If you and your bed partner don't have sleep habits in common, you may need to follow these five steps to fix your nighttime relationship conflicts. Before sending someone to the couch, it may be possible to make a few simple adjustments.
Start by taking a few minutes to carefully reflect on how you and your bed partner differ in your sleep habits. It may start with what time you prefer to crawl into bed. Once there, do you go immediately to sleep? Or do you spend time watching television, reading a book, or having sex? How long do you prefer to lie there before deciding to doze off?
You may not even have the same preferences in the character of your bed, differing in the firmness or bedding options. Are you someone who likes only a sheet or do you bury yourself in blankets and a thick comforter? Are you a blanket thief, hogging them during the night? Do you like the intimacy of a smaller bed, or do you need a vast king-sized expanse to have your own space?
Do you like complete darkness or a nightlight? Is it better to have the room a little cool or warm? Do you sleep with your favorite pet at your side, or are they banned from the room?
Ideally, both bed partners would follow the general advice for good sleep habits. This, however, may not be the case –- and may prove to be a point of contention.
Finally, assess whether you have similar sleep patterns. If one of you is working nights, and the other is not, this will produce obvious difficulties. If one prefers to stay up late and the other gets up to wake the rooster, this may lead to additional conflict. The first step in addressing these differences is to realize that they exist.