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5 common bed-sharing problems that affect sleep (and how to solve them)

For more than half of people, sharing a bed with their partner is their preferred way of getting a good night’s rest, according to 2017 research by the Sleep Council. However, these results also found that 50% of disturbances were caused by issues related to sleeping in the same bed.

With UK Marriage Week around the corner (7–14 February), there’s no better time to take a look at the topic of bed-sharing. In this article, we aim to investigate the importance of bed-sharing for your health and quality of sleep, as well as looking at five common problems and how you can go about solving them. Read on to find out more.

The benefits of sharing a bed with a partner

Though it may seem simple on the surface, sleeping with a partner — also known as dyadic sleep — can have far-reaching physiological and emotional benefits.

One perk of sleeping with a partner is the sense of safety and security. This can affect our bodies by lowering the level of stress hormones, like cortisol, and increasing oxytocin, the love hormone. This balance helps us to relax and actively promotes healthy sleep.

Dyadic sleeping can encourage couples to go to bed at the same time, which can also affect sleep quality. Co-habiting partners can act as each other’s social timekeepers: making sure that mealtimes, as well as morning and evening rituals, are undertaken together. This can have a significant impact on our internal body clocks by syncing them up. In fact, one study found that couples who had matching sleeping patterns benefited from better sleep quality.

Sleeping with a partner can help to strengthen a relationship by building and maintaining intimacy and emotional connection, too. Research by the Gottman Institute found that a loss of these essential qualities can lead to marriages ending at around the 10- to 12-year mark. Time in bed before sleep is key for conversation and cuddling, and a loss of this can lead to people drifting apart, according to Psychology Today.

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Now that we’ve established the benefits that dyadic sleeping can offer, it’s time to look at some of the stumbling blocks that can prevent couples from enjoying them. Snoozing with a partner isn’t always perfect, and there can often be a lot of give and take in finding the right balance. Here are some of the most common issues, as well as some things you can do to solve them.

Someone is a snorer

Snoring is one of the classic cases of one person keeping their partner awake. But, rather than just suffering through a sleepless night or sleeping elsewhere, it’s better to look at what might be triggering the problem — read our blog post about the causes of snoring for more information.

If the cause is not a medical condition, snoring can sometimes be remedied by a lifestyle change, such as drinking less alcohol before bed or losing weight. Another solution that can sometimes help is getting the snorer to switch to side-sleeping to make breathing easier. Should they struggle to get comfortable on their side, try our Octaspring mattresses, toppers, or pillows to improve support.

Someone is a cover hog

Another classic cause of sleep disturbance, sharing a bed with someone who hogs the covers can keep you awake, irritated, and cold. This can be a particular problem during the winter months, or if you like to keep your room at the 16–18°C recommended for healthy sleeping.

There are two easy ways to solve this problem. Firstly, you could invest in two single duvets (or an extra double duvet if your bed is big enough) so that when they pull on the covers they won’t be hogging yours. The other option is to upgrade to a bigger king-size or super king-size duvet, which will allow you enough room to stay under even if they decide to pull on it.

Someone is a screen junkie

If your partner is one of those people who needs to stay connected on their phone, tablet, or laptop right until their last waking moment of the day, the light from their screen might be keeping you awake. Blue light emitted from these devices can trick our brains into staying alert, so bringing them to bed can interfere with both of your sleep.

The fix for this problem is simple: make your bedroom a no-screen zone and stick to it — feel free to explain the science behind the ban to get them to agree.

Someone can’t get to sleep

We’ve all had sleepless nights where we can’t quite put our finger on what’s keeping us awake, but it can be worse if you have a partner who’s kept awake as a result of your tossing and turning. Rather than ignoring the problem and hoping it passes, it’s worth taking action.

There are a number of things you can do to promote sleep, and our blog post about naturally boosting your rest is a great place to start. However, if this is a problem that is occurring on a regular basis, then the cause might be more serious and worth speaking to a specialist about.

Someone habitually hits snooze

If you get up later than your partner, it can be irritating if they hit the snooze button on their alarm over and over. The best solution is to sync up your waking-up times, so no one ever gets awoken by the other’s alarm. This might mean staggering your bed times so each person gets the hours they need. Another option is investing in a personal vibrating alarm for whoever gets up earlier.

As you can see, sleeping together in the same bed can be very beneficial and there are plenty of ways to work around any issues.

If you have any questions or would like help creating the best environment for sleep, then get in touch. Our blog and advice centre are also great places to get extra information.

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