Are You Sleep Compatible with Your Partner?

Sharing a bed with a partner can be wonderful. Falling asleep knowing that a loved one is so close can bring great peace of mind and give you a night of deeply tranquil rest. However, for some couples, sharing a bed can bring problems. This is known as sleep incompatibility.

Here, TEMPUR® delves into sleep compatibility and explains some possible solutions for couples facing problems.

What Makes Couples Incompatible Sleepers?

The bedroom can become a battleground for some couples if they are incompatible sleepers. If your partner causes sleep disturbances, you will likely be left feeling tired and irritable in the morning. This is a recipe for disaster.

Sleep incompatibility has numerous causes, including:

  • Loud snoring from one or both people
  • Excessive fidgeting
  • Differing preferences on sleep environment, such as mattress feel or room temperature
  • Need for trips to the bathroom in the night
  • Poor or incompatible sleep positions

The likelihood of sleep incompatibility increases with age, particularly due to elderly people’s tendency to snore or frequent need to use the bathroom in the night.

Sleeping Positions for Couples

A good sleeping position for a couple is one in which both people are comfortable. So, if you’re lying spread out in the middle of the bed as your partner hangs off the edge, a change may be needed. You and your partner must come to a compromise.

The most common sleeping position for a couple is back to back. This allows you both to get comfy, without the risk of limbs getting entangled or accidentally hitting one another. This is a great way of making sure space is shared equally.

Another popular sleep position for couples is spooning. This is for those couples who want a little more contact when they sleep. Spooning means both are facing the same direction, with one partner’s arms around the other. This position allows more intimacy, without entangling limbs; however, it can be uncomfortable for those who prefer their space.

A Bigger Bed and Mattress

If you both require space to spread out, you might consider purchasing a larger bed and mattress. Although space limitations mean that getting a bigger bed won’t be possible for everyone, a queen or king size mattress provides more space for you and your partner to find the right sleep position.

Sleeping Better Together: Discussion

The key to finding the right sleep situation is openly and honestly discussing both your needs.

For example, while spooning or cuddling your partner is nice for some, not everyone finds it a comfortable way to sleep. If you or your partner needs their space when sleeping, this should be respected. Perhaps discuss the possibility of cuddling for a little while in bed, before separating and sleeping with less contact.

Similarly, if you and your partner have differing temperature preferences, discuss keeping the room at a medium temperature or the possibility of one of you wearing warmer pyjamas to bed.

How to Stop Snoring

If snoring is the source of your sleep incompatibility, reducing it is key. Actions to prevent snoring include:

  • A change of sleep position – sleeping on your side rather than your back is often helpful
  • Losing some weight
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing alcohol consumption

These cannot guarantee your partner will stop snoring but are often helpful. If the snoring persists, earplugs may be of use.

Sleeping in Separate Beds

Sleeping in separate beds is often stigmatised in our culture; many people see it as a sign of deeper issues within a relationship. However, some couples are sleep incompatible and there is no shame in this.

If your partner’s snoring is repeatedly keeping you awake or you have different sleeping patterns, then sharing a bed can be problematic. In this situation, sleeping in separate beds could be very helpful and is not something to be ashamed of. A well-rested couple is often happier than a tired and irritable one.

You and your partner should discuss this possibility openly and without allowing the judgement of others to influence your decision. If sleeping separately makes you happier together, that is more important.


So, there we have TEMPUR’s® guide to sleep incompatibility. Do you have experience coping with sleep incompatibility? Have you got any other tips for dealing with it? Let us know in the comments section below…

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