Each morning my wife and I had a ritual. I asked her how she slept over a cup of coffee. Lately, her answer was usually the same, “Not good.” So was mine. Lack of quality sleep was causing an issue. We both played a part in our sleep problems. While it was true that my snoring was disrupting my wife’s sleep, her constant tossing and turning wasn’t doing me any favors either. My wife was cranky and stressed out, so was I and our intimacy was suffering from it.
In the case of men, one of the biggest issues is snoring, which tends to keep a lot of women awake. This is a disaster for women because they need more sleep than men. And men have issues sleeping as well, though this is usually because of their partners. With men and women seemingly at odds when it comes to sleep, you might be thinking that sleeping in separate bedrooms is a solution. Think again. Sleeping in separate bedrooms can damage the health of your relationship, as much as not getting enough quality sleep.
So what can one do? Well, I put together a list of solutions to common couple sleep problems that will keep you and your partner in the same bed, resting peacefully and more fulfilled in your relationship. But keep in mind that it takes two to tango!
If you’re the one snoring, begin with altering the way you sleep. Snoring tends to occur more often when people sleep on their backs so try sleeping on your side instead (I know it’s harder than it seems). If you smoke and/or you’re more on the overweight side, quitting smoking and losing weight can substantially improve your health and your snoring. Also, allergies and the flu could be keeping you congested at night so consult with your doctor to see if the former is an issue, and treat the latter.
Before going to bed avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives. Plus, you can try one of those anti-snore plasters – these might not work for everyone, but they might work for you. Finally, if none of these solutions will make a substantial difference, your partner can always wear quality earplugs in order to get quality sleep.
Twisting and Turning
One of the best things you can do to prevent this from becoming an issue is to buy a better and bigger mattress. Mattresses with memory foam toppers go a long way in preventing tossing and turning; not just by alleviating pressure points for the person who is doing the tossing and turning, but by preventing the propagation of movement to the partner’s side of the bed as well.
Additionally, if the tossing and turning of your partners is due to the fact that he/she is too hot under the covers you’re using, opting for two separate quilts/blankets is a great solution. Using two quilts/blankets also helps if you usually wake up without any cover due to all the tossing and turning of your partner.
Different Sleeping Hours
Partners don’t always like to go to bed at the same time (especially because women need more sleep, remember?). So, if watching TV or movies on the laptop is an issue, seriously think about moving these items out of the bedroom; besides disturbing your partner, having technology and/or electronics in your bedroom is detrimental to your sleep and health as well. But if you don’t want to give up the TV or computer, then try using earplugs if you’re watching a movie or videos, while your partner can use a sleeping mask and earplugs. If one partner wants to read before sleep, get a reading light that will not disturb the other.
Waking up in the middle of the night
If you’re the one getting up in the middle of the night, you have to ask yourself what is the reason behind this. If you usually wake up feeling thirsty, keep a glass of water on the nightstand, so you don’t have to get out of bed to get hydrated. If you usually get up to use the bathroom, try to drink the majority of your liquids in the afternoon and keep drinks in the evening to a minimum. Also, make sure to use the bathroom before going to bed. If these don’t help a memory foam mattress topper can help not to wake up your partner when getting out of or into bed (and change the squeaky floors and fix the squeaky door as well :)).
I’m pleased to say that my wife and I eventually solved our sleep issues by communicating what actions of one another keeps us from having a good night’s sleep and by making sacrifices for the other. If you want to solve your sleep issues and your relationship, you have to be willing to do the same.