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Sleep Tips, Tips & tricks
Spooning is great and all….but is it possible that snuggling up with a loved one at night, is disturbing your sleep?
When you think about it, it makes sense that the person you snuggle up with at night could have a different sleep/wake pattern to you, right? Some of us are morning people and some are night owls, so the hours that you’re happily snoozing may vary. And it’s not just about being woken by someone in the early hours of the morning, or not going to bed at the same time, there are also issues that start once you’re both actually asleep; such as tossing and turning, differences in body temperature, and snoring and spluttering. In fact the average person wriggles and turns around 60 to 70 times a night* and that’s without having an issue such as sleep apnea!
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says that three out of every four adults wake frequently during the night, or they snore. In an NSF survey of women ages 18 to 64, more than half said they sleep poorly more than a few nights a week. This poor sleep may then interfere with activities the following day. So, what’s to blame for the restless nights? In many cases it’s an incompatible sleeping partner. Sleep experts tend to agree that snoring ‘presents the biggest conflict for couples at bedtime’.
It’s not all bad though...studies have found, that even with a disruptive partner, people still sleep better with their partner than without. One possible explanation is the sense of security that comes from sharing the bed with someone you love. Recent research suggests that feeling of bedtime security leads to a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in the so-called love hormone oxytocin. It’s no wonder that we persist and continue to ‘co-sleep’.
On the subject of sharing a bed with someone you love...
If you have a baby on the way, you’ll no doubt understand the importance of a good night sleep, and the difficulty in getting one at certain times throughout your pregnancy. Even great sleepers are known to toss and turn during the first and third trimesters.
It’s been suggested that sleeping on your side with knees bent is one of the most comfortable positions. Using pillows to support you in later pregnancy under your belly, between your legs and/or behind your back, may make the difference between a sleepless night or a peaceful slumber!
Some extra room for the baby bump and those body pillows could certainly come in handy, for both you and your partner! Not to mention down the track, when toddlers and children creep into your bed in the wee hours of the morning….before long, there’s a whole family of people and dogs or cats sharing a bed at one point or another.
So before you and your partner go opting for separate beds perhaps it’s worth considering these tips:
1) Start off with at least a queen size mattress, but go bigger if one of you loves to sprawl out, or is notoriously restless. With a bigger bed you are less likely to be disturbed by your partner, and while you may love to spoon, perhaps it’s worth creating some space once you’re about to doze off. If you could have a better night’s sleep, why wouldn’t you? Once you’ve slept in a king-sized bed, you’ll never opt for anything else.
2) Try sleeping with separate covers (blankets, sheets, or doonas) especially if you’re having difficulty regulating body temperature. Refer to the Snooze Bedding Buying Guide to find out more about which bedding would be best suited to your needs.
3) Finally, if one of you is prone to moving a lot, it may be worth trying a profiling system like bedMATCH® that may identify a range of mattresses that may better suit your individual sleep needs.
Considering we spend a third of our lives in bed (i.e. by the time we’re 50 we’ll have spent 16 years in bed!) surely it makes sense to make sleep a priority; and making it a priority may involve making an investment. When you consider that we spend as much as we can afford on other luxuries including technology (Australians spend $9.5 billion on gadgets every year!), alcohol ($14.1 billion/year), the cars we drive ($78.4 billion), even holidays, why are we so stingy when it comes to our bed?
While there is no hard and fast rule about when to buy a new mattress, most will have a lifespan of 6-8 years. Tell tale signs may include sagging in the middle or at the edges. Most importantly ensure your mattress suits your needs (which may change over a period of 6-8 years also). Choose the right size for you, and your partner. Ergonomic studies show that couples sleep better in a bigger bed. And if getting a bigger mattress doesn’t cost any more (during our upsize offer for example) then opting for the bigger bed seems like a wise choice!
But remember, we’re not saying the upsizing your bed will solve all your sleep issues. For problems such snoring, insomnia or restless sleep during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to speak with your GP.
The bedroom makeover that won’t break the bank - with style advice from The Styling Mama.
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