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5 Common Sleeping Problems for Couples (+ Solutions!)

boyfriend won't let me sleep

Do you share the same bed with your partner? Then chances are that you’ve had some problems with that. After all, your ideal sleeping environment is an incredible personal thing, and adding a different person with his/her own habits can often clash. Today we’re going to discuss common sleeping problems that couples have. From snoring to different bedtime habits to having a boyfriend that won’t let you sleep.

We’ll also talk about different solutions that you can try to solve these problems. Sleep is incredibly important for your health – but also your relationship. If you can’t sleep because of something your partner does (consciously or not), then you can get mad at this. This can be bad for your relationship.

So the first step is to talk to your SO about it. Often, they’ll be happy to change things to make sure that you both get better sleep.

Common couple sleeping problems

Approximately 12% of married people couples sleep alone. That’s one out of every 10 couples! Also, lower marital happiness was linked to less sleep satisfaction. So if anything shows that it’s important to solve your sleeping problems with your partner – then it’s this.

Also, often one person’s problems will get picked up by the other. If your partner is restless, can’t sleep or snores, then good luck falling asleep too.

And it’s not only about these larger issues. Sometimes it’s the little things: your partner keeps texting or using the phone at night. Or maybe you prefer total darkness, while your SO likes to sleep with the curtains open.

There are many things that can disturb sleep, and it’s a critical part of your relationship to make sure that you both get good sleep.

Here are some of the most common problems between partners at night:

Waking up because of snoring

Snoring is a big problem. 40% of adult men and 24% of women snore on a regular basis. Those are large numbers! Snoring is harmful for both the snorer and partner. As snoring is a nuisance and can make it difficult for others to fall asleep, if it happens often, it’s something that surely needs to be addressed well.

If this is your situation, also tell your partner that snoring can be harmful for his health. He might not get enough oxygen at night, or it’s some other problem (smoking, obesity) causing the snoring.

Here are some solutions:

  • Back sleeping increases chances of snoring – offer your partner to try sleeping on the side or stomach.
  • If your partner drinks before bed, or takes sleep medication, this can also be the cause.
  • Sleep apnea can also cause snoring – maybe it’s time to get your partner checked for sleep apnea?

Different sleep habits

Another reason for problems is when your SO has different sleeping habits. We talked about this before with the example of curtains open or closed. There are literally hundreds of different little habits that help you sleep, but bother your partner.

Here are some examples:

  • Total darkness or light coming in
  • Using TV or other electronics before bed to fall asleep
  • Type of mattress
  • How heavy you prefer your blanket
  • One partner likes to read at night
  • Sex: it sedates men while arouses women. That’s not a great combination for optimal couples’ sleep.
  • Sound: you may like to have some background noise, whereas your partner want complete silence.

The first step is to talk to each other about these things. Check what is really important and what you could do without. Maybe you literally can’t sleep if there’s one ray of light in the window, whereas your partner doesn’t really care – but has a slight preference for curtains open.
In that case it would be better to go for complete darkness, as it is worth more to you than your SO – and it increases your total sleep together.

Waking up from motion of partner/restlessness

Another problem can be that you wake up at night when your SO moves in sleep or feels restless. This can be a big problem. Luckily modern mattresses are getting better and better at isolating movement. So getting a quality mattress that offers this can be a great option.

Also, maybe you can get a larger mattress. If you’re both sleeping on a little queen mattress, the movements are closer than on a big king mattress.

“Girlfriend/boyfriend won’t let me sleep”

This is more a problem for women, “my boyfriend won’t let me sleep”. Here’s one example of a girl complaining about it. In this case it would be better for her to tell him that she really needs her sleep and if he really cared about her, he would allow her to sleep.

Different bedtimes

After around 3.5 years into a relationship, people tend to start falling asleep at different times. This can be a big problem, since it’s often an early sign that you are drifting apart. On a smaller scale, it can be bothering you if your SO goes to bed half an hour after you – and wakes you up in the process.

If you or your partner has a stricter reason to go to bed, it’s better to switch to that bedtime for both of you. For example, if your partner wakes up at 6 because he/she needs to go to work, and you’re a freelancer working from home, but you prefer to wake up at 8. In this case your partner probably wants to sleep earlier than you. But it’s very much worth it to synchronize your schedules. So you’d give up a little and go with him to sleep at 11 (instead of your regular 12).

Final thoughts on couple sleeping problems

There are many hazards to getting good sleep as a couple. But as with the rest of the relationship, sometimes you need to sacrifice and give in a little to get the best for both of you.

If you have different habits or bedtimes, one partner snores or your boyfriend won’t let you sleep, these are (or can turn into) serious problems, which are better solved when they’re just starting to pop up.

What’s your experience sleeping in one bed with your partner? Any problems here not mentioned? Or do you have some original solutions to one of these? Let us know in the comments!

By Adrianus

Since childhood I've tried hundreds of little experiments to feel better, learn faster and perform higher (e.g. supplements, sports, psychological tricks, sleep and wacky diets).
After I graduated university in 2016, I basically found that sleep was the #1 factor to improve every aspect of life.
Bad sleep = bad life. I started SleepInvestor in 2017 to share my experiments and thoughts about sleep.

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