Happy Valentine’s Day! As we prep ourselves for flowers, sappy greeting cards, and of course that box of sweets from our sweets, we thought it might be fun to share some interesting facts about sleep and how it’s affected by our intimate relationships (and vice versa).
So sit back and enjoy the haul from your Valentine and check out these 6 facts about co-sleeping with your sweetie!
Co-Sleeping Fact #1: Only about 80% of couples sleep in the same bed. Why not all of them, you ask? Some of the reasons for separate sleeping quarters in partnerships include sleep disorders or snoring, opposing work and sleep schedules, and couples being unable to agree on what makes up the perfect mattress – some like a soft sleep surface, while others need some serious support.
Co-Sleeping Fact #2: More of us sleep better together than apart. Even though not all couples share a bed, more people report sleeping better with their partner, than without – sleep disruptions, or not. Sleep researchers have concluded that this is due to the endorphins that are released thanks to cuddling up with your sweetheart outweighing the annoyances of snoring, tossing and turning, or any other disturbances that might occur when sleeping with a partner.
Co-Sleeping Fact #3: Having a TV in the bedroom = less intimacy. One Italian study discovered that couples that keep a television in their room have half as much sex as those without one. If you find that not being able to watch TV in bed is a deal breaker, your best bet is to just say no to marathon Netflix sessions, and limit your tube time to make sure that you’re staying connected with your partner – Valentine’s Day or not!
Co-Sleeping Fact #4: Sleep apnea treatment can improve your relationship. Nighttime disturbances can not only mean less sleep, it can also cause both partners to have less than ideal days, resulting in more arguments and less overall happiness. Sleep studies have shown that if one partner is suffering from sleep apnea (one of the most common and treatable sleep disorders) and they seek treatment, it leads to higher levels of satisfaction for both parties. That’s a win-win!
Co-Sleeping Fact #5: Lack of sleep can lead to less passion. In one poll by the National Sleep Foundation, it was reported that almost 30% of couples surveyed were so tired from lack of quality sleep that they lost their sex drive. Yikes! Making sleep a priority not only boosts your energy during the day, it helps you to stay connected with your partner.
Co-Sleeping Fact #6: Chocolate can cause sleep disturbances. If you’re one of the many of us that plan to romance your honey with something sweet this Valentine’s Day, you want to make sure that it’s not going to keep them from getting the rest that they need and deserve. When it comes to blissful bedtimes, not all chocolate is created equal! The milk variety seems your best bet as it packs less of a stimulating punch. Hershey’s reports that it’s milk chocolate bar contains a mere 9 mg of caffeine, which is less than you’ll find in decaf coffee. While their dark chocolate bar holds 30 mg of the stimulant – more than a cup of brewed tea.
Does Your Honey Keep You Up at Night?
Should I Say Something – How?
How do you approach your loved ones about this life-endangering disease? Here are a few examples that will make it easier for you:
It is commonly known that sleeping partners do not sleep well because their partner snores loudly each night. When you approach him or her with the news that they snore abusively, be supportive. Let your loved one know that snoring is a common disorder and it is not their fault.
Sleep apnea has several sources, like obesity, smoking, poor nutritional health, lack of nutritional minerals in the body, neck circumference, airway dysfunction, aging, or heredity. Snoring occurs in children, men, and women.
It has a reputation of occurring largely in the male population. Men don’t like to admit that they have a problematic snoring habit. They will probably say that yes they may snore, but that you are blowing it out of proportion. This is a good time to tiptoe around apnea sleeping problems so that no feelings get hurt. Whatever the cause, your loved one needs to see a doctor.
Making a video or a recording is a great conclusive evidence. You will find that not everyone takes hearing the news that they have this sleeping disorder in a friendly manner.
Taking a video or audio recording is one of the best methods to prove your snoring argument. Also, save the video or recording because your doctor will also find it helpful in properly diagnosing the type of apnea your loved one has.
As an addendum, to keep arguments from forming, please choose the right time to talk about snoring. Do not mention it just as you both are going to bed nor if you are already in bed.
These times affect people personally and they see it as an affront. You will never get through to your partner like that. Wait for a time when everyone is relaxed to bring it up nicely and with concern.
3. Ask Family and Friends
Some diseases can carry the title of being “rare.” However, sleep apnea is not one of them. There are at least 1 or 2 friends or family members who also have this common sleep-related disorder.
Ask people you know about their experience with apnea and find out how they have dealt with its existence and if they have sought relief.
If they are familiar with the disorder and found help, bring your sleeping partner together with them and openly communicate about it.
4. Each One Teach One
The more you know about a topic, the better your communication will be with your bed partner in their acceptance of snoring discussions. Please note that snoring is not the only symptom of apnea while sleeping. Your loved one’s overall health is at stake and snoring can be identified as a sign of other problems.
Even though snoring is not a deadly symptom, you can talk to your partner about the other problems associated with this apnea. Talk about your concerns for their health and how important it is that they seek help. Let them know that you are willing to walk a mile in their shoes, noting that they are not alone.
Research this topic for yourself and become familiar with the help that someone who snores can receive, i.e., CPAP devices, attending a sleep center, and mouthpieces. There are also certain medications that help stimulate breathing.
A new FDA therapy has been introduced called “ phrenic nerve stimulation that is implanted to send signals to the throat to control your breathing. If your snoring is related to a defect in the thoracic system, then there is a minor surgical procedure to help correct it.
Also, remember that snoring can be related to something as simple as a throat problem that can be corrected with minimal surgery or a dietary problem that can be eliminated by changing your diet.
Sleep Health End Note
Ensure your partner that seeking a snoring solution helps both of you. Snoring is a health indicator that they need to be examined to make sure that they don’t have any hidden health issues.
The tips above can help to make a snoring conversation easier for both of you without people getting their feelings hurt. Remember to be empathetic, informed, patient, and affectionate in your conversation about sleep apnea.
For more, watch Alaska Sleep Clinic on "Moms Everyday" discussing tips on how to talk to your partner about sleep apnea.
And now you have some interesting facts to discuss over Valentine’s dinner and help you make the most of the holiday with your beloved. Enjoy your sweet dreams with your sweetie!