Sleeping with company isn’t always as peaceful and restful as we’d like it to be. Partners, kids and pets can interfere with sound sleep.
More sleeping separately
Builders and architects predict that more than 60 percent of custom homes will have separate master bedrooms by 2015. That forecast isn’t necessarily a reflection on the state of marriage in America, but it may reveal a great deal about how far we’ll go in our quest for a good night’s sleep!
Snoring leads to separate beds
An estimated 23 percent of American couples sleep apart, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation. What are the most common obstacles couples face in sleeping together well? Snoring is a big one. An estimated 40% of Brits snore – that’s just slightly less than 1 in 3. And since men remain the more likely snorers, so it’s no surprise that women frequently cite a snoring partner as the reason they choose to sleep alone. Tending to sleep-disordered breathing and regular snoring can help partners sleep more quietly and peacefully together.
Different schedules, different bedrooms?
Another hurdle facing couples are differences in sleep schedules. Night owls and larks often have trouble sleeping together without disturbing one another. If you’re an early riser and your partner stays up to watch a television show after you’ve gone to bed, you might wake up when your partner comes to bed—and you may disturb your partner’s early morning rest when you rise for the day. Meeting in the middle with compromise on divergent schedules can help. Maybe your partner can turn off the TV a little earlier some evenings, and you can move your early-morning wake-up routine out of the bedroom to avoid waking your bedmate.
The family bed
Spouses aren’t the only ones sharing beds. Kids and pets also like to get cozy. Children need much more sleep than adults, and they tend to experience much more sound sleep than grownups. That doesn’t mean mom and dad get to sleep soundly when kids are in the bed. Many parents who have been awakened by an elbow to the head or a kick to the back report it’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep next to a sound-asleep but thrashing child. A family bed can work for everyone so long as all sleepers – kids and parents both – get regular, high-quality sleep.
Bed sharing with pets
Pets are fun to curl up with, but they have significantly different sleep schedules than people do. Animals tend to need more sleep but take their sleep in smaller chunks throughout the day and night. If your pet gets up while you’re in bed, the movement and noise are likely to disturb your own sleep. Remember, too, that pet fur and dander are potential causes of allergies and congestion, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The easiest way to keep from having your pet disrupt your sleep is to have your animal sleep nearby, but not actually in your bed.
All in all, sharing a bed isn’t always easy. Still, since many of us sleep better with our partner right next to us, it makes sense to look for solutions before heading to the den with your pillow.