The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. A consistent eight hours of sleep an evening is required in order to achieve happiness, productivity, and health (lack of sleep leads to increased headaches and risks of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, to name a few complications). If sleep is that crucial for one human, imagine the importance of sleep in relationships.There are obvious reasons why partners should be well-rested. People who aren't cranky and exhausted are much more likely to enjoy each others company and not bicker over silly problems. But that's not all that matters. If someone is negatively affected by their partner's sleeping habits — be it snoring, insomnia, tossing and turning, etc. — it can create enough resentment to initiate a breakup. When you think about the way your ability to sleep affects your daily life and physical well-being, it makes sense that a partner won't commit to a person who refuses to compromise about incompatible sleeping habits.Thankfully, adjusting your sleep habits to either better complement your partner's or to just improve their quality of sleep is doable, fun, and romantic! Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1. Get It On
This science is for real so pay attention. Sex causes the brain to release oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel happy or “warm and fuzzy” — which is also why it's called the “cuddle hormone.” When oxytocin is released, it lessens the production of cortisol in your bod, aka the “stress hormone.” A more relaxed mood means your partner can drift off to sleep more easily. Sex is also a form of exercise, and working out before bed functions as a sleep aid. So many reasons to have sex, you guys!!!
2. Create Romantic Routines
The existence of routines before bed actually plays quite a large part in the ability to sleep well, so begin some fun and soothing bedtime rituals with your partner. The Mayo Clinic stresses that you should avoid rituals that include electronic devices as the gadgets' screens emit blue light, and researchers have found evidence that blue light majorly disrupts your sleep cycle. So don't have that stuff around your partner before bed if you want them to sleep well (or if you wanna sleep well!). Banning Instagram and cat videos from the bedroom have some other perks too, though.Offer up some suggestions to your significant other to introduce fun, relaxing nighttime routines. You and your partner can each read a book in bed, cuddle to your favorite ~slow jam~, share a warm bath, or refer to #1 ;-)
3. Prevent Blanket Thievery
You totally don't mean to steal the blanket from your partner when you're asleep. But if you commit the crime habitually, then the change in temperature is probably waking them up in the middle of the night. To help your boo out, purchase another blanket so that you have two to share. It should be much harder to steal both blankets if each of you are wrapped up in your own. If you still manage to snatch both away from your innocent partner, then I'll pray for you.
4. Silence Is The Golden Rule
Do you require noise from a TV or iTunes to fall asleep? Lots of people do, but if your partner prefers silence, then we have a problem. You should promise your partner that they can shut off the movie or music in 15-30 minutes as you will have likely fallen asleep by then (and if you haven't knocked out after 30 minutes, then the noise really isn't helping anybody so just turn it off). You can also shower your lover with noise-reducing gifts like earplugs (also useful for the next item in this list). And, if you're rolling in the benjamins, hit up Amazon for a pair of those hella pricey wireless headphones so you can listen to music for as long as you want without annoying your partner (no accidental self-strangulation, please!)
5. Get Your Life Right, Snorlax
If you are a heavy snorer, then your partner is a warrior. Snoring is totally involuntary and can be the sign of medical conditions that should be taken very seriously, but good lord does it make it hard for your bedmate to catch some damn Z's. You don't want your partner to start resenting you because they are exhausted every morning at work, so try out some snoring remedies to see if one helps. Avoid drinking alcohol right before bed or taking sleeping pills (if you can) since those substances relax your throat muscles, which increases snoring. Exercising and quitting smoking have also been shown to help. There are tons of mouth guards, nasal strips, sprays, and other types of sleep aids to wear in bed that might reduce snoring as well. Just Google "stop snoring" and hopefully you'll find your holy grail.
6. Change The Climate
You and your partner are two individual humans, so understandably you'll each have different temperature preferences. Unfortunately, the difference between a cold or hot environment can be the difference between sweet dreams and sleepless nights. Set your thermostat to a degree in between both of your preferred temperatures. The person who prefers it colder can also keep a small fan on their nightstand. If you two can afford a mattress upgrade and the desire for coolness is creating relationship drama, it's good to know that a bigger bed reduces body heat.
7. Yankee Candle It Up
Soothing scents have such positive effects on the body. Surprise your lover with lavender candles, incense, or potpourri for the bedroom. It has magical heart rate decreasing and blood pressure lowering powers.
8. Add More Blankets
I toss and turn so badly that I've woken up with bruised legs and/or completely flipped around with my head at the foot of the bed. The struggle is real, and your partner will be extremely annoyed that your unconscious pushing, shifting, and flailing is preventing them from reaching the nirvana known as that sweet, sweet REM cycle. Adding lots of layers of blankets lessens your ability to nudge them during your nighttime dance party of one. If you're ready for real commitment, it might be worth it to invest in a foam and/or larger mattress. #CaliforniaKingBed
9. Snuggle Buddies
If you don't like snuggling your way to sleep, that doesn't mean you hate snuggling your partner. Some people need space and reduced body heat if they are actually going to get any shut eye. Your partner might be the exact opposite and require a cuddle buddy, which is understandable considering the previously discussed powers of oxytocin. This is an easy compromise if you want to help your partner sleep better. A new nighttime ritual could be cuddling for 10 minutes or so before bed. This will get your partner relaxed, and strengthen feelings of intimacy and trust for the both of you. Win win!
10. Be Free
Sleeping in the nude helps your body adjust to an ideal temperature for ultimate relaxation. It's also a fun regular practice to initiate with your partner. It also leads to #1 haaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy
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