping in a pose that lets you both stay comfortable and also allows for body contact helps strengthen your bond,” says Evany Thomas, author of The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide. She suggests these four sleeping positions, which will let you snuggle up and sleep better all night long:
Excalibur Back sleeper + side sleeper
If you’re the side sleeper, face your partner, but roll toward your back slightly to avoid waking up with an arm that’s still dead asleep. Back sleepers should keep their arms by their sides, not overhead, to reduce stress on the shoulders, says Scott D. Boden, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of the Emory Spine Center in Atlanta.
Sidesaddle Stomach sleeper + side sleeper
You love to cuddle; he complains that full-body contact makes him heat up like a toaster oven. With this setup, he gets space while you get skin-on-skin benefits. The stomach sleeper should place a small pillow under his tummy to take pressure off his back, Boden says.
Paper Dolls Back sleeper + back sleeper
Two back sleepers don’t have a lot of opportunity for snuggling, but a simple brush of the hands or a game of footsies can keep you connected. Facing each other makes this pose more romantic, Thomas says. “The daily last-glimpse exchange of drowsy eye contact creates closeness.”
Two side sleepers or people with lower back pain.
Sleeping on your side helps ease pressure on the spine, making this a good position for couples with back problems, says Todd Sinett, D.C., co-author of The Truth About Back Pain. Bending your knees and sticking a small pillow between them will also keep you from waking up with a stiff back and legs.
Bonus sleep tips for couples:
Couples who suspect one or both partners have a serious sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea should consult a physician.
Your child should sleep in his or her own room. More than 12% of married adults with children report typically sleeping with a child; a vast majority of these adults (81%) report having a sleep problem.
For couples that wake up at different times every morning, the earlier riser should purchase a vibrating alarm clock that fits beneath the pillow.
If one partner snores, first consult with your doctor to make sure they aren’t suffering from sleep apnea. The non-snoring partner should be sure to use the tried-and-true technique of wearing ear plugs.
Memory foam beds are great at reducing motion transfer between couples so when one partner tosses the other won’t be disturbed.
If you sleep with your dog, cat and significant other, beware that your pets can cause allergy problems and their shuffling, purring and barking can definitely disturb your sleep on a nightly basis.
Wear head phones if one partner likes to watch some TV or listen to their iPod before falling asleep.