Sleep Better With Runtastic Pt. 2: How Couples Sleep Better
Men and women are different. They also sleep differently, confirm Joachim and Mirjam who have been spending their nights together since 2006. For the last four months, since their son was born, they’ve been sharing their bed with him too. Today, the two of them let you take a peek into their bedroom and provide 7 tips for sharing a bed.
Create a cozy atmosphere in your bedroom
The right atmosphere is vital for healthy sleep. When it comes to the ideal bedroom temperature, Mirjam and Joachim agree that they prefer snuggling up under the sheets at a room temperature of 64.5 to 68°F (18 to 20°C).
Respect each other’s needs
Not all couples can have the same daily rhythm. Different jobs and workplaces force one or the other to go to bed or get up at different times. In this case, it is essential to respect your partner’s needs. “If one wants to read while the other one is barely able to keep his or her eyes open, an eReader can be a great solution as it allows you to turn off the bright bedsite lamp,” Joachim recommends. “As for the mornings, the one who has to wake up earlier might want to get a vibration alarm clock.“
“Our little one sometimes wakes up at night. Joachim and I agreed that it makes no sense to both get up with the baby. I’d recommend that all parents determine whose turn it is to do the ‘nightshift’ each night,” Mirjam advises. “Otherwise, it could happen (and might or might not have happened to us) that both partners pretend to be asleep when the baby cries. In the end, both partners end up awake and grumpy.”
Choose your mattress wisely
Your bed and mattress are essential for healthy sleep, and the size of your mattress is an important factor. A minimum width of 60 in / 150 cm is recommended for couples (in the U.S. queen size corresponds to 60 x 80 in, king size to 76 x 80 in, whereas in Europe double bed sizes vary between 140 and 180 x 200 cm). According to sleep physicians, separate mattresses are ideal. Mirjam and Joachim opted for two separate mattresses but, they admit, they often end up sleeping on just one. If you do choose to share one big mattress, it’s the material that counts. Your mattress should transmit as little movement as possible on to your partner, and contour to your body shape. In addition, the material should be able to absorb humidity and sweat.
One or two duvets, that’s the question
Opinions are divided on this topic. Joachim opts for two duvets in winter and one big, thin sheet in summer. “We like the idea of having two duvets. When sharing a single duvet, one often ends up wrapped up in a giant portion of it whereas the other is left with just a tiny corner. Not ideal, especially in winter.”
Children should sleep in their own bed
The chief physician of the Elisabethinen hospital in Linz, Austria, is not a big fan of letting the kids sleep in the parents’ bed. Particularly, because the little ones quickly get used to it and the parents’ sleep quality often suffers. So far, Mirjam and Joachim have had their son sleep in a bedside cot that is attached to their bed. “This way, he can feel close to and hear his parents,” they explain. However, their plan is to move him to his own room soon.
If you just can’t fall asleep…
For the days when one partner seems to be unable to get shut-eye (e.g. because their significant other is snoring), the best thing to do is spend the night on the couch or in the guest bedroom. If this happens frequently, it is important to come up with a long-term solution that works for the both of you.
Joachim’s personal tip for couples
“Reserve bedtime for some quality time together. Just focus on your partner and update each other about your day. That’s often the first moment we learn what the other one actually has done and thought about throughout the day. Mirjam and I use that time to reflect on our day together. Especially with a baby which, naturally, gets most of our attention, conversations and quality time between the two of us are rare. But, it doesn’t have to be this way if you make the effort to plan on spending some time together as a couple, not just as parents. We do that every evening before falling asleep.”
There are uncountable different opinions and studies on sleep, and, in the end, every couple should find out what works best for them and make their individual decisions.
Do you have any tips or facts on why or how couples sleep better? Share them in the comments!
Joachim is Head of Mobile Products at Runtastic. He and his wife, Mirjam, live in Vienna together with their little son.