Sleep Problems When Sharing A Bed - Help & Advice

First added 27th October 2021

By Sophia Rimmer

5 min read

Relationship experts believe the key to a healthy marriage is sleeping together each night. Psychologists say that sharing a bed can increase REM sleep - a good quality type of sleep that’s undisrupted. This is because lying next to your partner can promote feelings of safety.

But, what if you have trouble sharing a bed? What if you're sleep-incompatible? Don't worry you're not the only person to have experienced sleep problems. Here, we are going to explore them and help you find a solution to sleeping better, together.


Adjusting to a shared bed

If you're in a new relationship, it's common to have sleep troubles adjusting to a different sleeping arrangement. Firstly, you may experience feelings of anxiety, our brains may perceive the company of our partner as a threat. There's no quick fix to this but over time, naturally, you'll become accustomed to your loved one's presence.

Another problem here is the change in your environment. Smells, noises, lighting and even being in a different bed can keep your body awake at night. Again, give yourself some time to adjust to your new sleeping space.


Snoring and sleep apnea

For many couples, sleep apnea and snoring are common sleep problems. In fact, nearly half of us snore every night. If you do sleep with a loud snorer, try going to bed a little earlier than them to beat the noise! Or, you could try earplugs, listening to white noise or music to help you fall asleep.

Here are some self-help remidies you can try to improve snoring:

  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Sleep on your side
  • Sleep on a incline
  • Make sure you consult your GP if you're worried about sleep apnea and snoring

Bed size

Your bed size is an important consideration when sharing a bed. And should be tailored to your height and weight. A bed that doesn't provide sufficient space for you to sleep comfortably is a sleep problem. Sleeping together is an intimate experience but you still need to be able to stretch your legs. If you co-sleep in a small double bed or double bed and space is an issue, consider a larger bed size. Simple!

Explore our spacious range of king size beds and super king beds - perfect for couples.

Sleep schedules - the early bird vs. the night owl

Everybody has their own circadian rhythms - an internal body clock that influences the time we fall asleep and wake up. And, even though you may have an opposing sleep schedule to your partner, sleep experts say that you should not adapt to be in sync. This can lead to further problems at bedtime.



"Night owls who try to go to bed too early often end up with insomnia, for example, because the pressure to sleep when the body is not ready triggers anxiety and frustration," says Dr. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and author of The Good Sleeper.

Different room temperature preferences

We all have an ideal sleep environment: the perfect room temperature, mattress comfort grade, number of pillows, lighting, the list goes on. But sometimes when you're in a long-term relationship, you need to make a few compromises. And even though you love your partner, you don't love their favourite sleep conditions. One way to overcome discrepancies with room temperature is to sleep with separate duvets. This way you can both personalise your tog rating to suit your personal needs. Plus, there will be no arguments over who is hogging all the covers!

Roll-together moments

If roll-together moments are waking you up throughout the night, it is time to upgrade your mattress. Try sharing a bed on a pocket spring mattress. They will provide you both with plenty of support, contour your body and reduce movement transfer preventing them "roll-together" moments that disrupt your sleep.

Read more - The Pocket Spring Mattress Guide

When all else fails...

If you feel you simply can't share a bed, it may be time to consider sleeping in separate bedrooms. "Healthy sleep is important for maintaining a good mood and a positive relationship with your significant other, even if you have to sleep separately!" says Dr. Dautovich, member of the National Sleep Foundation. Only use this as a solution if you plan to use it long-term, however. Usually, you'll find with a bit of compromise and time to adjust to each other - you'll be happy sleeping together.

For more health and wellbeing articles to help solve sleep problems, visit our Snooze Hub. Make sure you read about how your diet affects your sleep.


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