why can't I sleep when my partner is next to me?

Can’t Fall Asleep Next to Your Partner? (10 Things That Will Help)

Common issues among co-sleeping couples include noise from snoring, a lack of space in bed, fidgeting, taking too much of the duvet, excessive body heat, and sleepwalking.

These sorts of problems can be resolved through lifestyle changes and honest communication.

Master the art of sharing a bed with a partner so that you can enjoy the benefits without the drawbacks. If you can’t resolve issues that arise from sharing a bed, consider sleeping in separate rooms.

Should I Sleep in The Same Bed As My Partner?

For many people, sharing a bed with a partner defines domestic bliss. Frontiers in Psychiatry explains how sleeping in proximity helps couples synchronize their sleep schedules.

Unfortunately, it’s common to struggle to sleep when sharing a bed. Don’t suffer in silence if you can’t sleep next to a partner because a lack of sleep can damage your physical and mental health.

Moreover, there’s every chance your partner has just as much difficulty sleeping next to you. You’ll be happier if you identify the cause of sleeplessness and seek to resolve it.

Why Can’t I Sleep When My Partner Is Next To Me?

Explanations for struggling to sleep with a partner in the same bed include:

  • Lack of space.
  • Inability to adopt a preferred sleeping position.
  • Two bodies generate excessive heat.
  • Differing preferences in bedroom lighting and ambient noise.
  • One person uses more than their share of duvet or covers.
  • Noise from a partner (i.e., talking or snoring during sleep).
  • Partner is active during sleep (i.e., thrashing about or sleepwalking).
  • Partner is prone to nightmares.

Accepting that sleep may elude you now that you have a partner isn’t an option.

Sleep Medicine Reviews explains that sleep quality is often linked to happiness and contentment in a relationship. Separate rooms are an option, but do your utmost to resolve the issue.

difficulty sleeping next to someone

I Can’t Sleep Next To My New Partner

Sharing a bed with a new partner is often exciting and trepidatious. While it suggests a blossoming relationship, co-sleeping issues must be overcome.

The first is likely an adjustment to sharing a bed, as you may have established a routine for sleeping alone. Where you once had the freedom of the entire bed, you now need to accommodate someone else.

When we sleep, we’re at our most vulnerable. Our subconscious may remain on high alert, and we may wonder if we can trust the person in our bed 100%.

As you grow comfortable around a new partner, this will change.

How to Sleep Better Next to Your Partner

Before booking a night in a hotel or banishing your spouse to sleep on the couch, consider these different ways to achieve improved co-sleeping:

Nap Together

Ordinarily, we would advise against napping because sleeping during the day could make it harder to doze off at night. Napping with a partner could be an effective way to practice co-sleeping.

Set the alarm for around 30 minutes and share your bed with your partner as though it’s bedtime. If you nod off during this time, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing a bed.

Change of Mattress

Here are the reasons to consider buying a new mattress:

  • Increasing the bed size from a double to a Queen will provide more space for two sleepers.
  • Purchasing a cooling mattress will reduce the body heat of an extra person in a bed.
  • A superior mattress with more springs will be sturdier and absorb movement better.

Shop with your partner and find a mattress that meets your needs.

Individual Covers

Does your partner tend to hog the duvet and wrap it around themselves, leaving you shivering? Do you like to sleep with a heavy quilt, while your partner prefers something light and airy?

If so, get a second duvet. That way, you each have a cover that meets your preferences.

This may seem unnecessary or aesthetically strange, but would you share a pillow with your partner? The answer is no if you plan to sleep well, so take the same approach with a duvet.

Don’t Go To Bed At The Same Time

We all have different bodies and brains, so we fall asleep at different rates and times. Behavior Research and Therapy explain that attempts to force urgent sleep don’t always work.

It’s good to head to bed together as your partner, but it doesn’t always work as well as we’d like. If one partner isn’t ready for sleep, they’ll likely toss and turn.

One partner coming to bed later won’t help if they wake up a sleeping partner.

Change Sleeping Positions

Finding the ideal sleeping position for one person can be challenging, requiring trial and error. Two people sharing a bed will face twice as much difficulty.

A popular position for couples sharing a bed is back-to-back, which releases bonding hormones without the risk of overheating through excessive contact.

Although this is the default position, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you and your partner.

Stay Close But Don’t Touch

Science Daily explains that it’s advisable to retain closeness when sharing a bed because couples that sleep more than an inch apart experience a less satisfying relationship.

This doesn’t mean you should be interlinked. The closer you are, the likelier you are to disturb each other’s sleep. Proximity will magnify fidgeting, snoring, bruxism, and talking in sleep.

Engage in physical contact before drifting off to sleep. Then, give each other half an inch or so of space. Use feet or other smaller body parts to maintain contact.

Attempting to turn two bodies into one overnight is destined to fail.

Discuss Problem Behaviors

It’s unlikely that a partner will deliberately sabotage your sleep. Consistent bad habits, like waking you to talk or insisting on hogging the duvet cover, can feel intentional and ill-spirited.

If a partner has bad habits at bedtime, make them aware. Examples of unwelcome behaviors while you’re trying to sleep, aside from those mentioned above, include:

  • Going to bed after you and failing (or refusing) to do so quietly.
  • Grinding teeth in bed (bruxism).
  • Insisting on cuddling when you prefer to rest.
  • Opening windows or turning on lights.

If you’re adamant that a partner disturbs your sleep on purpose, cease sharing a bed.

struggling to sleep next to partner

Wear Earplugs or Use Ambient Noise

Snoring, talking in your sleep, bruxism, or getting out of bed due to broken sleep can wake a partner. This can quickly grow frustrating, especially if it happens frequently.

If you’re a light sleeper, consider earplugs. Use ambient noise if you find them uncomfortable (assuming your partner agrees). This could be the radio or soundscapes downloaded through an app.

These soundscapes come in many forms. You may prefer a guided meditation, a lullaby-style musical arrangement, or a recorded sound like rainfall on leaves.

Never Sleep on an Argument

Couples get into arguments occasionally but avoid bringing these disputes to the bedroom.

You may be unable to make peace and resolve an argument before retiring. At least agree to a truce until the morning because two angry people sharing a bed doesn’t create a positive atmosphere.

Bringing stress and frustration into the bedroom, especially if the source of the stress and frustration is lying with their back to you overnight, will reduce sleep quality.

According to the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior, this increases your sense of anger in the morning. Before you know it, you’re trapped in a vicious circle.

Practice Superior Sleep Hygiene

Examples of sleep hygiene routines to get into include:

  • Set a standard time for retiring to bed and stick with it.
  • Avoid access to electronic appliances for at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Relax and clear your mind before getting into bed.
  • Ensure your body temperature is cool-to-moderate, not running hot.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Don’t eat too late – give your body several hours to digest an evening meal.

If you both practice these habits to the point that they become second nature, you’re likelier to sleep peacefully through the night and co-exist in the same bed without issues.

Some people aren’t capable of sharing a bed for an entire night. There’s no shame in this because sleeping in separate rooms isn’t admitting defeat.

If that improves your sleep quality and relationship, it’s a worthy sacrifice. However, attempt to master co-sleeping because it has undeniable benefits.