Do you and your partner have trouble falling asleep or waking up at the same time? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent study by The Sleep Judge of over one thousand people in relationships aged 18 to, going to bed before a significant other is actually very common. The survey found that nearly 58 percent of people admitted they fell asleep at different times than their partner. This number was highest, 62 percent, among people between the ages of 40 and 55 years old.
Whether you and your partner have different bed times due to work schedules, one of you likes a show that’s on very really late, one partner suffers from Insomnia, or simply one has a later natural rhythm than the other, experts say there are things you can do to help. You can either adjust to find a happy medium or find ways to stay connected with your partner, even if your different sleep schedules are making you seem disconnected.
Dealing with Different Sleep Schedules
There are a number of short-term fixes that you can look into. One of the most popular things that people say works well is for the later partner to go to bed with the early sleeper and then get back up again once they are asleep or close to it. You can both get into bed together for a period of time to cuddle, talk, and watch television. Then, the partner who is going to stay up can get out of bed after you have had some time to connect.
If you have the extra space in your home, you may want to start sleeping in different rooms. This is a great temporary solution, because many times the problem isn’t “You don’t fall asleep at the same time as me!” but actually “You wake me up when you get into bed!” Remember that sleep interruption is not good for healthy, consistent sleep. This is a great option, too, if the mornings are the real problem. If one partner gets up for work or just because they’re an early riser, waking and getting ready in a separate room means the other can sleep in.
If you’re one of the 70% of U.S. adults who share your bed with a significant other, you know that sleeping next to someone isn’t all cuddles. Troubles as night can seep into the daytime and cause strife in your relationship. It’s worth it to make the changes necessary for long-term success. If you and your partner don’t get to see each other often due to differing work schedules, you can learn how to connect and communicate in other ways. Some of these ways include writing each other post-it notes to surprise the person when they wake up or setting aside time to FaceTime during the afternoon.
Experts also suggest prioritizing time that overlaps. For example, instead of romantic dinners, you and your partner can have a nice breakfast together when one person is waking up and the night shift worker is about to go to bed for their much-needed sleep.
Upgrade Your Sleep Environment
Maybe the problem isn’t that one person wants to stay up late and watch Netflix while the other needs to work up early for work. It may be as simple as the fact that your bedroom isn’t set up to be a true sleep sanctuary. For instance, bright light exposure first thing in the morning can help the “I want to sleep in!” partner rise and shine easier than if the room were still dark. Knowing how to go to sleep earlier isn’t actually all that difficult. Removing tech devices and closing the shades can help someone who typically stays up late get sleepier, earlier. Be sure the bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet at night and then bright and sunny in the morning. A better sleep environment will help to promote better sleep, regardless of when you go to sleep!
Maybe the problem is your bed itself. Today’s best beds for couples means each person gets the comfort level and sleeping surface they prefer. For instance, there are mattresses made precisely to stop any movement on your companion’s part from disrupting your sleep. This is called “motion isolation” and refers to a mattress’s ability to absorb movement in one part of the bed. This type of mattress will enable your partner to move without that motion transferring over to your side. All mattresses provide some degree of motion isolation, but certain mattresses are made with materials that are better at achieving this than others.
Simmons Beautyrest mattresses are well known for their motion isolation. We carry dozens of Beautyrest options, so there’s sure to be one you both find comfortable. The Simmons Beautyrest Black models feature Micro Diamond Memory Foam and SurfaceCool Plus Fiber to increase breathability and promote cooling while you sleep. For an upgrade in temperature regulation technology, select models have BlackICE Memory Foam.
The best mattress for your sleeping style may not be the best for your partner. You may also want to look into creating a King sized bed from two Twin XL mattresses. This is ideal if one partner likes a firm bed and the other wants a more plush, cozy surface. If you choose a split adjustable bed base to go under your mattress, one partner can raise them self up while the other lays flat. It’s like two totally different beds, but you’re still right next to the one you love.
Everyone is different. How couples sleep is different for each partnership as well. Perhaps for one couple, moving to different beds is the right solution but that would make someone else very lonely. Another couple could work on their different sleep schedules and eventually meet in the middle. A third couple could need a new mattress (or mattresses!) with an adjustable bed base that allows each person to customize their sleep surface. Your main focus should be to find a solution that works well for both of you.