Sharing a bed can be hard, especially when you have slept alone your whole life. Whether it is sleeping in a hotel room with dad’s loud snoring, or sharing a bed with a friend at a sleepover, losing hours – even minutes – of sleep can affect your day. In my experience, the less sleep you get the more irritable you can be!
According to a study by the National Health Society of the UK, sleep can have a positive or negative affect on your day depending on how well you snooze. “The cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus. Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, coronary heart disease, and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”
Studies also show that we need a good eight hours of sleep to function properly the following day. Yes, everyone is different; however, so this number varies slightly depending on other factors such as activity level. Hopefully, sharing a bed has no bigger effect on you than just being sleepy during the day, so let's break down some tricks that can help get you a healthy eight hours.
Earbuds and Earplugs
Why do people snore?
According to the Sleep Foundation, “Snoring happens when air cannot flow freely through the airway as you breathe in and out during sleep. When the airway is narrowed or partially blocked, breathing causes the tissues of the upper airway to vibrate, resulting in the sound you hear when someone snores.” Whatever the reason, if you aren't used to it, it can keep you awake through the night.
How can we mitigate this problem?
Earbuds and earplugs can be a great way to drown out the noise. If you're looking to make an investment, this article from lonelybrand can point you in the direction of the best earbuds specifically for sleeping. There are also alternatives to earbuds that won't cost you a pretty penny. Earplugs, which run for about $14.99 a pack on Amazon, can be a great way to block out the snoring.
Another way to help you get some shut-eye is by building a wall of pillows. If whomever you share a bed with has a habit of transforming into a bunny overnight, then this trick may be for you.
By simply taking a pillow and putting it between you and the other person, you build a pillow wall that separates the two of you. This allows you to create your own space and find the back of your eyelids much easier. Depending on how many pillows you have, you can put just one at the top of the bed or continue them all the way down, whatever you prefer.
Body pillows also work great for this trick!
Blanket Hogger No More
You wake up, it is the middle of the night, you're freezing and the blankets are nowhere to be found. You have probably experienced this at least once in your lifetime and there are a couple of simple fixes. Just because you share a bed does not mean that you have to share blankets too. In an article by women's health, Tess Barker talks about gently waking your partner up to gently ask them to share as well. It never hurts to ask nicely before you revert back to ripping the blankets away!
However, if that doesn't work, you can try to each take your own set of blankets. By giving each of you your own individual blankets, it keeps you from having to worry about waking up cold. Simply stack them on top of one another during the day, and then split them up at night. Even by doing away with the top sheet, you can avoid fighting over the covers. By splitting the blankets, you can also control the temperature of each sleeper as well. One person may have two blankets while the other has four. Everyone is different when it comes to their sleeping preferences.
As most have experienced, sharing a bed can be a nuisance. Hopefully, the tips listed above can help with these problems and help you work toward a healthier relationship between sleeping, and the person you share a bed with. Everyone deals with a bad sleeping situation at least once in their lives, but it doesn't have to be that way forever!
How Do I Know if Snoring is a Sign of a Bigger Problem?
The sleep experts at the Alaska Sleep Clinic understand the health concerns associated with OSA, which includes headaches, the strain on the heart, and arrhythmias to name a few.
If you live in Alaska and are suffering from snoring, or worse OSA, request a free 10-minute phone consolation with our sleep experts and schedule a sleep study.
Sydney Rusche is a senior from Lapel, Indiana, majoring in public relations with a focus in event planning. Sydney is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.