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Pillow Talk Perfection: A Guide to Successful Co-Sleeping

Pillow Talk Perfection: A Guide to Successful Co-Sleeping
5 February 2024 Samantha Anderson

As we look to celebrate connection this Valentine’s Day, TEMPUR® sleep expert provides a guide to sharing your bed and says it’s OK to sleep separately sometimes to help the relationship.

TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor, Thomas Høegh Reisenhus shares a complete guide to the dos and don’ts of sharing a bed with your partner ahead of the annual celebration of love this Valentine’s Day, 14 February.

“Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep and time in bed before sleep, the perfect time to chat and be intimate with your partner away from the busyness of day-to-day life.

“In today’s hectic, modern world, quality one-on-one time can be hard to come by and unfortunately for many, sharing a bed with a partner is far from a sweet dream.

“From bed hogging or snoring, to tossing and turning and overheating, sharing a bed with a partner can easily lead to a nightmare of disrupted sleep, followed by a day of low energy and irritability.

“It doesn’t have to be this way though. With a few simple considerations or adjustments, both you and your partner could be on the path to better sleep and a more harmonious relationship.”

Read on for Thomas’ guide to successful co-sleeping with your partner…

Block out the noise

Having to put up with a partner who snores is undoubtedly one of the biggest bugbears in any relationship. In the UK, 42% of the UK adult population snore, with snoring impacting 30 million people as a result.

If you share a bed with a snorer there are some simple ways to ensure their snoring doesn’t have too much of an impact on your sleep. Investing in good quality ear plugs is a must, as is heading to bed slightly earlier than your partner so that you’ve already dozed off by the time they fall asleep and start snoring. If you’re the snorer, ensuring a peaceful night’s slumber will require some effort on your part. Nasal strips are a good place to start, whilst sleeping on your side and avoiding alcohol before bed can reduce the risk of snoring.

If snoring keeps you awake consistently or impacts mood or energy levels during the day, it’s time to visit the doctor to see if there’s an underlying health issue that could be the cause.

Keep your cool

The optimal temperature for sleep is cooler than many people realise – around 18° Celsius – but the tricky thing when co-sleeping is that everyone’s personal preference varies.

If you prefer to sleep in a warmer environment than your partner and find yourself getting too cold at night, make sure you have extra blankets you can easily pull on and off your side of the bed.

Alternatively, opt for separate duvets. The cooler sleeper can have a higher tog duvet to keep them warm, whilst the warmer sleeper can use a sheet or light duvet that won’t cause them to overheat.

Leave your clothes at the door

Whilst throwing on a cosy pair of pyjamas before jumping in bed is tempting, there are some benefits to sleeping naked. Sleeping in your birthday suit can help your core temperature cool faster, which is crucial for sleep and ultimately leads to better quality and quantity of sleep.

Research also suggests that sleeping naked may improve health, anxiety and self-esteem , whilst you’ll also enjoy increased intimacy with your partner – vital for any healthy relationship.

Give each other some space

Whether it’s overheating, fidgeting, or a noisy sleeper, many sleep sins can be improved simply by having a bit more distance between you and your partner.

Investing in a larger bed, and a mattress with motion absorption could be the solution.

Your mattress should adapt to your body, keeping your spine straight whilst absorbing pressure and relieving any painful areas or joints. There are many different types of mattress to choose from – sprung, memory foam, hybrid – and all with different levels of motion absorption, so it’s important to visit a store and discuss your needs with a trained expert before purchase.

Furry friends

Whilst you may enjoy sleeping with your pet on your bed (or is it the other way round?), it does little to promote intimacy between you and your partner. It also means contending with less space, additional noise, and fidgeting, which will inevitably cause disruption whilst you’re trying to get your beauty sleep.

If you find yourself struggling to co-sleep with both your partner and your pet, try encouraging your pet to sleep in another room. If you’re still kept awake at night, perhaps it’s time to encourage your partner to sleep elsewhere…

Consider a sleep divorce

A ‘sleep divorce’ – an arrangement whereby you and your partner sleep in separate rooms – could be the dream solution.

There is a growing body of research to suggest that because sleep is so important for mental and physical health, sleeping separately could be the key to a healthier relationship. In fact, for almost a century between the 1850s and 1950s, separate beds were seen as a healthier option for couples.

And it doesn’t have to be a permanent change. If you work Monday to Friday, perhaps it’s only necessary five nights a week. Weekend nights – when you don’t need to work the next day – can be spent enjoying the same sleep space. A sleep divorce could also be an occasional solution if one of you isn’t well so needs to ensure a quality night’s sleep to aid recovery, or if you have a big day at work ahead of you.

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Notes to editors:

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