If your guy goes by the alias Ã¢â‚¬Å“snore machine,Ã¢â‚¬Â you may have good reason to cozy up to the couch: Poor sleep can make you feel ungrateful and taken for granted in your relationship, according to research recently presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
University of California, Berkeley, researchers examined the correlation between sleep and gratitude through a series of studies, each of more than 60 couples ages 18 to 56. In one experiment, participants kept a diary of their sleep patterns and their appreciation of their significant other. In another, researchers watched couples working together on problem-solving tasks, and observed that those who had slept badly the night before showed their partner less appreciation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s,Ã¢â‚¬Â says lead researcher Amie Gordon, a psychologist and doctoral student at UC Berkeley. But here's the kicker: Because sleep-deprived people are more likely to skimp on shows of gratitude, both partners end up feeling taken for granted. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll probably both end up grouchy,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Gordon, whose previous research has shown that expressing gratitude is vital to relationship satisfaction and longevity.
CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember the last time you got a good nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rest during a sleepover? HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how to beat your biggest co-sleeping complaints:
He SnoresÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ A Lot This ValentineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day, give him the gift of a high-loft pillowÃ¢â‚¬”which is designed with the highest point at the middleÃ¢â‚¬”to keep him from rolling onto his back. Since people experience the most airway instability when theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re face-up, side sleeping can help prevent airway vibrations and sleepless nights, says Ulysses J. Magalang, MD, medical director of sleep medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. If the snoring is severe, suggest he ask his doc about sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing stops during sleep that can cause extreme fatigue for both parties.
You Fight Over the Covers ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simple: Get two comforters. In Scandinavia, Germany, and Austria, couples often cover their beds with two twin-sized, side-by-side comforters and forgo cover wars altogether. If you pride yourself on a Pinterest-worthy bedroom, drape a coverlet over the top of the comforters to tidy the look.
He Likes to Sleep with the TV On Eye masks can help block out light. Meanwhile earplugs can help muffle any noises that go bump in the night, says Magalang, who notes that light and noise are the most common problems for bed sharers. If earplugs donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do the jobÃ¢â‚¬”or just feel funny to youÃ¢â‚¬”suggest that your Late Show-loving beau wear super-thin and squishy headphones designed specifically for sleepers. Try Bedphones, $30, bedphones.com.
He Kicks in His Sleep While a makeshift pillow barrier can soften blows, nighttime thrashing deserves a doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visit. It can be a symptom of a whole host of sleep disorders including REM sleep behavior disorder, in which the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the sleeper to act out dreams. Or if your kicker also happens to be a snorer, he might be suffering from sleep apnea and jolting as his breathing stops and he wakes up, Magalang says.
You Have Different Sleep Schedules Your beauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s blaring alarm is the last thing you want to hear when you have two more hours to sleep. Consider a silent vibrating alarm clock that fits in a pillowcase or on a wrist, Magalang suggests. Try Shake-n-Wake zzZ Silent Alarm Clock, $14, amazon.com.
photo: Shutterstock.com More from WH:
Sleep Positions for Couples
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
15 Tricks to Sleep Better
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