How to Sleep With a Partner
What Are the Benefits of Sleeping With a Partner?
Do you love the idea of having a bed partner next to you till death do you part? Or is the idea conjuring thoughts of interrupted sleep and a cramp in your sleep style?
It’s normal to fall into one of those camps, or even to have mixed feelings about sleeping with a partner. Research suggests it may support quality sleep, promote feelings of calm, improve your mood, reduce your stress levels, and strengthen your relationship with your partner. However, sharing a bed with them may also come with its challenges, (snoring, restlessness, or different sleep schedules are all commonly reported issues when it comes to sharing a bed).
Let’s take a closer look at how sleeping with a partner may benefit sleep, problems you may face, and solutions to tackle these problems so you can share a peaceful night’s rest with the one you love.
Benefits of Sleeping Next to Someone
If you’re considering sharing a bed with a partner, here are some of the benefits you may experience that impact your physical, psychological, and sleep health.
Improves Sleep Quality
Poor sleep may lead to other conditions such as excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, sluggishness, impaired physical and cognitive performance, and increased risk of chronic illnesses.
Sleeping with a partner may reduce your likelihood of experiencing poor sleep quality. Here’s why: sleeping with someone you love may make you feel secure, safe, and calm. Then, your body may be more relaxed to fall asleep and get a proper night’s rest.
A 2017 study suggests that sleeping with someone may improve sleep quality, duration, efficiency, and better sleep stages.
Plus, your partner may encourage you to develop sleep hygiene to improve your sleep health.
In a review published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, the authors noted that partners who sleep together motivate each other to engage in sleep-promoting behaviors like following a consistent sleep schedule, exercising during the day, and adhering to sleep medications.
Fall Asleep Faster
Sometimes you may find it difficult to fall asleep because your mind is wandering, or you may be worried about an issue.
When you share a bed with a partner, you may discuss your worries with them, and they may return it with affirmative words that may make you stop overthinking and feel better.
When you’re in a calmer state of mind, you may be able to fall asleep. Also, the reassuring presence of your partner may make you feel comfortable and relaxed enough so that sleeping comes easy to you every time you go to bed with them.
Spending time and being close to someone you love may make you feel on top of the world. When you’re in love with someone, the brain releases oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins. These hormones, also known as feel-good hormones, may make you feel happy, secure, and calm.
What’s more, a 2013 study suggests that physical touch may promote positive emotions and psychological well-being in partners.
Sleeping with your partner allows you to spend more time together and experience each other in new and more intimate ways.
Research also suggests that romantic affections such as holding your partner, cuddling and kissing may make it easier for the both of you to resolve fights when they occur.
Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone the brain produces in response to physical touch and intimacy with a loved one.
Evidence suggests that this hormone may help manage stress levels and anxiety symptoms. So if you struggle with having a quality sleep because of anxiety, sleeping with your partner may relieve your symptoms and help you get quality rest.
Problems Sleeping With Partners
Sharing a bed with someone is not always easy, especially when you have different sleep preferences and needs.
Sleep troubles associated with your partner can be a struggle and, in some cases, may lead to long-term issues. Finding a solution before the problem spirals out of control will leave you both snoozing happily.
Here are some common issues may bed partners express, and creative solutions to remedy them.
Partner Moves During Their Sleep
How big is your bed? Do you or your partner toss and turn or have restless legs? This may signify that you need a new and possibly bigger mattress.
Each sleeper may not have enough space to reach a comfortable position and constantly shift to find one. Queen size or larger will generally give you enough room to sleep soundly together.
Another aspect to consider is the mattress feeling too soft or too firm. Some compromise may need to happen, or you can invest in a mattress with different settings for each side of the bed. Similarly, mattresses that limit motion transfer can help if sleeping with a partner who moves a lot.
If your partner snores, you can explore various solutions in our SleepScore Store, such as sleep aid devices and snoring mouthguards.
Did you know that snoring sometimes needs to be taken more seriously than just annoying sounds? Some chronic snorers have sleep apnea, a common but potentially very dangerous sleep disorder that increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even heart failure.
Only medical experts can diagnose sleep apnea; if you think your partner might have sleep apnea, it’s worth their time to see a doctor. Possible signs include loud snoring or gasping, pauses in breathing, or shallow breaths while sleeping.
Different Bedding Preferences
Talk to each other about mattress firmness preferences, and then consult a mattress expert to find a mattress that suits you both. It could be a firmness that you both agree on, or it could be an adjustable one.
Partner Uses Electronics
If possible, ask your partner to avoid using light in the bedroom, including any electronics that emit light or sound, as it may also affect their sleep quality.
Another solution is to find a sleep mask that feels comfortable for you to sleep in. There are many different styles available in many kinds of fabrics.
Different Sleep Schedules
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here; it generally requires communication and compromise. Talk to one another and agree about what can be done to avoid disturbing the sleeping partner.
Using a white noise machine to help drown out noise, a sleep mask to block lights, and getting ready for bed in a separate room before heading to bed are some common solutions to help reduce possible distractions.
When a partner climbs into bed after you’ve been snoozing for a while, it can interrupt whatever sleep phase you’re in and cause tiredness the next day.
Different Room Temperature Preferences
Some people want to feel nice and cool while in bed, whereas others want to feel warm and cozy.
These personal preferences can vary and can change over time as we age. Splitting the blankets on the bed and using lighter or heavier blankets, electric blankets, cooling pillows, or specialty mattresses can help.
A possible compromise could be to plan time to cuddle before bed; this can help you relax before sleep without compromising comfort while you’re actively trying to sleep.
Everyone’s relationship is different, so communicate with your partner to find the right solutions for your situation. Making changes to get more sleep can be positive. Sleeping separately for short or even more extended periods could be another worthy solution. There’s no shame in making decisions you need to get enough sleep.
The Bottom Line: Do You Sleep Better With a Partner?
Like many things in life, sharing a bed with someone, whether they be a new special someone or a partner of many years, may take some trial and error to find the best recipe for success. Keeping the communication open between the two of you and expressing your needs is a critical component. Give, take, and compromise are also key until you both find a happy medium. Once you do, you’ll hopefully both enjoy the many benefits of sharing a bed together, and wake feeling rested and rejuvenated.