Every couple has different experiences in sharing a bed with their partner. For most, it helps them sleep better, but it is pretty challenging for some. If you can relate to the latter, don’t worry! There are ways to improve your sleep as a couple, which we will dive into after we tackle the benefits and challenges of sharing a bed with your partner.
Benefits of Sleeping as a Couple
Multiple studies unveiled how those who shared a bed with their partner could fall asleep faster, sleep longer and experience improved sleep quality. Below are other great benefits of sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Stress Levels
Research revealed that those who cuddled and slept next to their partners generally have higher oxytocin levels (a.k.a “love hormone”) that help reduce blood pressure and the primary stress hormone called cortisol.
Strengthens The Immune System
In relation to the previous benefit, sleeping together can reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system due to lower cortisol levels.
Boosts Your Happiness
Your body releases a happy hormone called “dopamine” when you sleep with the person you love, making you feel more optimistic.
Syncs Your Schedule
Sharing an identical sleep schedule with your partner maximises your awake time, allowing more quality time together if your schedules allow.
Sharing a bed with your partner for sleep and non-sleep-related activities is vital in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship.
Common Sleep Problems Couples Face
Snoring is the most common sleep problem couples experience. Not only does it disrupt the sleep of the non-snorer, but it affects the sleep quality of the snorer as well. A study determined that habitual snoring happens in around 57% of men and 40% of women. Snoring can be caused by health issues like obesity and sleep apnea or natural reasons like being a middle-aged or older man and a postmenopausal woman.
This is another sleep issue most partners face. Blanket-stealing typically happens when a couple shares a blanket that is not large enough, especially if the other wants the entire sheet to themselves.
Clashing Temperature Preferences
One likes to sleep with the air conditioning cranked up. The other wants to use only an electric fan. Having different temperature preferences is one of the common sources of tension in a relationship because nobody wants to sleep feeling too hot or too cold. Although experts agree that a cooler room promotes better sleep, that doesn’t mean that you or your partner has to suffer sleeping in a temperature they’re not comfortable with.
Different Sleep Schedules
This becomes an issue when the “night owl” partner does things that could disturb one’s sleep, like turning on the lights, watching the TV with the volume too high or using their electronic gadgets in bed while the sleeping partner snoozes. Research also suggests that partners with different sleep-wake times have less marital satisfaction than couples with the same bedtime.
Incompatible Sleep Positions
No matter how much we love our partner, we must admit that it is annoying when their arm or leg unintentionally hits us during sleep because of their position. This could put the disturbed partner in a bad mood in the morning because they didn’t get proper sleep during the night, which may cause friction in the relationship.
Wrong Mattress Choice
Some mattress issues among couples who share a bed include different preferences in firmness, insufficient mattress size and poor support. It is essential to invest in a good mattress that meets both partners’ needs.
Sleep Tips for Couples
Manage Underlying Health Issues
Seeking help from a health specialist for issues that disrupt sleep like sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and others, will greatly help improve a couple’s sleep quality. By asking for a professional’s advice, you’ll also mitigate the risk of your symptoms worsening over time.
Consider Using Sleep DevicesIdeally, we would fall asleep naturally. But there’s also nothing wrong with using bedtime devices if that would help us sleep better. Eye masks, ear plugs, nasal strips, headphones and a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine are some examples of sleep devices that minimise sleep disturbance in couples at night.
Have Your Own BlanketsThis idea is perfect for those with a partner who “steals” the blanket at nighttime. You are still sharing a bed, but you won’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night with the blanket gone.
Adjust The TemperatureModifying the temperature can be tricky, but it’s not impossible to resolve this problem. An easy solution to this is keeping the air conditioner at a minimal temperature for the partner who gets cold easily. Meanwhile, you can place a fan on the hot sleeper’s side of the room for extra coolness. If both partners are hot sleepers, opt for a mattress or sheets with cooling technology.
Respect Each Other’s Sleep PatternsIf it’s difficult to match your partner’s sleep schedule, try your best to minimise noise and light usage when your other half has already dozed off. If it’s a part of your bedtime routine to read a book, watch a movie or listen to music in the bedroom, turn down the brightness of your gadgets or use earphones.
Try Different Sleep PositionsEveryone has their preferred sleep positions, but as partners, it is important to compromise for each other. Be open to trying out different sleep positions that you and your partner find cozy. Remember that your sleep position doesn’t define the status of your relationship – so don’t feel pressured to find a snuggling or cuddling position if it’s uncomfortable.
Invest in a Good Mattress For CouplesHaving the perfect mattress that meets both partners’ needs makes a significant difference in sleeping soundly. Opting for a mattress that reduces motion transfer if you are sharing a bed is generally recommended, but we understand that everyone has unique needs. Before you buy a new mattress, do some research on how to pick the ideal mattress for a couple or take the mattress selector quiz.