I like to sleep with the light off, no noise and the door closed.
My boyfriend likes to sleep with the light on, TV playing and blinds open.
I like to sleep facing the wall with no physical contact.
My boyfriend likes to sleep facing the door while cuddling.
Clearly we have different sleeping priorities (if such a term exists).
So, how do we compromise?
Well, quite honestly my initial thought was not to compromise. However, after months of personally devised sleep therapy for my boyfriend there was absolutely no difference. (Granted, my system only consisted of repeatedly turning off the TV, arguing over the blinds and slyly edging away from cuddles.) So, I decided I would change my own sleeping habits. I left on the TV, opened the blinds and forced myself to sleep. However, instead I just ended up memorising every single line of our bed-time TV programme. This was not my idea of a good nights sleep. Finally, I decided to be hi-tech and buy some top-of-the-range sleeping gadgets; ear plugs and an eye mask – that did the trick.
This got me thinking though, what is the sleeping etiquette when you share a bed? To cuddle or not to cuddle? To put up with unusual sleeping styles or not to? To endure cuddling-dead-arm or to demand full blood flow to all limbs? And what does it mean if you don’t share the same sleeping habits? Are you unconsciously (literally) incompatible? Or are sleeping styles irrelevant to relationships?
Well, a little bit of research led me to the general consensus of ‘sleep psychologists’ (yes, it’s a real job): IF YOU’RE NOT SLEEPING NEXT TO EACH OTHER, AROUND EACH OTHER OR ON EACH OTHER IN THE PERFECTLY INTERLINKED, CONNECTED OR INTERWOVEN WAY THEN YOU HAVE A TERRIBLE RELATIONSHIP AND WILL NEVER BE HAPPY!!!!! (But will probably get a good nights sleep.)
Obviously, I was a little skeptical.
Further research claimed that even the distance you sleep away from each other represents how strong your relationship is! Over 30 inches away is a big no-no apparently which is bad news for those of us with partners who have exceptionally toasty body heat. (Our relationships are doomed!)
So, now I was a little bit more skeptical.
Finally, I researched different types of sleeping positions. I found numerous articles claiming to decode your relationship through your shared sleeping style. Each source seemed to have increasingly inventive names for the tell-tale nap positions. Here’s a few of my favourites: the leg hug, the Yoda, excalibur, paper dolls and shingles. The people claiming to know the key to our relationship’s secrets were using defining titles such as ‘the Fabio’. My personal favourite discovery was an article that decoded who your ideal sleep partner would be. Forget Tinder, hello Slinder!
At this point, I was 100% skeptical.
So, just in case you were worrying about your sleep compatibility (I imagine that’s a small proportion of my audience anyway) I’ll save you the trouble…
Yes, you still love each other.
No, you don’t have to interlink every limb to be happy.
Yes, it’s OK not to cuddle.
No, the Fabio is not an acceptable sleeping term.
Just get an eye mask and ear plugs.