Getting used to sharing a bed already takes quite some doing, but what if your partner’s snoring keeps you awake or they tug at the duvet or toss and turns all night?
1 Make it clear that whatever the cause of the sleep problem, it’s both your responsibility. Don’t alienate your partner by saying it’s their problem – refer to it as “our problem” and try to solve it together.
2 If your partner snores: According to the National Sleep Association 37 million adults in America snore regularly. Try to avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed as it can put extra strain on airways. Also try to sleep on your side. If this doesn’t help it’s worthwhile consulting a sleep doctor as snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea.
3 If kids keep you up at night: If you and your partner can’t agree on how to cope with a child who has had a bad dream or wet his bed it could cause conflict. Discuss the problem during the day and not in the bedroom and try to reach a compromise. Decide if you’ll let the child get into bed with you and how to share the responsibility of getting up at night and comforting the youngster.
4 You go to bed and get up at different times: Discuss this and reach a compromise. Promise each other that whoever goes to bed later or gets up earlier will make as little noise as possible. Arrange a time for chatting or being intimate in the morning or evening that won’t interfere with either of your sleep patterns.
5 Your partner can’t sleep due to stress: Stress can cause your partner to lie awake at night but partners often experience stress at different times. Try not to discuss things that worry you just before you go to bed. Avoid stimulants such as gassy drinks, chocolate and coffee for at least four hours before going to bed.
6 You prefer a dark room but your partner likes keeping the light on. Buy a low-voltage lamp that’s not too bright or a reading light that you can clamp to a book and that can be trained on one person. Invest in a good mask to keep the light out.
7 You enjoy cuddling up but your partner wants space when asleeping. Agree to cuddle until the one who enjoys it falls asleep. Then the other partner can have all the space they want. Or agree on a set 10 or 15 minutes of cuddling and chatting before going to sleep.
8 Your partner wants to fall asleep with the TV on and you prefer silence. Set the TV to switch of automatically 15 or 30 minutes after the partner who likes it on has fallen asleep. If you can’t block out the noise completely agree to set the volume as low as possible and keep a fan next to you that will block out the noise from the TV. Also invest in a good set of earplugs.
9 Your partner pulls off the duvet: Invest in two duvets. It’s hard for one partner to tug at both duvets.
10 Your partner tosses and turns: It helps to invest in at least a queen-size bed so your partner’s moving around doesn’t disturb you. Also try to keep various pillows on the bed to ward of any blows when your partner is thrashing about.
Sources: time.com, abcnews.com, i village.com