If you share a bedroom with someone who snores, wants the window up, or the light on, it can be difficult to sleep well.
Here is advice that helps.
QUALITY: Sleep is important. When your partner for some reason disturbs your sleep, it is important to be open about the problem. And most things can be solved.
Sharing a bed with the one you love is really one of life’s great privileges, but the joy can crack if it goes beyond the night’s sleep.
What does one do if one is a freezer and the other wants to sleep with the window wide open? Not to mention if your girlfriend rumbles like a thunderclap.
It is about finding compromises, too much in cohabitation is about just that, says psychologist Eva Tryti.
It can even be healthy and strengthen the relationship as long as both give and take.
We humans can tolerate breaking habits well, and we become both physically and mentally stronger when we manage to find good compromises. But it is important to find a balance so that it does not become too skewed, she says.
There are good solutions
When it comes to compromises around the sleep pattern, the psychologist believes that this is largely solvable.
If the peace of mind and the night’s sleep are to be preserved, for example, the system in bed must avoid fumbling into the bedroom or turning on the light when the baby is forgotten under the duvet.
Sneak into bed as quietly as possible, she advises.
If one is a reading horse and the other wants to sleep right away, it can also be solved easily.
Here I think that a dim little light, maybe a little under its own duvet, will not disturb the partner, the psychologist suggests.
The temperature in the bedroom, on the other hand, can be more difficult to compromise with.
To avoid disagreement, Tryti recommends that the person who is warmest settles for sleeping under a sheet, while the freezer stick chooses a thicker duvet.
But those who are a little frozen will probably also be able to get used to the lower temperature in the bedroom, she says.
Michael J. Breus is a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher and writes in Psychology Today that too high a temperature in the bedroom can disrupt the important REM sleep and reduce the overall quality of sleep.
According to him, the optimal temperature in the bedroom is 20-21 degrees.
At the same time, we have different preferences, and Breus explains that our internal body temperature can lead to a different response at the same temperature.
His suggestion for couples who do not agree is to set the temperature to the highest and that whoever thinks it will be hot sleep in a baby who breathes and transports away moisture.
Snoring creates problems
Snoring, on the other hand, is a serious challenge in many relationships.
Guttorm Bruskeland, physiologist and head of Aleris Sleep Clinic in Oslo, says that snoring is due to a narrow throat. The solution is to try to do something about the need.
As muscle relaxation increases with age, many people find that snoring worsens.
There is little to do with age, but being overweight can also worsen snoring, and therefore it can pay to lose a little weight.
Overweight and more adipose tissue in the throat often makes it narrower in the throat, and thus increases the risk of snoring. Thus, many people experience improvement when they lose weight, Bruskeland explains.
Some have the effect of building up the sleeping position with pillows, while others benefit from sleeping with a splint that ensures that it opens up and becomes more space in the throat.
But take a trip to the doctor if the problem becomes too big because even though snoring is natural and harmless for most people, it can in some cases be due to sleep apnea, the physiologist explains.
Snoring and poor sleep quality are major challenges and several teams are working to find solutions.
Akershus University Hospital is now leading a study that will investigate whether exercise has an effect on snoring. The study is part of a large, international project called “Sleep Revolution”.
Sleep researcher and project manager at Ahus, Harald Hrubos-Strøm, says that the training involves strengthening the muscles in the tongue, lips, and jaw.
By strengthening the muscles in this area, we will have better control over the throat and muscles, which in turn will reduce snoring, he says.
Specifically, patients have been given a smartwatch that makes various measurements, as well as an app with introductory videos on training.
Data are then retrieved from the measurements and the patient’s sleep diary.
We believe it will be easier for patients to complete the training using such a digital platform, rather than just being given a sheet of exercises. But it is important to be aware that there is no quick-fix solution, and if you want to succeed with the training, both motivation and patience are required, Hrubos-Strøm explains.
Separate bedrooms can be the solution
In some relationships, disturbed night sleep can be so bothersome that the best solution is to sleep separately.
Psychologist Tryti suggests that in the first instance you can try to push the beds a little apart, but for others, it may be best with each bedroom.
It is perhaps most relevant if one snores a lot and is unable to overcome the problem. It is quite difficult for many couples to have to sleep separately, but it is not uncommon for especially older people to choose this solution, she says.
If you as a couple choose to sleep separately, Tryti believes that you must be careful not to lose physical contact.
It is very important that you continue with the cuddle and lie next to each other. Since sex and intimacy do not come so easily by themselves when you do not sleep in the same bed, you simply have to work a little more with it, the psychologist states.