Sleep impacts pretty much every aspect of our lives. From feeling irritable to links with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and poor mental health.
But, did you know that your sleep habits also play an integral role in the success of your relationships?
From sleeping in opposite directions to duvet wars and distance, there are a whole host of bad bedtime behaviours that could mean you’re on your way to a break-up.
“A couple’s sleeping habits can tell you a lot about their relationship,” Ané Auret, a dating and relationship coach told The Independent.
“It’s totally fine to go and sleep in another room if snoring keeps you up on occasion, but it becomes an issue when either party uses a bedtime habit to start avoiding their partner on purpose, or create a habit that means they spend less time together around bedtime.
“The real question then is what is behind this kind of behavior and why they are really doing it?”
Here, relationship expert Jo Barnett reveals the five bad bedtime behaviors that could be putting your love life at risk.
First of all, falling asleep back-to-back is a surefire sign that your relationship could be under strain as Barnett says it can have couples feeling disconnected or shut out. “After all, you are literally turning your back on your partner,” she told The Independent.
The solution? Make a conscious effort to spend some time together when you get into bed by facing in the same direction and put a ban on anything that might get in your way – we’re looking at you, Facebook.
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Similarly, new research has revealed that the annual battle for control of the thermostat is an issue one third of couples argue about, but try not to let the temperature of the bedroom come between you.
The secret here Barnett says is to compromise. “Couples may well have different personal thermostats and often women get colder than men or it can be the other way around.
“Be sympathetic to the needs of your partner and look for a solution that keeps you both happy, such as a separate duvet or opening the window on one side of the room.”
Next up in the bedroom battle is who gets control of the covers. “If you or your partner are duvet hoggers then its time to get a bigger duvet, after all you are spending lots of time in bed, its worth being comfortable,” Barnett explains.
Whether you sleep in a double or a queen-size bed, if there’s a huge gap between you and your partner then you could run the risk of feeling disconnected emotionally too.
But Barnett says as long as you’re upfront with your partner that this is how you like to sleep, it shouldn’t have too much of an effect.
“Some people need space to be able to switch off and go into their own world to get a good nights sleep, its nothing personal,” she says.
Finally, going to bed at different times could also be having a lasting impact on your relationship. By doing so, some couples might experience loneliness and not to mention feel irritated by being woken by someone coming in to bed halfway through the night.
Alternatively though, Barnett says, “it could be a good solution for those who have trouble sleeping with someone next to them or for a partner who snores.
“It’s not the most romantic solution but then neither is a grumpy person at the breakfast table.”