Valentine’s Day is celebrated by many couples around the world, with people exchanging well thought out (or last minute) romantic gifts. However, when it comes to the perfect gift this February 14th, a better night’s sleep may be at the top of your significant other’s list.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, found that many of her clients come to her with issues regarding sleeping next to a partner. She found that couples can have difficulty sleeping if they fall into separate sleeping groups. Dr Nerina roughly categorises people into two sleeping groups: Sensitive Sleepers, who struggle to get to sleep and are easy to wake, and Martini Sleepers, who can sleep anywhere, anytime, any place. When a couple is comprised of both types, Dr Nerina found that the Martini Sleeper can cause trouble for the Sensitive Sleeper.
If you notice that your partner has a negative impact on your sleep, or vice versa, communication around these issues is the most effective way of solving them. Start the conversation about whether you’re both getting enough sleep in your current situation and whether there are things that either of you feel could help you get a better night’s sleep.
Following the conversation, either partner may have to make compromises to accommodate the other. These may only be small things such as turning the lights off earlier or turning the brightness of a phone down, but they could greatly improve the situation.
Dr Nerina highlights three adjustments to the bedroom that could help relieve the stress of trying to getting enough sleep. Firstly she recommends that a couple get the largest bed their room can accommodate. This is to try and prevent the movements of your other half impacting your sleep and allowing enough room for you to both sleep comfortably. Secondly, if you feel your partner is a ‘duvet-hogger’ it could be an idea to buy separate duvets for you to sleep with. Another solution could be adding some white noise to the bedroom such as a fan. This would eliminate the focus on noise made by your partner and could help relieve the impact they have on those who struggle to sleep.
Finally, Dr Nerina mentions that making the decision to spend a night apart isn’t a sign of weakness but could help each other around significant events. For example, if you have an important meeting or interview and know your partner will negatively impact your sleep, spending the night apart could essentially be the best option. Ultimately, Dr Nerina sees sleeping together as an important part of most relationships, but allowing each other some space now and then can be important for each other.
So this Valentines, start the conversation around sleep – but don’t forget a box of chocolates as well.