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Sharing a Bed: Sweet Dreams or Sleepless Nights?

Sleep Advice
January 25, 2024

Whether you're new to cohabiting or long-term partners, the question of how to share a bed can be both a source of intimacy and friction. 

Physical closeness releases love hormones, reduces stress and encourages feelings of contentment. However, sharing a bed isn’t without its difficulties. Here, we delve into why that is and share our tips for sleeping next to someone. 

Why is it hard to sleep next to someone?

Sharing a bed can be hard for several reasons, each depending on personal circumstances and preferences:

  • Different sleep schedules: Whether it’s due to working different hours or you’re an early bird and your partner is night owl, having different schedules can be disruptive for sleep.
  • Sleeping habits and movements: Our sleeping patterns are unique. Some people toss and turn, snore, talk, or even walk in their sleep. These movements or noises can disturb a light sleeper or someone not used to sharing a bed. 
  • Temperature preferences: People often have different preferences for sleeping temperatures. One might prefer a cooler environment while the other likes it warmer.
  • Different mattress and pillow preferences: A mattress or pillow that is perfect for one person might be uncomfortable for the other. 

Does sharing a bed affect sleep?

Noise and movements from a partner can be very disruptive to sleep, especially if it continually happens. Similarly, if you throw snoring into the mix, you and your partner may end up feeling irritable and tired the next day.

But, fear not, there are ways to adapt to improve you and your partner’s sleeping patterns.

How to sleep comfortably with your partner

Acknowledge and adjust

If one of you is a light sleeper or has a different sleep schedule, find ways to accommodate. Consider earplugs, eye masks, or even separate blankets to ensure both of you get the rest you need.

Comfort compromises

Find a middle ground in your sleep preferences be it mattress firmness, pillow types, or bedroom temperature. The key to a good night's sleep is a comfortable environment for both.

Talk about it

Open and honest discussions about what's working and what isn't can lead to practical solutions that improve your sleep experience.

Track and understand your sleep

Building a picture of your patterns with Sleepwave can help you discover what affects your sleep. If snoring is an issue, our sister app SnoreLab helps people keep track of their snoring and discover solutions to improve it. 

Know when to adapt 

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. If sharing a bed is severely impacting your sleep quality, consider alternate arrangements like separate sleeping. Prioritizing sleep doesn’t mean sacrificing intimacy; it means valuing each other’s well-being.

Closing thoughts

Sharing a bed with your partner can be a journey of discovery and, in many cases, these issues can be addressed with compromise and communication. As you turn off the lights tonight, remember that the key is working out what is best for you both.

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