Despite our best intentions for romantic nights we don’t always get the sleep we need when sharing a bed. What are the facts and how can you get better sleep on Valentines Day with your bed partner?
Pros and cons of sharing a bed
Previous studies suggested people get more quality undisturbed sleep alone regardless of preference for sharing. More recent research suggests other benefits of sharing such as feelings of safety and security as well as lower levels of stress hormones outweigh the disturbed sleep (source). Men tend to sleep as well alone or with a partner; women are more sensitive to their environments and sleep better alone.
Sleeping separately is more common than you might expect
About 24% of couples sleep in separate rooms (source)… and 60% would prefer to sleep separately (source). Reasons for not sleeping well together vary from different preferences for when to go to bed, sleep positions, noise level, and temperature, to issues such as snoring and arguing.
How to get better sleep when sharing a bed
Other than the obvious practical solutions such as better or separate mattresses, you can improve your natural ability to sleep soundly together whatever your situation. If you’d love to be able to share a bed but it makes you anxious, or if one of you disturbs the other, try these tips for more romantic relaxing time together:
Practice relaxing together regularly to achieve deeper sleep
It sounds obvious but sometimes you have to practice or re-learn how to relax. In today’s society we move at a fast pace with constant stimulation. This has resulted in a reduction in our brainwave flexibility. During the day when we concentrate, we are in a beta brainwave state. When we relax we go into the slower alpha brainwave state. When we are deeply relaxed (almost asleep) we go into theta. If the brain cannot transition between these states easily, we lose our ability to be able to shift gears, slow down our brainwaves, and enter the delta brainwave state of sleep.
“By regularly spending time doing relaxing activities that slow the brainwaves, we can improve brainwave flexibility and achieve deeper sleep more easily”
With increased brainwave flexibility, we’re able to sleep more deeply, which makes us less likely to be woken up by our partner’s tossing and turning during the night.
Create a state of bliss in your daily life
Schedule regular relaxation and time out to slow your mind down” says Elina “ not just before bed but during the day too – away from screens and notifications. Go for romantic walks, picnics or swims; get out into nature. Try a bath with candles and theta brainwave music. The more bliss you can create together on a regular basis, the better you’ll sleep. It is much easier to fall asleep with natural dopamine and melatonin (made from serotonin) in our bodies, than it is to fall asleep with stress hormones in our bodies.