There are tons of things and factors that can affect your sleep. One, however, is often ignored, especially since the majority of the Filipino population is used to co-sleeping. A lot of us may have shared beds with siblings, parents, relatives, significant others, pets, or roommates and found it difficult to sleep. Some brush it off and attribute their sleeping issues with a myriad of other reasons, but rarely on sharing the bed with someone else.
But what we all should know is that the very reason why you can’t catch some zzz’s might just be lying next to you.
How can your “bed-mate” affect your sleep? Here are some ways:
Light sleepers who share a bed with someone who snores will surely find it difficult to sleep properly. Sure, some can get used to the noise, but others won’t be able to handle it. Especially if you only occasionally share your bed with someone else, having to re-adjust every time can be a nightmare.
The solution? You can always have your bedmate checked by a physician, as snoring is typically a symptom for an ailment or an ailment in itself. You can also try rolling them on their side when they start snoring. But the best solution is still to just use earplugs and revel in the peace and quiet it can bring.
They hog the sheets.
Not all of us like to sleep tucked under the sheets, especially since our tropical nights are hot and humid. However, as the wet and cold months roll in, the night breeze can be a bit chilly, so using a blanket can give you some more comfortable sleep. The problem is, your bedmate likes to hog the sheets to themselves that you end up wide awake trying to pull and get some parts of you covered.
The solution? Get separate blankets. This way, you won’t have to play tug of war in the middle of the night that will only wake the both of you up. However, if you really want to share the blanket, get a really big one so you can still be able to fit in even if your bedmate likes to sleep like a burrito.
They like to snuggle and you don’t.
Some people are just really malambing and like to snuggle with loved ones when they sleep. While this is cute and sweet, not a lot of people like having someone else’s arms wrapped around them as they try to catch some zzz’s. It could be because of the extra weight that will pin you down or the body heat that can get you a bit too warm for comfort. It can be because of a plethoria of other reasons, but the fact is, some people aren’t sleep snugglers and we just have to deal with it.
The solution? Talk it out. If your bed mate is a new significant other who might get offended that you don’t want to sleep in their arms, explain that you just really can’t fall asleep that way. We’re all wired differently, so some things are just like that. You can also get a body pillow for your snuggler to keep them comfortable when they sleep.
They can’t sleep easily at night.
It doesn’t matter if they’re insomniac or a night owl, some people just can’t sleep early at night. Instead, they’ll result to watching TV, working, or playing on their devices while in bed. This can easily interrupt your sleep as whatever they’re doing can create disturbing sounds or the blue light from their device can stimulate your senses. Some people also just can’t fall asleep if someone else in the room is awake, so that can also keep you up to the wee hours until your bedmate nods off.
The solution? You can use an eye mask to get the darkness you need. You can also compromise by going to bed at different hours. This way, they’re not forced to stay in bed when they can’t sleep and you won’t be disturbed if they try to make themselves sleepy by doing something else.
They move a lot in their sleep.
Some people sleep like a log, while others thrash, kick, and even yell when they’re asleep. It all depends on how physical they get when they’re dreaming or how comfortable they are in the bed. Others might be just having an intense dream so they get malikot, while others might not be completely comfy with your bed so they try to find a good sleeping position even while they’re asleep. Whether you’re a light sleeper or not, too much movement, especially if your bed is small, can disturb your shuteye.
The solution? This one can be tricky to solve because if one acts out their dreams, it’s highly likely that they’re suffering from REM behavior disorder. You might need to seek a physician to help deal with the problem or live with it if you can. Getting a bigger bed can help, as it can put a good amount of space between you so you won’t be kicked or punched in the middle of the night.
They sprawl and take a lot of space.
Possibly the most common reason of sleep disturbance is when one bed partner sprawls and the other’s left holding on to the bed for dear space. This can be a big problem if you’re not used to sleeping with someone and you need some open space to get comfortable. Your sprawling partner’s movements can also wake you up periodically during the night.
The solution? Try to know why they push towards your side of the bed. Sometimes they’re cold and want some body heat so they want to stick close to you. If you’re the type who likes some personal space in the night, this can be a problem as you’ll most likely move towards your edge of the bed. If this is the case, you can start your night in the center of the bed or move more to your bed partner’s side instead of near the edge of yours. This way, when they start pushing you to your side, you still have some room for breathing.
Another good solution is to get a bigger bed. If they sprawl and you’re in a tiny bed, you won’t have anywhere else to go, so opting for a more spacious bed is the best solution to this problem.
They’re not human.
Some of us like to sleep with our pets and that can be the very reason why we can’t get quality sleep. Animals, especially big ones, can take up a lot of space in the bed and might even have some nocturnal habits that can disrupt your slumbers. Others are also mildly allergic to pet hair and dander and extended exposure during the night can trigger adverse reactions.
The solution? Learn how to sleep on a separate bed from your pet. While some experts say that sleeping with furry friends can help you relax and fall asleep easier, they can also be the very cause of your sleep disruption, so it’s better to just avoid the whole thing altogether just to be safe. Of course, if you insist on sleeping with your fur baby, it’s all up to you. But just know that they can be the very reason why you’re sleep deprived.
The bed is too small.
According to BetterSleep.org, a full size bed (54″x75″ in standard Salem Bed sizing) only offers enough space for one person who is under 5 feet and 5 inches. This is a shocking revelation for most folks as some people feel like a full sized bed is already big enough for a couple. Some even sleep in one with their young kids.
It’s important to sleep in the right sized bed so you have enough room to feel comfortable. Some light sleepers get woken up by the slightest touch or movement in the bed, leaving them with interrupted zzz’s. Others, especially those who are quite tall, never find it comfortable when they’re limbs are stuck on their sides or dangling on the edges of the bed.
The solution? Get a bigger bed. Queen size beds are great for couples who like to sleep close to each other most of the time, but still have some space to sprawl should they want to. A king size is also great, especially if you and your bed partner are heavy set. This size will also let you sleep comfortably with a small kid quite comfortably.
Of course, all of these problems can also be solved by sleeping on a separate bed or bedroom, but in case that isn’t a feasible option for you, little changes and compromises might just do the trick. The most important thing is that you don’t live with sleep deprivation. You can sleep better if you know how to do adjust, so make sure to take the extra effort to do so.