ALMOST half the couples in Britain are often sleeping apart because of the irritating bedtime habits of their partner, a study shows.
Snoring unsurprisingly tops the list of annoying traits, but other major causes include being too hot, disturbing them when they get up for the loo, taking work to bed and even farting and cutting toenails in bed.
1 in 4 Brits have said their or their partner’s bedtime habits have even caused arguments, and over 1 in 10 have broken up with a past partner because of them according to research by Eve Sleep.
A whopping 8 out of 10 adults (86%) say they have trouble sleeping generally and the research has found that the top reasons behind disrupted sleep are being too hot or cold at night (51%), multiple trips to the loo (28%), being a light sleeper (26%) and that 1 in 4 Brits are stressed about the current world situations i.e. COVID, Brexit or US politics, affecting their sleep.
There has been a rise in sleep divorce with nearly 1 in 2 often sleeping apart because of their bedtime habits with an average of 4 nights per week of sleeping separately. The main reason for doing this was snoring (41%), tossing and turning in bed (25%), enjoying the extra space in another bed (19%), and being a lighter sleeper than their partner (19%).
Even if they are sharing the same bed, over half (54%) of them go to bed at different times to their partner which can cause issues of its own as they wake their partner up by watching something on their phone or on the TV (25%) or when they climb into bed (22%).
Snoring is the top of list of Britain’s bedtime habits (47%) with tossing and turning second (27%) and falling as sleep at different times to your partner third (22%).
Britain’s TOP 10 bedroom habits they find most irritating:
Hogging the duvet 31%
Clipping toenails 30%
Take up too much space in bed 27%
Toss and turning 27%
Leaving clothes everywhere and not use the washing basket 21%
Playing games or watching something on their phone 21%
Bringing work to bed i.e. your laptop / taking calls / looking at work on your phone 21%
Dave Gibson, Sleep Expert for eve sleep, commented: “It is certainly true that the year just gone was one of the worst years for sleep in recent memory. Many couples are now essentially living at work with a complete shake-up of their routines. The resulting blurring of work, rest, play, and bedtimes has caused them to be both out of sync with their natural sleep patterns and with their partners, adding to a restless night. There are simple ways we can try and overcome these bedroom battles such as establishing a bedtime routine with your partner, tackling the temperature battle by changing your duvet or by leaving devices in the kitchen, all helping you become the perfect bedfellow.” Dave’s top tips for better sleep for both you and your partner:
1. Get in sync - The key to getting both the right quantity and quality of sleep is to go to bed and wake up at the same time 7 days a week. Try and go to bed and wake up as a couple. If not, try to set at least one consistent time between you such as setting the same morning alarm, which is easier to control
2.Silence the snoring - if your partner, or you, is a snorer the first thing to do is to sleep on the side rather than on the back. If needed try wearing earplugs or introducing white noise to block out the snoring. But if all else fails, don’t be afraid to slip off to the spare room or sofa.
3. Put duvet hogging to bed - the easiest way of combatting a partner who steals the duvet at night is to by a duvet which is larger in size than the bed you are sleeping in. Often the issue is that one partner feels the cold more than the other and grabs the covers. If this is the case having a duvet which suits both partners ( one side warmer than the other) is a great solution as both can be happy in the same temperature of bedroom.
4. Unwind together - with so much extra stress in the world, switching off at night is getting harder and harder. Avoiding watching the news late at night can help but learning to meditate and relax within a consistent bedtime routine is the best way to switch off from our worries. Make sure you create a healthy evening and sleep routine including baths, books, yoga, relaxation and meditation.
5. Create a new communte - Whilst the commute to and from work cost both time and money, it also created a useful transition period. If you are working at home, try to recreate these transitions and boundaries between home and work, and work and home. In the morning you could pop out together for get a take-away coffee and then come back home to work. While the majority of the nation is working from home, the lines of home and office have been blurred as 1 in 5 Brits have admitted taking work to bed with them.
It has been shown that millenials get more heated, as 54% of the age group say the bedtime habits in their relationship cause arguments vs 18% of the 45-54’s and as little as 4% of the over 65’s.
Sam Owen, Relationship Coach and Psychologist, said: “The pandemic has really blurred the lines between work and home, and even the bedroom. Our bedrooms are no longer our safe space to relax together after a busy day, instead they are classrooms, offices and even makeshift gyms. Winding down before bed with your partner can help you reconnect after a stressful or busy day, helping you to offload the mind and provide that much needed love and support to one another."
Sam’s top tips for getting on with your partner in the bedroom:
1. Make your bedtime ritual one of calm and closeness - Be intimate, affectionate and on the same page about how you want to spend this time. Do something calming that you both enjoy, even if it’s two separate activities with bodies touching. And integrate physical touch, at least to begin, to release oxytocin to help you feel calm and bonded so you relax and drift off more easily.
2.Ensure sleeping conditions are right for both - Our emotions are affected by the information absorbed through our senses so think about whether what you are seeing, hearing and feeling is conducive to rest and sleep for both of you. Have the right amount of darkness - hello sleep mask if one of you wants to read. Create an environment that tells your brain you’re in ‘rest mode’ rather ‘work mode’ - remove the reminders of all the things you need to do and any stress or worry associated with them, such as laptops and mess.
3. Resolve arguments before bedtime - Going to bed in a depressed or anxious state will sabotage your ability to get a good night’s sleep so try your best to resolve issues before bed. If you can’t, at least compassionately agree to resolve stuff after a good night’s sleep, reassuring each other of your love and commitment to one another. Besides, the brain problem-solves whilst sleeping so you may find it easier to resolve problems the following day, so don’t fret if you haven’t the night before, you may do a better job the next day.
4. Start the day as you mean to go on - When you do wake, make your first encounter loving and affectionate, further reinforcing that sleeping together is an act you enjoy and look forward to, both at night and in the morning.