- Experts say people sleep differently and that can cause difficulties for people who share a bed.
- One solution they suggest is for each person to have their own blanket so body temperature and tossing and turning aren’t issues.
- Experts say couples who get better sleep tend to get along better and in many cases are more intimate.
I get too hot under the down comforter at night.
My partner likes extra blankets.
Then, there are the issues of stealing the covers.
It’s probably no surprise to people who’ve shared a bed that a partner can disturb your sleep.
In fact, a 2005 study found that for couples, a partner causes about a third of all sleep disturbances.
A long-held tradition in Europe might hold the answer to better sleep. Couples in countries including Sweden and Germany sleep with two separate duvets on their shared bed instead of one large one.
IKEA even embraced the concept in a marketing campaign for a bundle of two blankets, one warmer than the other.
We asked sleep and relationship experts if this two-blanket method could help couples get a better night’s sleep and how it could impact a relationship.
Do two blankets work?
Whether you’re sleeping with a blanket thief or you toss and turn frequently, Tara Youngblood, the co-founder and chief scientist at Chili Sleep Systems, said sleeping with two blankets could help address these problems.
“Sleep is a very selfish act. In order to get the sleep we need, we often need our space,” Youngblood told Healthline. “You don’t sleep on the same pillows. Similarly, having separate linens allows for your freedom and sleep preferences.”
One personal sleep choice is the temperature our bodies like for optimal sleep.
“Temperature is a really big factor in sleep, both for triggering it and helping you stay asleep,” Youngblood explained.
“Various studies show that 92 to 98 percent of people sleep at different temperatures. Regardless of gender, two different people in a bed are very likely to sleep best at different temperatures,” she added.
A simple solution?
Each individual cozying up with the blanket of their preferred warmth — and even weight — can make for sound sleep.
Two blankets mean no more compromising on your sleep temperature, which is critical to getting the deep sleep you need to wake up refreshed.
This method doesn’t necessarily solve every issue, said Dr. Alexandra Stockwell, a relationship and intimacy expert.
“In my experience, the biggest issue in terms of partner sleep is one partner falls asleep and one is stressed and tossing and turning. When someone is doing that, they often want to interact with a comforting partner and wake their partner up,” Stockwell told Healthline. “In this scenario, [using] two blankets isn’t going to address the problem and one person will need to go into a different bedroom.”
The benefits of better sleep
Sleep is a critical component of our physical and emotional health.
Getting enough rest improves immune system function, mental health, concentration, and heart health, among many other benefits.
“Sleep is our body’s ultimate turn off and power-up cycle. There’s a sense of emotional stability that comes with good sleep,” Youngblood said.
“Overall, couples will be happier if they put sleep first and then figure out how to manage the relationship from a state of being well-slept,” Youngblood notes.
Stockwell agrees that being well rested is an important piece of maintaining a healthy relationship.
“With poor sleep, patience is one of the first things to go and resentment is one of the first to come, so it’s important for both people to be getting adequate sleep for the health of the relationship,” she said.
Reaching for two separate comforters might help boost a couple’s sex life if two blankets help them get better sleep.
“Both getting enough sleep and [respecting] sleep needs positively impacts a couple’s sex life. When either isn’t met, it’s hard to relax and have a good time,” Stockwell explained.
In fact, a 2015 study concluded that the more sleep females got, the more interested in sex they were the next day.
“It can seem counterintuitive [to use two blankets to increase intimacy], but by sleeping better, when you want to be intimate, you’ll be more likely to connect in a meaningful way,” Youngblood agreed.
Sleep can feel intimate for couples, Stockwell acknowledges.
“When people sleep in the same bed, they share an experience,” Stockwell says.
But getting good sleep is the number one priority.
There’s no one right way or place for couples to sleep, Stockwell noted.
“Sometimes people can have in their head that a great marriage means a couple in one bed, under one blanket and any variation can mean trouble in paradise,” she said.
That’s not necessarily true.
“It’s necessary for each partner to be clear with each other in what their sleep needs are, then collaborating to make sure their needs are met,” Stockwell noted.
If both partner’s needs are met by two blankets, then use two blankets.
Just make sure that having two blankets is not in any way a form of avoiding intimacy, Stockwell said.
“If a couple is happy with one another and just have different sleep preferences, two blankets can be a great solution and will increase good vibes around in getting into bed together — for any purpose,” she said.
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