Great song title from the 1980's, but also a really great topic for conversation: "Is co-sleeping good or bad, for some or all?"
A recent survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council to learn about couples’ sleep habits shows that 26% of U.S. couples get a better night’s sleep when they’re alone in bed than when they sleep with their partner.
However, couples may see health benefits simply from sleeping in the same bed, a growing field of study is showing. In fact, some scientists believe that sleeping with a partner may be a major reason why people with close relationships tend to be in better health and live longer.
So, which study is right? Or, can they both be right?
When we start to look at the why of why some couples struggle to sleep in the same space, we see some of the common complaints heard on the showroom floor of the mattress store:
- She sleeps hot and he sleeps cold
- Feel each other moving around
- She/He steals the covers
- She likes soft and he likes firm
- Going to bed at different times
- Kids and/or pets in the bed
- Frequent getting up in the night
And while psychologists tell us that sleeping with a partner, cuddling and physical contact in bed can increase our well-being, that list above can be very daunting and most likely very relevant for many people. How can we solve the above issues and preserve the benefits of co-sleeping?
First, let's look at this list: what can we change?
Most of that list can be tackled with proper sleep products. Let's start from the top...
- One partner is a hot sleeper and the other is a cold sleeper - When I ask customers what type of comforter they use, the overwhelming majority report back a down and feather comforter. In my experience, when they switch to a wool comforter, they report back a substantial change in comfort. Wool is simply the best sleep product for regulating body temperature, with its ability to wick moisture from the body and allow for air flow, while keeping your body warm. It does for us what it does for the sheep: Keeps them warm in winter and cool in the summer. Allergic to wool? True wool allergy is very rare, with most people finding wool itchy and irritating from the way the wool was treated and not the actual wool itself. Plus, in a comforter, you don't come in contact with the wool. Also, try to limit or cut out the amount of plastic you are sleeping in and on. Most sheets these days has some polyester content, as do pillows, blankets and mattresses. Plastic does nothing to encourage breathability and cannot absorb moisture.
- Feel partner motion in the bed - I would venture a professional guess, based on consumer feedback, that 70% or more of the country sleeps on a traditional coil mattress. Steel springs are attached by steel wire, creating a surface that transfers motion throughout the bed, leading to the other person in the bed feeling the motion. Also, a coil-tied bed limits blood flow and creates pressure, both leading to increased tossing and turning. A pocketed coil or all foam mattress can alleviate these symptoms, lead to decreased or alleviated motion in the bed.
- My partner steals the covers - This is more of an issue with tossing and turning, which can be alleviated with a pocketed coil or foam mattress, either latex or memory foam. But it can also be as simple as getting a larger bed covering.
- One partner likes soft and the other likes firm - Most mattress companies will make a mattress with one side different from the other, and you can also simply add a topper to one side of the mattress to make one side softer. Putting the topper underneath the sheets will help it stay in one place and decrease the feeling of separation.
- Going to bed at different times - If one partner is a night owl and the other likes to go to bed early, you can simply agree to go to bed at a compromised time, or, switching to a bed which does not transfer motion will prevent the other partner from feeling the night owl slip into bed.
- Snoring - There are a myriad of snoring aides on the market. Proper posture and a slight elevation can really help with this problem. A 7 degree raise in elevation can help, and we have nice adjustable bases for your mattress to help with this. Also, look at the type of pillows you are using. Find a pillow which supports your neck and head properly and encourages open breathing passages.
- Kids and/or pets in the bed - If you sleep with wiggle worms in bed, ie. kids and pets, again, a mattress which doesn't transfer motion will help immensely.
- Frequent getting up in the night - You may want to talk to your doctor or holistic practitioner about this issue, as it could be as simple as not drinking before bedtime or a much more serious underlying health issue.
Co-sleeping can help keep a relationship close and cozy, but can also tear one a part. Talk to your Nestologist at Nest Bedding stores or email us with any questions you might have about your specific co-sleeping issues and we can certainly give you some advice. Who knows, we might even help save your relationship!