Sleeping with your bed partner

How did you guys handle sleeping with a bed partner? Every time I get sleep he would move and I would be wide awake. I did sleepio course before and sleep counseling while sleeping in a separate bedroom but it really put stress on our relationship. It was like we were just roommates. My sleep did improve while I was sleeping alone but as soon as I tried to sleep in the same bed as my husband, the insomnia all came back. I think it is now worse than ever. So I am desperate and I have a 1 yr old to take care of during the day. I am trying the sleepio course again but this time remaining in the same bed as my husband. However, I am not sleeping. Any advice is appreciated

Posted 6 Feb 2013 at 10:05 AM
  • 34 comments
  • 9 helped

Comments

Show older comments
  • Sleepio Member

    • 1692 comments
    • 346 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi ikaboka,
    I realize that having your partner over 3 times a week may mean you might not appreciate the following idea, which is to sleep in separate beds, if available. A number of members have done just that as that they go through the program and have found that it relieves their anxiety about sleep somewhat so they can focus on improving their sleep. Just something for consideration. This of course doesn't mean one can't have their “snuggle” time in bed together, it just means removing yourself from the bed and sleeping somewhere else.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Thank you for all of your comments, Marie Elaine and Anniem. I find that a big problem is that some nights I am actually able to get a decent sleep (6 hours) and others I lie there awake. So I never know what to expect and always try think that I will get some decent sleep (although that doesnt always happen). Unfortunately I don't have another bed room in the house, so we cannot sleep in different beds.
    Perhaps Marie Elaine, your suggestion is best – to get up out of bed and come back when I am more relaxed and tired.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 90 helped
    Graduate

    A king size bed has made a huge difference for me because with it I am not able to feel the mattress move if he's restless at all. I also feel less self-conscious about my own restlessness possibly waking him up, even though he sleeps like a rock. His snoring is still an issue for me though – working on that one as ear plugs hurt my ears after more than one night.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have found that having a king size bed essential. if on holiday we always try for twin beds. My husband has frequent nightmares or noisy dreams so space is crucial. also earplugs!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 435 comments
    • 260 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi denised, its worth shopping around online for different types of ear plugs. There are some (sorry I don't know the name) that are yellow and pink stripy and VERY soft and squidgy. I find they don't work as well as the SCAN ones that are like little orange bullets, but I change between the two types to give my ears a rest.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 184 comments
    • 90 helped
    Graduate

    Marie Elaine, I will look for the yellow and pink stripey ones. I tried the clear silicone ones last night that I think were gentler though harder to get in place since they don't fit in the ear the same way.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
    • 11 helped
    Graduate

    Insomnia in the double bed has been a real problem for me for. To get back in the double bed, with Sleep window ending 5.30am I needed an alarm to make sure I didn't overshoot it some days. But not waking up my wife. Even a vibration alarm under the pillow woke her. But I found a Casio watch alarm £27 in Argos with Vibration alarm function seems to work for me. Maybe this info could be useful for someone.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 26 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    My husband is a real fidget in bed. He falls asleep before his head hits the pillow and will sleep for weeks if it was not for the alarm clock (ok for some isn't ?). He throws himself around the bed all night and it really disturbs me (he has some sensory/neurological problems in that all movements he does are exaggerated so a gentle roll over is impossible for him). I have suggested separate beds but he gets annoyed and says we may as well not be married if we do that. He does not see it as his problem and states I am the light sleeper, empathy is a major problem for him. Tbh it is not so much that I am a light sleeper it is that he is such an aggressive fidget. His fidgeting is not the root cause of my worst sleep problems but it does not help. It has disturbed me for many years so maybe it was inevitable that I would end up with major sleep problems eventually. I would love separate beds (or rooms would be even better). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 49 comments
    • 23 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi sleepypuss, I haven't been on here for a long while, but I had to offer something to your plea as I think it must be incredibly challenging for you. I'm one of the lucky ones with a supportive spouse. Here are a couple of suggestions based on our experience:

    1. Sleeping separately doesn't have to be forever…your husband could think of it as a short-term treatment for you…and it will benefit you both. We slept separately during the course and for several weeks afterwards. This was crucial for my ability to complete the course as my husband twitches all night, and once I'm awake, I can't get back to sleep. After the course (well it took about 6 months to be honest, but it did work…the brain just takes time to retrain), my sleep is much better and I can now sleep through his smaller twitches and can get back to sleep after his larger ones (using sleepio and sleep meditation techniques). When I am well rested, I am happier and easier to live with…so sleeping apart has benefits to both of us. Maybe it would help your husband to know that others have gone through the training with separate beds, but have been able to sleep together once sleep has improved. We still occasionally sleep separately if I have had a couple of bad nights in a row. Then it's all the nicer when we get to share.

    2. If that doesn't work, have you tried separation within the bed? We find that separate quilts really helps--when he twitches the cover off, I notice much less if I have my own quilt. I also found that having a thin extra mattress (a thermarest) on my side added some separation that kept him on his side even during his sleep. We tried putting a divider between us, but it was a bit intrusive. Separate quilts seems the easiest step. You can even put yours on once he's asleep, so he wouldn't even notice.

    I see that you're in week 3. The next few weeks will be very challenging, particularly without support at home. Ask for help from the sleepio community if you need it. I don't check up here very much any more, but if you write a question to my profile, it'll come into my personal email and I will respond.

    Good luck, Karen P

  • Sleepio Member

    • 38 comments
    • 6 helped
    Graduate

    We have also gone back to blankets instead of a duvet as I'm always hot. We have one blanket that covers the whole bed and 4 individual throws and move them during the night as necessary. We're both amazed at how this small change helps, no more laying under a huge duvet sweating to death or throwing it off and freezing 10 minutes later!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 18 comments
    • 5 helped
    Graduate

    I really relate to this. My husband and I actually slept separately for an extended period of time, which helped me. Unfortunately, he began to grow resentful (the futon was not the most comfortable for him and the “temporary” arrangement was becoming long term) so we bought a king bed. This has been a good start, but now all I can hear is his breathing! It's not really a snore, more of just a heavy breathing which I get fixated on. I have a sound machine and I tried ear plugs. The plugs are good, but I want to be able to hear our preschooler on the 2nd floor when she cries out. So, I'm struggling but planning to try the “conditioning” method of recording his breathing and playing it so that I become “immune” to it.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 3

    I'm on my third week and the “hard bit” I've reduced the amount of time I am in bed with rather bad consequences. I'm waking up the same amount but in a shorter space of time and I'm literally now unable to function properly. I'm getting maybe 1-2 hours a night of sleep.

    I think the reason is the program doesn't take into account the other person in the relationship regarding sleep. My wife also has major problems with sleep and also suffers from Fibromyalgia. This means that I believe I wake up because she is waking me up, not on purpose but that doesn't effect the outcome anyway. Therefore the decreasing the amount of time in bed for me really doesn't change anything.

    I think I will still read the tips etc to help get me back on track but the reduction of the hours in bed is really screwing it up for me.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    Hello all,

    I have been suffering with insomnia for around a year now which was linked to a highly stressful job and then redundancy.

    After using sleeping tablets, CBT counselling and now I am on amitriptyline 10mg to help me sleep I am finally sleeping and have been for 2 months.

    Although all of this has seemed to have brought on an problem with staying in the same bed as my partner.

    Through my bad patch he stayed on the sofa as I kept disrupting him and he said it would be better. Now when he is in the bed I'm immediately thinking I won't sleep well tonight because he is in the bed and that I will sleep better without him there.

    Now my issue is he stays on the sofa and I get a good night sleep or he is in the bed, I try for about 2 hours to get to sleep then he moves to the sofa.

    I don't know why this is such a problem for me and what I can do to help !!

    Has anyone else faced this?

    Thanks
    K

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 4

    How did everyone get over this problem? I am having the same problems now. On week 2 of the course at the moment.

    Thanks

    K

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    I think my husband is raising the thermostat up after I go to bed thinking I won't notice. I am struggling enough as it is without this BS! How to have a heart-to-heart with hubby over this super big issue is going to be challenging. Any suggestions?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 118 comments
    • 43 helped
    Graduate

    I had my first major 'blip' last night and this was due to the decision that my husband would move back into the bedroom. I'm on week 15 and he moved to the spare room at the start of week 3 for a short while until I got settled into a sleep pattern. This short while ended up being 3 months!

    So last night I went off at 11.15pm to listen to my meditation track prior to bed at 11.45pm but it failed half way through and before it got to the part that really helps me relax. Since you can't start it half way through I abandoned it and changed to listening to the Sleepio PR but agitation was setting in already. I did feel sleepy when I got into bed but just couldn't go to sleep. I think the problem was that my husband goes to bed much later than me and although he gets ready for bed elsewhere and comes into the room quietly (for a man!) I expected him to wake me. Also I was very aware that I needed to stay over my side of the bed whereas I had got used to sprawling all over it. I was still awake when He eventually came to bed at 2.30am although by then I had tried everything i could think of (thought blocker, PR, in and out of bed etc). I thought maybe I would be able to get to sleep then but he fell into a deep sleep immediately and although he wasn't snoring (he often does) he was breathing loudly and making a 'pa' noise so no chance of me sleeping. I didn't want to give in too soon as I need to be able to do this for when we have visitors and/or we go away. Eventually at 4.15am I went into the spare room and went to sleep reasonably quickly.

    I've read back through older posts on here and see it is a fairly common problem but I just wonder how long it will take me to get used to this and does anyone have any other advice or suggestions. Lindsay

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hello everyone. I have the same problem as you all, I actually almost only have insomnia when my partner is here. He sometimes snores but even when he doesn't, any movement or breath keeps me awake. I also sometimes go to another room (if available as we share flats with other people). I have become very anxious whenever he is around that I just won't be able to sleep and so this has become the problem now. I am only on week 2 so probably should give it more time, but it is really hard to associate sleeping problem to the presence of partner.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 110 comments
    • 26 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Mez,

    It's particularly tough in these early Sleepio days isn't it. You're doing well to identify the threats to your sleep and to try to find solutions to them. Of course it's different for everyone, but for me, bailing out was the only solution to my husband's snoring, whistling, talking, sniffling, shifting, shouting, and exclaiming as he stubbed his toe on the way to the toilet. Of course it only works if you're lucky enough to have another bed to bail out into, and if you can convince your best-beloved that it's a good idea, and that you're not deserting him for ever.

    Next week you will begin sleep restriction (SR) and the quarter hour rule (QHR)....they'll be explained to you by the Prof, and they're tough, but most Sleepios will tell you they're the two most effective tools for getting sleep back on track. I'm wondering too if they'd be the ideal time to bail out of the shared bed, even if only temporarily. You will then have a very plausible reason to do this because QHR and SR will, for a while, entail you going to bed and getting up at different, and probably unsocial hours, and getting out of bed when you can't sleep. Knowing that this will happen, you could explain to your sleeping elsewhere as consideration on your part, and it wouldn't sound as if you were blaming your o.h.

    I wish you luck in finding a happy solution for you both which allows you both a good night's rest.

    I'd be very interested to know how you resolve this, and I think other Sleepios in your position would too. It's such an important part of getting a good nights rest, and can be so difficult to negotiate in the early Sleepio days.

    All the best, Doodle.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 20 comments
    • 7 helped
    Graduate

    I wonder if anyone had any more thoughts on this issue? I have successfully completed sleepio and have slept well for around 10 months now…..on my own.
    I cannot sleep next to my partner, or anyone else for that matter. I simply do not sleep a wink lying next to someone, but especially my snoring partner.
    How do I overcome this? I am looking to buy my first house tis year where I will need to face sleeping with my partner at some point????

    Thanks

  • Sleepio Member

    • 5 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    I have been divorced for some time and then met a partner who moved in with me. I explained that I was unsure I could sleep with someone so we are going to set up the extra room as though it is his. Sure enough, only rarely could a get a good night's sleep in the same queen size bed.

    Finally, I asked to have a heart to heart on the sleep issue, explaining how sleep affects my function so much and how resentful I become when he is snoring and sleeping so soundly without problem. I had very specific examples regarding the stress I feel all night and during the day without sleep, my moodiness when I am tired, and the lack of energy and wanting to do anything. I explained it was really unfair to me to be tired all the time and how it takes away from him and us as a couple.

    I stated we had to find a compromise or I was afraid this might eventually be a breaking point in our relationship. He realized this might be so from my explanation. We decided that I would try to go to sleep in the same bed but I had to come in on my own schedule when I was tired. After 45 minutes, if I didn't feel like I was going to be able to fall asleep, I was to get up and go to my own bed in my own room or sleep on the couch as I do at times. We agreed that perhaps extra attention and affection during our waking times might be in order but that he needed to understand how important this was for my benefit and our overall relationship.

    Quite frankly, a young friend was diagnosed with fairly severe Crohn's Disease and they ended up parting company because she was unable to accomodate sleeping in the same bed and he couldn't understand her need. Myself, I think it was a bit selfish on his part. She now says she wishes she had awakened him every time she could not sleep and let him see how it feels to function daily without sleep. The problem was she also had the discomfort of Crohn's!

Return to top