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How to Sleep Better with a Partner

Couple sleeping comfortably in bed together, snuggled up
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

It’s not always easy to share a bed with someone. Even if you’ve been together for years, you may still struggle with issues like snoring, blanket theft, and tossing and turning. Here’s how to sleep more comfortably.

Whether you’re not sleeping well, or you feel like your relationship is being negatively affected by the sleep habits of your significant other, there are some things you can do. Consider these tips to make you both more comfortable.

Use Separate Blankets

If one of the issues you have at night is keeping blankets on you (or stealing them all for yourself), consider using separate blankets. You may even want two different top sheets.

If you have a large quilt that is bigger than your bed, there is a chance that you may be able to share it without one of you being left uncovered by morning time, even with one partner tossing and turning (taking bits of the blanket with them along the way). But if even the larger blanket won’t cut it,  keep your spare backup blanket on hand, just in case.

Pick the Right Mattress

Your significant other may not be the issue at all when it comes to why you’re not sleeping at night. It could have everything to do with your mattress! One of you might sleep well while the other sleeps horribly because that mattress is only right for one of you.

There are a few different mattress options that may help you both feel comfortable in the same bed. A couple of those choices include Sleep Number beds and memory foam mattresses.

  • Sleep Number beds allow the person on each side of the bed to change the firmness of the mattress to a “number” that works for them. The mattress uses air pressure.
  • Memory foam mattresses are quite popular with couples and for a good reason. Unlike traditional innerspring mattresses that can transfer movement from one side to the other, memory foam tends to be very good at isolating movement so that when your partner tosses about you don’t feel like you’re on a boat.

Consider a White Noise Machine or Earplugs

If a snoring partner is what’s keeping you up at night, a change in mattresses won’t make a difference. What will make a difference is either dealing with the snoring issue or finding a way to mask it.

Before you start finding ways to ignore your partner’s snoring, it’s worth investigating the cause. While snoring itself isn’t inherently harmful, there can be underlying medical causes like severe allergies or sleep apnea. If your partner snores loudly, frequently, or stops breathing while snoring, it’s worth seeking the advice of a medical professional.

Medical concerns aside, you can do things to block out the noise so you can sleep. First, try earplugs. These work for some people, but they don’t completely block out the sound. Noise-canceling headphones are also great, but you’ll need to hunt around for a pair that are comfortable for sleeping in. Over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones might be great for airplanes but not so great for sleeping on—you might find noise-canceling earbuds work better for your nighttime routine.

Many people find, whether they’re trying to block out traffic sounds or snoring, that white noise machines work well to help them sleep through the din.

Agree on Sleeping Positions

Sometimes getting to sleep at night when your partner is glomming all over you is difficult. Some people like to snuggle, even in their sleep. Others want to be left alone when they’re in bed.

If one of you is a cuddler and the other isn’t, find a way to work out a compromise. Have a ten-minute cuddling session when you go to bed, and then separate for actual sleep time. Or perhaps even save the snuggling for a wake-up routine if one of you, say, reads before bed and doesn’t appreciate the snuggling blocking the view of their book.

Agree on how much space each of you gets, as well. Some people take up the entire bed when they sleep, pushing their partner out. In this case, you may need to come up with another answer to your sleeping issues—which could mean sleeping separately.

Is It Time for Separate Beds or Separate Bedrooms?

There’s a chance that your relationship may fare better if the two of you sleep separately. There’s nothing wrong with not sharing a bed, even in a marriage. There have been studies that have shown the benefits of sleeping separately for couples who have problems getting a good night’s sleep together.

While sleeping in the same bed helps build intimacy, there was a time when it was common for couples to sleep in separate beds or completely separate bedrooms. Sleeping apart won’t end your relationship, especially if you take the time to talk about why sleeping together doesn’t work for the two of you. You may even find that getting a good night’s sleep in separate beds gives you more energy to spend time with your partner.

Whether you adopt one or all of our tips, even a few adjustments can start you on the path to a better night’s sleep without resorting to retreating to the couch for some peace, quiet, and an unstolen blanket.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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