Insomnia and not being able to sleep at night can be extremely stressful, especially if it happens often. Not getting a decent night’s sleep not only makes you feel tired and groggy, but can have a serious impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing. Most people experience a poor night’s sleep every now and the, but some have difficulty getting a decent sleep every night. According to sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, an ability to fall asleep or get a good night’s sleep could be down to “sleep incompatibility” with your partner.
Recent research by the University of Leeds and bed retailer Silentnight revealed 25 per cent of Brits get only five hours shut eye a night or less – and Dr Ramlakhan believes sleep incompatibility could be to blame.
As a result Dr Ramlakhan suggests sleeping in separate beds could help to improve your quality of sleep.
The doctor argues that a night away from your partner from time to time could actually “work wonders” for both your sleep pattern and your relationship.
There are two kinds of sleeper, according to Dr Ramlakhan. The first is a ‘sensitive’ type, who wakes at the slightest noise, can’t sleep if they’re stressed and needs their side of the bed and own pillow.
The second is a ‘martini sleeper’, who can nod off anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
If you and your partner happen to be opposing types, there may be times when you need to spend some nights apart.
“My research with Silentnight revealed that a whopping 40 per cent of British adults say their partner’s snoring or heavy breathing is the reason they can’t get a good night’s sleep,” said Dr Ramlakhan.
“This, amongst other factors, such as stress and worry can cause countless nights of tossing and turning.
“Instead, if you’re worried about getting enough sleep, don’t be ashamed to lovingly negotiate sleeping separately every once in a while.
“The rest of the time, work on sleeping together but have a back up plan. Aim to communicate openly and honestly, but not at two in the morning!
“Get the biggest bed you can fit in your room, mattresses that minimise your partner’s movement, and use white noise, such as a fan, to mask noises such as snoring.
“The key is to communicate without blame and shame. Keep a sense of humour. If you really can’t sleep together, then don’t pressure yourselves to do so, just ensure you have lots of cuddle time and plan intimate moments. This can bring a whole other level of fun into the relationship.”
Dr Ramlakhan also suggests taking “practice naps” with your partner, for around 30 minutes or so, so work our your individual preferences.
The doctor insists that sleeping in separate beds shouldn’t lead to a lack of intimacy, but may actually help maintain a healthy relationship.
“Intimacy shouldn’t be underestimated if you are concerned about your sleep.
“Being close to a partner induces oxytocin, the so called ‘love hormone’, that allows you to feel secure and relaxed. This is actually something that is vital for good, restorative sleep.
“Oxytocin can be induced by simply giving your partner a hug or telling them you love them.”