Finding relationship refuge with a good night’s sleep


HEALTH-sleep1.jpg
HEALTH-sleep1.jpg

Agreeing ahead of time that it is OK for a partner to roll, poke or wake the snorer can avoid an argument and effectively abbreviate what could otherwise become an all-night snoring session or sleep-disrupting argument.

The hectic pace of day-to-day life shows few signs of slowing; however, the peaceful sanctuary couples are seeking may be closer than they think—in their own bedrooms.

For many of today’s couples though, the terms “bedroom” and “peaceful sanctuary” are more an oxymoron than a reality. A recent survey from the National Sleep Foundation found 25 to 33 percent of couples feel their relationships are negatively impacted by their partner’s bad sleep habits.

A 2009 wellness survey by Tempur-Pedic supports this notion, finding 61 percent of adults admit they wish the bedroom was a place where they could relax.

All this said, relationship expert and Tempur-Pedic wellness advisor Scott Stanley found that a few simple changes to a couple’s sleeping habits can ensure their bedroom offers the restful retreat they need.

Stanley, a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, studies how to improve relationships, with growing attention to the crucial role of being able to get a good night’s sleep.

First and foremost, Stanley says couples need to set the mood for a good night’s sleep by creating a relaxing, “conflict-free” sleeping environment.

By keeping the stress of the day on the other side of the bedroom door, partners will be able to achieve the right frame of mind to sufficiently wind down for a restful night, so be sure to shelf anything that may be upsetting for a more appropriate time and place.

“Good sleep requires your mind and body to be moving into a calmer, settled state,” Stanley said. “Conflict, anxiety and stress will interfere with falling and staying asleep. When you feel like you have to be on your guard, you will find it hard to calm down into the state where you most easily fall asleep.”

Second, couples must find a way to deal with common sleep distractions, including regular movement from one’s partner during sleep.

Research has shown sleep movement is more prevalent when sharing a bed, and as such, it is critical for individuals to keep their partner’s sleep quality in mind. Investing in mattresses that minimize motion transfer allow couples to be close without disturbing each other when moving.

Additionally, different sleeping patterns and schedules can cause couples to imperil what Stanley calls the “Sleep Zone.”

However, with a little planning, and maybe even some compromise, couples can create a sleep schedule that works for both bedmates—whether they are the lightest of sleepers or the latest of night-owls.

Setting a bedtime that works for both parties and establishing a routine allows couples to work around the differences in habits and biology that get them out of sync to begin with.

“It’s important to talk openly together—to be a team—about what you each can do to help the other get better sleep,” Stanley said.

Finally, some couples need to tackle the unpleasant issue of snoring—a prevalent bedroom offense.

Have a plan for how to handle the situation when it arises. Agreeing ahead of time that it is OK for a partner to roll, poke or wake the snorer can avoid an argument and effectively abbreviate what could otherwise become an all-night snoring session or sleep-disrupting argument.

“Couples should keep in mind that if snoring is a chronic occurrence, a serious health issue may be to blame,” Stanley warned. “Because of this, couples should consult a doctor to ensure the pattern is not a symptom of a more serious problem – and if nothing else, to get some suggestions for how to alleviate the snoring.

“Studies have proven that better sleep will benefit your relationship,” he added. “If you do all you can to help each of you, individually, get a good night’s sleep, you will find it easier to be your best for and with each other.”

Courtesy of ARAcontent


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