Sleep is more valuable and important than most people realize. It affects our ability to function and our outlook on life. Nothing can make you feel better heading into the day than a great nights' rest the night before. Somnolence patterns can also be a signal of other things like mental health issues. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you may spend a lot of time tossing and turning. Additionally, poor rest quality can contribute to the state of your overall health.
The same can be said of relationships. Studies show that how well you sleep with your partner directly correlates with the quality of your relationship. If you and your partner go to bed around the same time and rest pretty well together, then things are usually pretty good in the relationship. If you have different bedtime schedules, however, that can be trouble. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That one is still up for debate. Whether poor rest patterns with your partner is the sign or the cause of relationship problems depends on who you ask.
Spending time in bed together promotes intimacy. The time partners spend in bed together before lights out allows them time to talk and connect without the distractions found during the rest of the day. Also, the act of actually sleeping together and being on the same schedule allows couples to sync up and produces a harmonious affect in the relationship.
With that said, it might not be a bad idea to make an effort to go to bed together and actually rest while you are there. Sometimes there are physical or medical problems that can interfere with this. Assuming, however, that there are no physical impediments, here are some suggestions on how to get better quality rest with your partner for a stronger bond and more harmonious partnership.
Make Your Bedroom a Sacred Space
Sleep is important to your relationship. Intimacy is important too. If you are going to focus on making your relationship a positive and happy one, you need to have both. Your bedroom should be the sanctuary that gives you space for both. The quickest way to disrupt either of those goals is to allow other things into the bedroom. This means, leave the cell phone and other electronic devices outside of the door. If you use your cell phone for an alarm clock, then get an alarm clock. Do not place distractions in places where they can be temptations. Do not bring arguments or problems into the bedroom. Discuss important matters before going to bed. Pillow talk should be positive. It should be a way to connect emotionally. You might discuss the highs and lows of your day or what you like about your partner.
Keep Kids Out of Your Bed
Yes, of course there are extenuating circumstance: your little one is ill or has a nightmare. Whatever it is, do not let co-sleeping become a habit. Those distractions that you are supposed to keep out of the bedroom are not always electronic. Sometimes they have two legs. The best thing you could do for your child, and your marriage, is to stay with the child in their room until they fall asleep. This helps them to feel that their room is a safe place and your presence lets them know that you are there for them. It also prevents you from developing a habit of letting them stay in your bed. You may end up not having grown up time with your spouse for a day or two, but a few days of sacrifice will be worth the months and years you could lose with kids on your mattress regularly.
Deal With Obstacles
Sometimes there are genuine obstacles that make sleeping together difficult. If your partner has a crazy early schedule, like having to leave for work at 5 am, then laying down and getting up together may not be practical. You may also be sleeping with someone who snores, hogs the covers or thrashes while they dream. Some of these may be signs of a medical problem. Sometimes all you need to solve the problem is to replace your mattress. Sometimes snoring and thrashing are things you should discuss with your doctor. If there are no medical solutions to your problems, then try finding practical ones. For the blanket hog, get separate blankets. For wildly divergent schedules, partners can go to bed together, but the night owl can get back up once the early bird is asleep. A similar tactic can work with a partner who snores or thrashes. But the second partner may have to have a different place to crash once the first one is asleep.
It is possible to bridge the gaps that make sleeping together difficult. And aren't relationships about bridging gaps to help strengthen the bond? When it is your relationship, work to maintain the intimacy by figuring out how to solve bedtime problems. Your relationship will be happier if you do.