You meet the person of your dreams. The chemistry is there. You finally get it together. But what’s it like to sleep with them? I’m not talking about how good they are in between the sheets, I’m talking about the other ‘S’ in the bedroom – sleep!
There may be things you don’t even consider might be an issue to getting a good night’s sleep to do with this new person and these could potentially lead on to longer term problems. For you and for the relationship.
I’ve had a few clients over the past year, who have had exactly this problem for various reasons. The main one being they are a different ‘chronotype’ from the new person – a different what? Don’t worry, I will explain more!
What the heck is a chronotype?
You have a built-in body clock which dictates your chronotype – basically, whether you’re a lark or an owl, or something in between. This becomes a bit tricky at bedtime if you’re with an opposite chronotype – a lark’s energy starts to wane around 10pm, but an owl is still going strong at midnight.
I bet this was something you’d not even considered when embarking on a new relationship!!
If you make a lark go to bed later or an owl go to bed earlier, both will struggle to get a decent night’s sleep – the consequence is that one half of the couple will end up irritable as they’re fighting against what their body clock is naturally telling them what to do.
Sleeping with someone new is all about, you guessed it, compromise! However, it’s got to be something that works for both of you, so that together you can get a decent night’s sleep. So, talk about it and experiment with sleep times.
Other things to take into consideration, that can take time to adjust
Which of side the bed?
If your new partner sleeps the same side as you normally sleep, who’s going to swap? One of my recent clients decided to make the swap and although she found it a bit challenging in the beginning, she got used to her new sleeping position. And now they both sleep brilliantly.
Size and comfort!
We’re talking beds and mattresses! Are you suddenly downsizing from a king size to a double and finding it a bit of a squash, or going bigger and getting lost in a super king? My advice is that when you get to the stage of buying a new bed, the bigger the better. But you both have to agree. When we were kids we slept in a single bed or a small double – loads of room. However, we when we start sleeping with someone we upgrade to a normal double or a king size, which in fact gives less sleeping area than we had as a kid!
When choosing a bed, take into account both your sleeping positions – if you’re both ‘starfish’ sleepers (i.e. you both sleep on your back with your arms and legs stretched out) you want to go ‘super king’ or ‘emperor’ to avoid punching each other in the face! Go and try out a few sizes and adopt your normal sleeping positions in the shop!
The next thing to think about is the mattress – you may have struck it lucky that you or your partner have the comfiest mattress where you both have no problem sleeping. If that isn’t the case, or when the time comes to get a new mattress, go and try some out in a showroom. A good mattress can be a big investment, so spend at least 10 minutes in your normal sleeping position to see how comfortable it is. Another thing to check, does your side of mattress move when your partner turns over?
Alternatively, there are a new wave of mattress companies that will let you try their mattress for 100 nights. If you don’t like them, you just send them back and they will refund your money. Check out:
The ideal temperature conducive to getting a good night’s sleep is between 16 – 18 degrees centigrade. Being a woman of a certain age, I love a cool room, have a window open all year round and the minimum amount of TOG in my duvet, as I’m often throwing the covers off in the night as I’m overheating! If there is a bit of a disparity in the ideal desired temperature department going on, then there are a couple of solutions you could try:
a. Have separate single duvets with the TOG of your choice – this is the norm with our Scandinavian and central European friends.
b. Or if you want to share the same duvet, then get a ‘partner duvet’. Here you can each choose your preferred duvet thickness, so that you’re both happy and as warm or cool as you want to be.
Snoring – you or them?
If you or your new partner snore, then a set of ear plugs may be in order. The best ones I’ve found which also block out external noise are the Laser Lite ear plugs from Amazon.
Also, if either of you are prolific snorers, it may be worth getting your snoring checked out by the doctor, you could have sleep apnea which can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
At the end of the day (or night!), you’ve got to do what is going to give you both a great night’s sleep to give the relationship every possible chance of lasting.
Sweet dreams …..
Would you like me to come to your place of work and do a talk or workshop on sleep, to help your people ‘wake up with zest’, so that they are more productive and focused?
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