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torch81's avatar

How long should it take a newly married couple to each get a good night's rest in the same bed?

Asked by torch81 (672 points ) August 22nd, 2009

I’ve been married since June 13th and my wife and I are still having trouble sleeping harmoniously. There are different things on different nights that cause a problem: the temperature of the room, stealing blankets, snoring, tossing and turning. Some nights I get better sleep, some nights she does.

Any thoughts on how long it should take to get used to sleeping next to each other; or on what to do to get a good night’s rest?

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31 Answers

janbb's avatar

After 36 years of not sleeping well (often), we are reluctantly coming to the conclusion that a kingsized bed is the best answer for us. When we are someplace that there is one, we each tend to sleep much better and are not aware of the other’s tossings and turnings. Also, you can each have different amounts of blanket on you in that size bed without them piling up on the other one. We still have a problem with the fact that I like to go to bed before my husband and like to have the room dark – haven’t figured out a solution to that one yet.

scamp's avatar

One very important word for sleeping well with a spouse or significant other and other areas of a relationship: compromise. I hope you are able to find a way to get a restful sleep soon!

dee1313's avatar

@janbb I wear a night mask. I can’t stand any sort of light, and I have difficulty keeping my eyes shut when my mind is wide awake and I am trying to sleep.

I sleep better when my husband isn’t in the bed with me (which is good because he’s a Marine and I’ll have to do that every now and then anyway). We have a queen size bed, and he’s a big guy that likes a lot of room. Luckily, we’re completely opposites in this area, as I prefer to curl up. He gets hot, and doesn’t usually sleep under our comforter. I am always cold, and must use it. Sometimes he’ll get a little cold at night and take a bit of it, which wakes me up, but I then just readjust and go back to sleep. We have a big comforter.

Temperature is a tough thing for us. He’s always hot, and I’m always cold. I usually wear more clothes to bed, and he just sleeps in his boxers. The only problem is when I get too hot under the comforter. I can’t come out because cold air on my skin makes me freeze, but long sleeved sleep shirts get twisted and make me uncomfortable. Basically, I just need something like my old mattress pad heater for my side, and a lighter comforter.

@torch81 Here’s a few solutions for you :
– Find a temperature you both can deal with. We keep ours around 75 F, which is probably a little hot for my husband, but we keep fans on and that makes him happy. I can’t stand the cold air on my skin, so I usually go around in long pants and a shirt with a jacket.

- Stealing blankets: get a HUGE blanket. It works so much better. Or, use two.

- Snoring sucks. My husband snores when he lays on his back, so I wake him up and make him turn on his side or his stomach. He cuddles me before we fall asleep, so it never starts with snores at night. Over time (8 months so far) he has slept on his back less and less. Or I just don’t hear it as much anymore. I don’t know. You could sleep with ear plugs, but it may be a problem to hear the alarm clock. It wont be a big deal if the person who is wearing the ear plugs wakes up after the snorer, as they can just take it out. If you wake up at the same time, the snorer can wake up the other person. You could try what we do (for a different reason though). I have on of those little floor heaters, that I put on fan when we go to bed. Its kind of loud, so it helps drown out random sounds and it helps drown out my own thoughts. After a while, you’ll get used to it. It is kind of a signal to my brain to go to sleep, so that helps too.

- Tossing and turning is more noticeable in a water bed or if you both are sharing blankets. I don’t notice my husband much because he gets hot and moves away from me, and I have all the blanket.We also have a 4” memory foam mattress topper, and that helps to keep the bed from bouncing or anything when he or I move. You could also get a large bed.

Sorry for the length.

rebbel's avatar

The problem of snoring can be solved with all kind of practical inventions (although i don’t know nothing about their usefulness).
If you can solve snoring, you have one big problem out of the way.
You (or your spouse) could try to do what i did: try to find a rhythm/pattern in the snore and focus on that.
It took my attention from the annoyance of it.
It worked for me (most of the time).

Also, one big bed, but two matrasses, and for both your ‘own’ bed-linnen (as mentioned before) is a good idea.

Go to bed both at the same time (thus not disturbing the one who is already laying/sleeping).
Visit the toilet, just before entering the bed (thus limitting the chance of a nightly (read: disturbing) visit).
The one who needs visiting the toilet most sleeps on the side closest to the loo.

Have sex before you intend to sleep (not so much as a tactic, but more just because it’s great and it makes you (probably) both tired).

dee1313's avatar

@rebbel The sex thing might help with the temperature thing, too. I sleep naked or with just panties afterward because it makes me hot. Sex is just good for you anyway.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

My wife goes to bed earlier than I do simply because I am a night owl and always have been. She likes a night light, I prefer it pitch dark. She likes it quiet, I like to have a fan running for the white noise effect and that I am always hot. She sleeps with her feet tucked, I sleep with my feet sticking out from under the covers.

Of course, we have been married over twenty years, our newlywed days are long over. I do remember that when she was hogging the bed, or snoring too loud, I’d grab my pillow and head for the couch. Then I’d wake up to find her sleeping on the floor at my feet.

Good luck figuring out your sleep practices, since we spend ⅓rd of our lives sleeping (seems such a waste of valuable time) but like someone mentioned up there, compromise seems the only answer. That and seperate blankets, or even seperate beds.

Blondesjon's avatar

If you’re newlyweds you shouldn’t be doing a whole lot of sleeping yet, if you know what I mean.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Blondesjon- What do you mean?

dpworkin's avatar

7 or 8 hours is nice.

rebbel's avatar

@dee1313 Yes, it is great, he?!
Gosh, i miss my girlfriend.
Only four more weeks.

janbb's avatar

I think sleep is the one area that it’s hard to compromise on so figuring out practical ways you can each get the conditions you need, as many of the suggestions above indicate, is the way to go.

Blondesjon's avatar

@AstroChuck . . .uh…you know…that thing that people do in bed…that…isn’t…sleeping…ok, when a mommy mommy and a daddy daddy love each other very much…

rebbel's avatar

@Blondesjon Ah, yes, don’t you just love to solve them sudoku’s. Together

dee1313's avatar

@rebbel I know what you mean. I married a Marine. Vibrators are fun, but they aren’t anywhere near as great.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Blondesjon- And then what?

Darwin's avatar

As others say, compromise is the way to a happy marriage in or out of bed. My husband is a cover-hog, so I learned long ago to have two blankets on the bed. He also snores but somehow I have learned to block it out. He also likes to watch TV at night when he can’t sleep, so I wear a night mask. And then there is the farting.

OTOH, there are things I like that he doesn’t, such as always having the ceiling fan running. He pulls the covers over his head and sleeps wrapped up like a mummy so it doesn’t bother him.

It is an ongoing process, actually, as tastes and needs change over time. These days my husband can no longer sleep lying down for health reasons so we have dealt with that. You and your spouse might discuss the problems and work together to find a solution. A bigger bed, a different type of bed, multiple blankets, and an alternative for nights when one person either can’t sleep or desperately needs to sleep (in other words, a spare bedroom or a comfy couch).

My grandparents always had their own separate bedrooms for their entire marriage. They would adjourn to one or the other room for sex, and then separate in large part because my grandfather snored so loudly you could hear him on the front porch! That is an extreme solution, but it was one they made jointly because they loved each other.

Work with your spouse and find a solution. Rinse and repeat throughout your marriage as problems arise, as they inevitably do.

girlofscience's avatar

How long were you living together before you married?

casheroo's avatar

I didn’t realize this was such an issue for some couples. Ii’ve never had any big problems when sleeping over a man’s house on a regular basis, or when my husband and I moved in together.
I think we started out with a Full sized bed, but when I was pregnant we got a Queen sized bed, plenty of room for both of us. We use a thick comforter in the winter, and a quilt the rest of the year. We both prefer the room to be a little chilly, so we can snuggly under the blanket.
Our Queen sized bed was even enough for us when we coslept with our son for 14 months, althought my husband was the one that had to deal with a baby,his wife, and cats laying on him so I guess it wasn’t so bad for me. He can sleep in any condition pretty much, as long as it’s not hot.

I guess you two need to figure out what you like and see how you can work it out. If you like the room cold, maybe she could wear more to bed or something.

torch81's avatar

@girlofscience not at all. Hard to believe, but some people still do it the old fashioned way.

wundayatta's avatar

There are different things on different nights that cause a problem: the temperature of the room, stealing blankets, snoring, tossing and turning.

These are all solvable problems. Sure, you can do nothing and hope you’ll get used to it.

With temperature, you can have blankets with a thick side and a thin side. Or you can use several layers and the hot person just throws some of the layers over on the other person’s side.

Stealing blankets—well, people toss and turn, and that moves the blankets. You could tuck them in the bed more deeply. Maybe other people have other ideas.

Tossing and turning—get a bigger bed. Or go to a sleep doctor to find out what is going on there. Perhaps it has a medical cause.

Snoring—lots of things to do here. Mouth appliances, nose strips, white noise, sleeping separately, CPAP machines (which require diagnosis with sleep apnea).

You don’t mention how old you are or how long you’ve been sleeping alone or whether you slept together before marriage. It’s kind of hard to advise you without that kind of information. However, if you have been sleeping alone for years, and this is the first time you’ve slept with a partner, then I suppose there could be adjustment issues. It may take time, but you might get used to it. Otherwise, it’s not the end of the world if you maintain separate beds, or even separate bedrooms. Not as much fun, I don’t think.

Just a question. Do you sleep better after making love?

live_rose's avatar

I’m not married but I have slept in the same bed as y significant other. I sleep in a room that’s too cold with a cover that I don’t really think is a cover. He sleeps nearly on top of me and If I move an inch it wakes him. And I’m sure there’s some things about my sleeping he doesn’t like. So it’s a struggle to sleep in that bed but i do because I love him and I hope one day he and i will sync up make compromises and get some good nights sleep. I do eventually fall asleep so I think over time I’ll get used to it. Any hopefully you will to

tinyfaery's avatar

Sleeping styles vary, learning to adjust can be hard, and there is the possibility that you may never adjust. My wife and I slept in a twin for about a month, then a full for seven years. Even after 7 years, we still had times when we would keep each other awake. We just got a cal king, and the space is great. We can both do our sleep things and the room allows the other to stay asleep. A big enough bed will make all the difference.

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery ^^ As I said before, I’m with you on that one.

dee1313's avatar

@daloon Your comment on the stealing blankets reminded me of something.

When I sleep, I make a cocoon with the comforter. I don’t have it under me (except for my feet), but tucked in a bit all the way around, and I grab the top corner in front of me and kind of cuddle it.

When my husband reaches for some blanket, he just takes what was wrapped behind me.

So maybe the victim of the blanket stealer can just cuddle a bit of the blanket like I do, or wrap it under them. If the problem is waking up when it happens, this isn’t a good solution, but if the problem is that you don’t notice it and then wake up because you’re freezing, this might help.

Jeruba's avatar

Sleep studies have shown that on average couples sleep better apart but happier together. It can take a little time to work out your compromises. If you’re both having some good nights, you’re doing fine. It hasn’t been very long.

YARNLADY's avatar

One big difference that can work towards solving all the sleeping problems is to get a big enough bed. The first thing I splurged on when we were marrried was a Queen Size Bed, and as soon as we were financially able, I switched to a King Bed.

I have a “reserve” blanket which I use when he steals the covers, but with the King Bed, and really big blankets, (don’t skimp) that problem has mostly been solved.

Snoring is music to my ears, so I don’t consider it a problem to be solved.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Hmm, never thought it a big deal for us…he doesn’t like blankets and I do so I have one…he goes to bed earlier than I do, but we make sure to have sex each night before his bed-time…since the first night we ever slept next to each other, he has always fallen asleep on top of my back…that has never changed, even when I was pregnant…as soon as I come to bed, he, like a cat, crawls over to my back, puts his head below my neck, leg and arms over me and falls asleep…we’ve been married for under a year…together for over two, if that helps

Darwin's avatar

We got a king-sized bed and the space was wonderful. Then we had children.

What space?

john65pennington's avatar

This was our only solution: we married in 1965 and everything was great, while sleeping in the same bed with my new wife. we adjusted to each others sleeping habits, finally. then in about the 20th year of our marriage, my wife developed sleep apnea. this became a major obstacle for us. she could sleep 5 minutes and it was like an 8-hour sleep for her. we lived in a small apartment at that time. she would turn on the television and that naturally would wake me up and the problems began. see saw a doctor and tried everything. finally, we made a major decision together…...separate bedrooms. i know you probably do not agree to this arrangement, just being newly married, but this has worked for us for the last 24 years. this arrangement is occuring much more often than you might think. people love each other, but just cannot sleep in the same bed together. it happens. has our love for each other slowed down? no. do we still love each other as much as usual? yes. its strictly what you make of it. i now receive the sleep i need and she watches her television all night long. you just have to make adjustments that suit your needs. every situation is different.

john65pennington's avatar

dee1313….......your sleeping situation sounds exactly like mine, except for my wifes sleep apnea. i am tall, she is short. i like a fan going and a cold room, she is just the opposite, like you. glad i am not alone in the miseries of sleeping with a partner. john

dee1313's avatar

@john65pennington Actually, separate bedrooms isn’t terrible. My husband and I sleep way better now that I work nights and he’s on days, so we each get the bed to ourselves.

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