Stress, caffeine and mobile screens are the culprits behind many sleepless nights – but the most powerful reason why you sleep poorly has to do with the person next to you in bed, at least according to a study on sleep habits.
The mattress company Eight has collected the data from roughly 5,500 of its customers to, among other things, map common denominators in people who sleep poorly and are constantly tired during the day. The participants who reported the most hours of sleep (an average of 8 hours and 4 minutes per night) were the couples who shared a bed, while the solo sleepers reported an average of 7 hours and 46 minutes per night. But even though people in couple relationships sleep the most hours, they generally have poorer sleep quality than those who sleep alone.
The study mentions four things (in addition to snoring!) that can negatively affect your sleep if you share a bedroom with a partner. If you are in a tired period with poor sleep – think about whether one (or more) of these apply to you and your partner:
1. You are out of sync
Your partner crawls out of bed to go to the bathroom just as you’re about to fall asleep, or you have completely different bedtimes. The result: your sleep schedules end up out of sync, which means that many mornings you wake up ten times more tired than you were the night before.
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2. Turbulence among the sheets
And we don’t mean the positive kind of activity in the bed straw…! If you’re sleeping next to someone who’s always tossing and turning in their sleep, it doesn’t matter if you’re an inveterate snoozer or wake up at the slightest sound – your sleep will be adversely affected (did someone mention a triple espresso for breakfast?).
3. Different preferences
Some people can’t fall asleep without the TV on, while others need total silence to doze off. Disagreeing about the perfect bedroom environment can both lead to arguments and worse sleep (especially if one of you doesn’t get his way). Background noise can be solved with headphones in the smartphone – but if you have more difficult problems to solve, be sure to discuss these with each other to come up with a solution that works for both of you.
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4. Temperature differences
The constant debate: ice cold or hot like the Sahara. According to the study from Eight, women generally prefer higher temperatures than men do. But if you haven’t found a golden mean, the risk is high that one (or both) of you will have anything but a lovely night.