Are you someone who gets hot with too many blankets, but your partner prefers sleeping with an extra blanket or two? If so, you may often wake up in the middle of the night feeling overheated. Or, do one or both of you steal the covers in your sleep? It’s not surprising that sharing a bed with a spouse or partner can lead to multiple sleep disturbances.
Fortunately, the answer to getting a better night’s sleep is simpler than you think. Start sleeping with separate blankets! This is actually widely practiced throughout Europe.
But does sleeping with separate blankets really lead to better sleep? Take a look at what some experts have said and discover some new blanket recommendations should you decide to embrace this practice.
The Benefits of Separate Blankets
The idea of having two separate blankets on a shared bed may seem a little weird at first—especially if you’ve been used to sharing sheets your entire life. However, there are several benefits to having separate blankets, especially when you look at the science behind it.
Clinical professor at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine and sleep specialist Rafael Pelayo, M.D., says that he often recommends having separate blankets for couples who are struggling with sleep. He explains that our sleep preferences, including our ideal sleeping temperature, side of the bed we sleep on, and the bedding we prefer, are all learned behaviors. However, these behaviors are unique to individuals and may not always match with our partners. This is usually what creates problems between couples.
An associate professor of neurology at the Sleep Medicine Center at the Washington University School of Medicine, Terri Riutcel, M.D., explains that temperature is a big factor that leads to mismatched sleep habits. She said: “When it comes to setting the thermostat for nighttime, bed partners may disagree on what constitutes comfortable. In that case, separate duvets or blankets allow each partner to personalize their sleeping space.” She also explains that for many, sharing a bed is a comforting, calming experience, but when sleep preferences are misaligned, the opposite happens. Many couples suffer from sleep loss, which causes bad moods, decreases empathy, and creates strain in a relationship.
Finally, Fariha Abbasi-Feinberg, M.D., medical director of sleep medicine at Millennium Physician Group, says that sleeping with separate blankets can solve many misaligned sleep preferences. She said: “Some individuals may have a preference when it comes to body temperature at night, and using separate blankets can help with that. Or you might sleep with a partner who is a blanket hog, therefore having your own blanket could be beneficial.”
Introducing Two Separate Blankets at Home
While some couples sharing a blanket may not experience any sleep disruptions, those who do should consider using separate blankets. Sleeping with separate blankets usually works best in king-sized beds since there’s a little more room, but it can be effective in queen-sized beds, too. Start by purchasing two lightweight twin-size duvets and remove the top sheet. If you’re someone who likes to sleep with a top sheet, but your partner doesn’t, try having your partner sleep on top of it.
Where you go from here depends on your sleep preferences. Those who prefer to sleep in warmer climates or who have a higher body temperature can stay cool and comfortable throughout the night with a single duvet cover. Cold sleepers can easily add blankets as needed without making their partner uncomfortable.
Plus, with separate blankets, the chances of tossing and turning all night long to find the right amount of covering or stealing back blankets from their partner is significantly less. Each person has individual coverings that appeal to their unique sleep preferences, which leads to a better night’s sleep and a happier relationship.