I love living with my man and sharing a bed with him, but on a grander scale, I don’t love sharing a bed with anyone. It’s kind of a catch 22, because I take so much comfort from him that now I can’t really sleep when he isn’t home. I keep waking up reaching over and hoping to find him there, and realizing he isn’t. I get my best sleep when he is next to me, and yet at the same time when I was single, I got my best sleep when I could sleep alone. Can you see how this would be frustrating? It gets worse. My partner is a bad sleeper too. We have both always been bad sleepers. We take forever to fall asleep, we will wake up at the tiniest sound or movement, and we both need to get up to go to the restroom a lot during the night. For this reason, a lot of our arguments are just about who disturbed whom during the night and why we are asleep deprived. Ultimately it is nobody’s fault. We are both just bad sleepers. If you share a bed with another bad sleeper, here are some tips to survive it.
Get separate blankets.
It may not seem romantic, but if you have separate blankets, it makes a world of a difference. I personally wake up every time my partner adjusts if we share a blanket. Getting separate blankets fixed that.
Have a stiff mattress.
If you are bad sleepers, you cannot afford a bouncy mattress. Even though that might be a bit more comfortable, it will also result in you waking up every time your partner moves.
Better yet, get two mattresses.
Consider getting two twin mattresses, and putting them side-by-side inside a queen frame. Between two mattresses and two blankets you will never disturb each other’s sleep. But you can still roll over and snuggle.
Use a white noise machine.
If tiny noises wake you up, like your partner adjusting, or your partner flushing the toilet, get a white noise machine. If you cannot agree on a noise, you can always just use a loud fan.
Save some water.
When I mean by that, is have a rule that you do not flush the toilet in the middle the night. If it is yellow, let it mellow. You will save water, and you won’t wake each other up by flushing the toilet.
Cut liquids early.
Encourage each other to stay away from liquids after certain hour. That last beer might sound nice, but it will also mean waking up to go to the bathroom every couple of hours and waking up each other.
Don’t close doors.
Here is another helpful rule. Do not close doors in middle of night. If one of you has to use the restroom, don’t close the door. Don’t close the door to use the restroom and don’t close the door when you are done using the restroom. If you are sensitive to sound, this will just wake you both up.
Choose your bedroom carefully.
If you are still setting up your home, and you have the luxury of multiple rooms (a great feature for couples living together), identify which room is the quietest. In my apartment, for example, we have two bedrooms. One sits above the corridor where all the other apartment doors are. That makes it a rather loud area, as people come and go from their homes there. So we put the master bedroom on the other side of the apartment, over an alley. There is not much noise back there.
Prep the room early.
So you may not go to bed at the same time, but you can prepare the room at the same time. What I mean is, if you have certain routines you do to get the room ready to sleep, do these even if you are not ready to go to bed, if your partner is going to bed before you. I, for example, need the blinds closed in order to sleep well. My partner could go either way on that, but when he announces he’s going to sleep, I close the blinds. That way I don’t have to wake him up by closing them when I come to bed.
Promise to respect each other‘s sleep.
For many people, it’s just the anxiety that a partner may wake them up that keeps them up at night. Promise each other that you will respect each other’s sleep. Promise that you will take all precautions to be quiet and not disturb each other. Just knowing this could put your mind at ease and help you sleep.
Put alarms on vibrate.
If you don’t have the same schedule, you don’t want your alarm waking up your partner or vice a versa. So rather than letting your alarm ring, put it on vibrate, and put it under your pillow. That way you will feel it but your partner will not hear it.
Hi fidelity your plugs.
It is time to graduate from those orange and pink foam your plugs given out on airplanes. Invest in some great earplugs, the kind that concert workers use to protect their eardrums while standing by loudspeakers all day. I am telling you, you can’t hear construction work with these.
Prepare for interruptions.
If you or your partner receive regular packages, have a sign on your front door that asks the delivery personnel not to ring the doorbell or knock. Instruct them to simply leave the package on the porch, so they do not wake up your sleeping partner.
Don’t have children.
Okay I am half joking but I am half serious. If you are already such a terrible sleepers without children, you will not sleep a wink once you have kids. It may literally be the decline of your relationship. Just saying.
Get a smart bed.
If a lot of your arguments are about temperature, invest in this. You can adjust the temperature on either side of the bed, essentially creating separate climates. Now there will be no more fighting about using the air conditioner or the heater.