Physiotherapist and sleep expert Sammy Margo explains how to share a bed without losing sleep:
What to do: One thing you might want to do if your partner snores is to record him or her snoring. A regular tape recorder or video camera will do. Often the first steps in coping with snoring is getting the snorer to believe there is a problem.
With the evidence in your hands, you can move on to fixing the problem. Another strategy is to go to bed first. If you are in deeper stages of sleep when your partner comes to bed, his or her snoring is less likely to interrupt your sleep.
Problem: Restless sleepers
What to do: Your partner could have restless leg syndrome or a related condition called periodic limb movement during sleep so a check up at the GP is advised to rule this out.
If allergies are the problem antihistamines can be the answer or simply cleaning your bedroom and airing your bed more during the day.
Check out too that you aren’t using washing powders that are causing irritations. Buying a bigger bed makes sense. Many standard double beds are simply too small so buy the biggest bed you can.
If this isn’t possible try a mattress that zips down the middle or try putting two single mattresses on one bed; this way you are far less likely to be woken with a kick.
Problem: Differences in body heat
What to do: The obvious answer is to buy and use separate single duvets. You can then both choose the duvet weight and comfort level that you want. Don’t forget to that a cool room is optimal for good sleep. Wearing lightweight natural fibres such as cotton in bed will also help regulate body heat.
Problem: You're a lark, they're an owl
What to do: Replace any bedside lamps with reading lights as they are less disruptive.You should also both invest in an eye mask to block out all light. If you’re a lark and your partner is an owl it’s probably best if only your partner wears the ear plugs.
This is because one of you needs to be able to hear an alarm and it’s easier for a lark to sleep through when an owl goes to bed than it is for an owl to sleep through when a lark gets up.
We sleep more lightly in the second half of the night, so if one of you gets up early, the other is likely to wake more easily.
Larks who sleep with owls should also try to put their clothes out ready in another room so that they don’t rustle around in the morning when they are getting dressed.
Owls should return the favour at night by getting ready for bed in another room. Pay attention also to the layout of your bedroom so that an owl does not have to pass the lark’s side of the bed at night.
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