Tips to help you share your bed
Sharing our bed isn’t always easy; just because you care about someone does not mean that you will sleep well with them. Sleep is a vital part of our overall health, according to The National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on our ability to function during the day It “can cause problems with learning, focusing, and reacting. You may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, remembering things, controlling your emotions and behaviour, and coping with change.” If you’ve had to sleep next to a snorer, a kicker or an over-heater then you are going to want to keep on reading.
One of the first things to consider is how fast you fall asleep; does it take a few hours or a few minutes? The reason why your partner may pass out while you are stuck counting sheep for 3 hours depends on sleep onset latency – how long it takes you to fall asleep each night. Factors that can affect SOL include but by no means restricted to our level of fatigue and stress. If every time you hit the pillow you find your mind racing with your daily stressors, then it could be time to adopt some relaxation techniques. Try the simple breathing technique by Harvard University called the “Breathe Focus” technique:
“In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations.”
If you are waking up feeling fatigued, a great way to measure sleep performance is with a sleep tracker. Sleep trackers like the Fitbit help you improve your sleep quality by letting you know where you are coming up short and provides you with suggestions on how to adjust for those shortcomings.
If waking up is causing you the most problems, try switching out your jolting alarm for a more gentle gradual wake up approach. According to ABC News, “Waking up abruptly can cause higher blood pressure and heart rate. Besides increasing your blood pressure, an alarm can add to your stress levels by getting your adrenaline rushing.” One great alternative to the frantic beeps of the past is the Philips Smart Sleep Light Therapy Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation. This clock wakes you up slowly by simulating sunlight on your face and is a “clinically proven light therapy lamp and alarm clock for improving your sleep, energy, and well-being”.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into how to optimize our co-sleeping experience:
How to sleep together when: They are a stomach sleeper and you are a back sleeper
Pillows are a key component to a good night’s rest, but to know if a pillow will work for you, you need to first know your sleep position, (stomach, back or side). Do not let your partner’s pillows’ preferences determine your level of comfort, after all, pillows are as personal as perfume. If you don’t get the chance to try before you buy, here are a few of our pillow recommendations:
How to sleep together when: They like the lights on and you like them off
Some like to wake up to bright sunlight and chirping birds, while others repel the morning sun like Dracula. If you need complete darkness to sleep but blackout curtains are not an option then it’s time to invest in a good sleep mask. Sleep masks can make the difference between 6 and 8+ hours of sleep; but take our advice and make sure you set a good alarm.Here are some optimal sleep mask suggestions:
How to sleep together when: You both need space
When your bed starts to feel crowded and those cute little sleep ticks turn into sleep kicks, it may be time to question whether or not the size of your bed is right for you. Although a mattress is a big-ticket purchase it is worth investing in a good one. We recommend going as big as your space will allow.
How to sleep together when: They snore and you’re a light sleeper
For all the people out there that have found themselves in bed with a muffler, just know that you are not alone. If you are at your whits end and those nose strips are proving ineffective, then you will want to continue reading. No, you don’t have to find another partner, we recommend instead grabbing a set of noise-blocking earplugs. Trust us, this works.
How to sleep together when: you like it hot and they like it cold
Of all the suggestions we’ve made so far this one is truly a hack. Two words: separate comforters. That’s it. There is no need to sweat under a heavy duvet or freeze under a top sheet. By choosing separate comforters you will be able to customize your sleeping experience.
We live in a busy world full of mind-occupying distractions, it’s no surprise that a lot of us find it hard to switch off at the end of the day. When seeking that restorative rem-filled sleep that we desire it is important to take a critical look at our sleep hygiene. According to the CDC, our sleep hygiene are those “good sleep habits that can help us get a good night’s sleep.” This includes having a consistent bedtime, choosing a quiet environment, turning off our devices at bedtime, setting a comfortable temperature and avoiding caffeine after 4 pm. This means a good night’s sleep really starts during the day; far before any pillow talk begins. Sleep is the foundation of our wakeful lives, so make sleep a priority and not just an obligation. Sit down and devise a sleep strategy with your partner that will help you both to optimize your sleep experiences. Believe us when we say: “Better sleep = Better life”.