If love is war, then the bedroom is the Battle Of Gettysburg (or any major conflict really). But instead of soldiers left strewn on the battlefield, the casualties here are all of those poor, innocent hours of sleep. All too often couples wait until they're in bed to finally bring up what's really bothering them. As if every grievance you've had during the course of your day, week, year, or even life isn't enough, there's a whole bunch of annoying habits your partner has in bed that trumps any kind of cease-fire agreement you may have had prior to entering the bedroom.
Whether it's sheet-stealing, bed-hogging, snoring, or any number of quirks our partners have in bed, these little habits can start causing us hours of lost sleep, quickly turning the one we adore, into the one we abhor (and want to kick out of bed).
For the sake of all the sleep we've lost, and the sleep we'd like to save, a treaty of some kind is going to have to be drafted. For every bedroom conflict, there is often an easy resolution that both parties can agree on. Here is a list of common bedroom battles, and the resolutions to settle them.
Conflict: The Cover Thief
This is one of the most common complaints among bed partners. No matter how big the bed and blankets are, at some point in the night, someone is going to end up hording them all to themselves.
Here's a familiar scenario: You go to your room, get into your nice, evenly made bed, give your partner a kiss, say "I love you," and turn the lights off. Within moments, your partner subtly rolls onto her side away from you taking a few inches of bedding with her. You dare not tug back, because for every 3 inches you gain back, she takes six more, greedily bunching the covers up as if she's trying to mummify herself in the shared bedding.
By the middle of the night you wake in a frozen fetal position hugging a pillow like it's the only salvation from hypothermia, while this glutton next to you has cast her stolen blankets to her feet because she was too hot from all her spoils.
Resolution: Separate Blankets
You can either spend your life feeling like Jack Dawson in the frozen waters of the Atlantic watching Rose smugly commandeer the entire floating door of salvation, or you can get proactive about the situation. Obviously, one blanket is not enough for the both of you, so why not try... (wait for it, although I can already see the light bulbs going off) two blankets. Yes, have separate blankets for sleeping. What's even better about this solution is that you can each get blankets that are more in-tune with your own comfort needs. Maybe you like a soft, fleece blanket, and she's more into a heavy, itchy, wool blanket (as I assume most thieves would enjoy for some reason, or at least deserve). Whatever your desired bed material, there's room enough for more than one blanket.
However, if she starts stealing your second blanket, there's not much help for you. Well, expect maybe three blankets...or four....or five...or maybe just separate rooms.
Conflict: Battle of the Bed Hog
He has always opened doors for you, paid for dinners, given you his jacket when you were cold, or let you have his chair when there was nowhere else to sit. Your friends tell you that you must have the last chivalrous man alive. Well, they haven't had to sleep next to him (because that would be a different conflict). Sure he's a giving gentleman while he's awake, but when this guy sleeps he's suddenly Alexander The Great conquering all known territory in existence, leaving you dangling on the razor's edge of the bed, just praying that his next blitzkrieg doesn't knock you to the floor.
Resolution: A Bigger Bed or Separate Beds
First, you have to ask yourself "Is it the size of the bed that's the problem?" Seriously, if you're sleeping on a twin sized bed and having this argument, you'll probably eventually win a Darwin award anyway, so don't worry about any solutions, because pretty soon you won't have to worry about anything. But if you're sleeping in a double or a queen sized bed, an upgrade to a King, California King, or even the Super King, might be in order.
However, if it's simply territory he's after, nothing is going to stop this Genghis Khan of the bed, except maybe a sea of space between you two (because horses are terrible swimmers). Getting separate beds may seem like an odd idea, but it's far better than waking up to being pushed over the edge onto a cold floor.
Conflict: Chronic Snoring
Are you fed up with losing hours of sleep over a bed partner who spends most of the night sounding like an asthmatic wookie singing Irish Pub songs all night? There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a wholesome slumber dreaming about being in a lumberjack log-sawing competition, and as the competition heats up the sound of sawn logs gets louder, and louder– and then you wake up to the noise in your bed!
Resolution: There's Actually a Bunch
For all of the potential snoring remedies out there, it's almost surprising that this is still the most common complaint among bedpartners. The most likely reason is that the snoring doesn't bother the snorer. How can one admit there's a problem in need of a solution if they've only heard about it second hand? While it may not be the most ethical approach, consider video taping your partner's bed-rattling snuffles to show them the evidence. And then threaten to show the video to all of their friends and family if they don't seek treatment (because threats always work in a relationship).
If they agree to seek help for their snoring, DIY treatments range from side-sleeping and special pillows to playing a didgeridoo. If you're asking, "the didgeridoo? Isn't that the Australian wind instrument that-" Yes. That's the one. It has been scientifically proven that playing the very instrument that sounds like a mammoth snoring, actually combats your man from snoring.
If however, you've tried all the do it yourself treatments and the snoring hasn't gotten any better, you may want to consider having them get a sleep study done as your partner may have sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is the culprit of your partner's deafening snores, he may have to start sleeping with a CPAP machine. This device may require them to wear a mask that makes them look like Darth Vader, but at least not sound like Darth Vader.
Whatever your bedroom grief is with your partner, there's no reason that all of those innocent Zzzzz's should be the ones to suffer. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, meant only for sleep and extracurricular activities of the affectionate kind (you know what I mean), not a place of conflict and nightly battles. Even not fighting in the bedroom can cause you sleep loss if your mind becomes used to associating it with a place of conflict and turmoil. So if you need to fight, act like civilized adults and do it outside to give your neighbors something to talk about.
And if you think your partner needs to have a sleep study performed, send them down to The Alaska Sleep Clinic, where we specialize in patching up relationships by eliminating snoring and other sleep problems that are costing you sleep.