National Couple’s Day is celebrated on August 18. It’s not about hearts or roses like Valentine’s Day or about chocolate or candy like Sweetest Day but about spending time together and celebrating what makes you unique as a couple. It’s a no-pressure holiday. At Down Etc, we see the world in terms of bedding and sleep. That’s why we think National Couple’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate the way you and your partner get your best night's sleep.
There is a lot of information out there touting the pros of couples sleeping together, from improving mental health to providing a sense of safety and security. At the same time, stories on ways to eliminate the cons of sharing a bed—a partner's snoring, varied bedtimes, or a difference in the preferred bedroom temperature—proliferate. When these issues disrupt sleep, sleeping with a partner can negatively affect one's health and relationship. We have been conditioned to believe sleeping apart is a sign of a loveless or sexless couple so we may continue to sleep together or, at least, continue to say that we sleep together.
We think you should sleep in whatever way brings you the rest you need. If your choice is sleeping together, there are some simple ways to improve the experience for both of you.
1. Talking in Bed
Since the first known use of the term in 1914, pillow talk has been the title of books, movies, and songs. Beyond providing fodder for writers and performers, pillow talk can be beneficial to healthy sleep and a healthy relationship.
Although pillow talk might occur before or after sex, it is not the same thing as talking dirty. Pillow talk is the “positive and uplifting communication that brings people closer.” That is not to say pillow talk cannot improve sex. To the contrary, “a 2014 study showed that snuggling, talking, and caressing all contribute to better sex and a higher rating of relationship satisfaction.”
2. Picking a Bed Size
When it comes to sharing your bed with a partner, there's always going to be some amount of trial and error involved in getting comfortable and acclimating to the other person's sleep habits. It’s particularly difficult if one of you is an active or restless sleeper. Good sleep hygiene such as reducing caffeine intake in the afternoon might help with more restful sleep.
If you're among the 20% of couples who sleep in the “spoon” position, a smaller mattress might be perfect. If, however, one of you sleeps is a “starfish,” you can make the prospect of sharing a bed a bit easier by ensuring you both have the room you need with a king-sized mattress. You’ll also want a mattress with good motion isolation, which can limit what you feel when your partner rolls over or changes position.
3. Finding the Right Temperature
Being too hot or too cold can negatively affect your sleep. Sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom cool (60-67° F) for the best sleep. When we sleep, our core body temperatures decrease. That becomes more difficult if the room is warm. When the bedroom is too cold, our bodies exert effort to get warm again, which is not conducive to sleep. Temperature is a problem only when one of you likes to sleep in a room at the bottom of the range and the other at the top.
If you and your partner sleep best at different temperatures, we highly recommend sleeping the European way, with separate down comforters (two twin-size as opposed to one king-size comforter). Each of you can select the weight that provides the desired warmth. Our comforters range from the Tropical Lightweight Down and Feather Blanket for the one who sleeps extra-hot to our Essential White Goose Down Comforter in Winter Weight for the one who always feels cold.
Separate comforters will also eliminate the push and pull throughout the night. If that's the issue, we recommend two of our Essential White Goose Down Comforter in the All-Seasons Weight.
4. Choosing Your Own Sleeping Pillows
You and your partner may have entirely different needs when it comes to the pillow that will provide the best sleep. The choice depends on your size, sleeping position, and preferences. The right pillow can diminish snoring, reduce rolling, and shield you from arms and legs being flung about.
Don’t restrict yourself to standard pillow sizes and shapes. These certainly have their place, but your sleep could be revolutionized by the addition of a body pillow, euro square pillow, or wedge that helps you or your partner find the perfect sleeping position. King-size pillows are popular with our male customers. Our best-selling Rhapsody Wrap White Goose Down and Feather Pillow is a favorite of side sleepers.
Once you've found the pillows that work best for the way each of you sleeps, make sure they are easily identifiable when it comes time to go to bed. We recommend coordinated pillowcases with differing colors or designs.
5. Sharing the Sheets
If you wake up freezing night after night because your partner has kicked the sheets away, consider upgrading to the next size of flat sheet. The extra width and length may stay tucked in better.
If one of you has particularly long legs, big feet, or doesn’t like the feeling of being bound in by a tucked sheet, consider making the bed with a kick pleat or foot pocket. This typically requires selecting a flat sheet a size longer than what you would select based on your mattress size. When you place the top sheet on the bed, make a set of folds about 10 inches from the foot of the bed to create a pleat or pocket. This will allow the sleeper to lie on their back with their feet sticking up without feeling cramped.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate being a couple, we hope it ends with a great night’s sleep.
-The Team at Down Etc
If you would like to read more, see the following articles:
Cover Photo: https://www.pexels.com/@anna-pou/