Lying in bed next to my partner, I would listen to him breathe softly, I would notice when his leg twitched as he was falling asleep, and every time he moved the blanket. This was because he was asleep and I was awake.
I know how stressful it is to have insomnia, and how there is an added layer of complication when trying to not only sleep, but sleep beside someone else! With V-Day approaching, I wanted to speak to this in case any of you are in those shoes right now.
Firstly, I want to say that V-Day is a day of self love. You may celebrate this with someone else sharing intimacy in some way, or on your own (which can still be intimate, btw) but it is about celebrating your joy of pleasure. Part of this self love is giving yourself what you need to have a good sleep. Better sleep = more energy and more sex drive.
Resting well, the original aphrodisiac
Our reproductive organs function best when all of the body’s basic needs are met! Sleep is certainly one of our most basic needs along with movement and nourishment. When the body is out of balance, the reproductive organs are the first to suffer because they are not as essential for your own survival compared to your other organs. This is where we experience less libido and less fertility.
Prioritizing sleep is important for more than just intimacy, but that in itself is a pretty good motivator for me! Who doesn’t want better sex? Our sexual energy is our creative and productive energy. When we are confident about our sexuality, we are more confident in everything. And, when we sleep well we have the energy to enjoy more.
The “how-tos” of good bedfellows
Ok, let’s get to it. You aren't sleeping well and you have a human beside you who you care about and want to sleep beside. Here are 7 tips to make that easier:
- Make sure the room is dark and cool. Blackout blinds are the best to block out street lights. 17-20C (63-68F) works well.
- Make it quiet. Close your bedroom door, use earplugs if needed. I recommend a white noise machine (or app on your phone) and/or a fan. I travel a lot and almost always use all 3 and it helps so much. Once you get used to the white noise, it becomes a familiar and soothing sound that you can focus your attention on while drifting off.
- Have a separate top sheet and blanket for each of you. This way you can each choose the sheets you like and your favourite blankeys. This also helps to create your own mental and energetic bubble in the bed.
- Make sure your mattress and pillows are supporting your spine properly so that you are not waking up in pain. This may take a little more time to sort out, but can be totally worth it! If you both like completely different mattress styles, look into the Sleep Number Bed System where you can each adjust your side of the bed to suit your needs.
- If one of you snores, I recommend trying something to help with that (check out Mute Snoring by Rhinomed) and a better pillow which puts your neck in a better position (check out enVy RX Pillow). There are lots of options to explore here. If either of you is waking up gasping for air or with a dry mouth, you should speak with your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.
- Have a back up bed ready just in case. There is nothing more stressful than being unable to sleep beside someone and not having the option to go anywhere else.
- Feel wide awake after sexual activity? Plan to have your intimate time earlier in the evening or in the morning. Ladies are more likely to feel energetic after sex, rather than sleepy. If you do have sex in the evening and feel wide awake, get out of bed for about 30 minutes to do something relaxing that helps your heart rate slow and your body temperature cool down. A short shower and a few minutes of stretching are good options.
“Us” begins with “you”
Ultimately, you getting the sleep you need is the MOST important thing and if you continue not sleeping well it is both hard on your health and relationship. If you have been stressed out by trying random things to improve your sleep, it is a good time to ask for help.
Yours in better sleep,
Lauren is a Sleep Science Coach and offers free 20-minute chats to anyone struggling with sleep. Click HERE to book a call with her.