Those grumpy grunts and groans that you hear from your significant other when the alarm goes off each morning are clear signs that he or she isn’t getting enough sleep. That’s bad news for you (since no one wants to wake up to a cranky husband or wife!) and bad news for your other half.
Not only is sleep deprivation linked to obesity, heart disease, and other health issues, but it may also reduce productivity at work. In addition, lack of sleep negatively affects the area of the brain that’s responsible for creativity.
While there are plenty of steps that your spouse can take to achieve sounder shuteye (such as exercising more and establishing an earlier bedtime, to name a couple), you can help, as well. And why wouldn’t you? If your partner is sleeping well, chances are you’ll sleep better, too! Try out these tricks tonight.
Put an End to Snoring. Snorers, listen up: Spouses of people who snore are woken up (even just partially) as many as 21 times an hour during the night. If you snore, then it’s no wonder that your sweetie is sleepy! To silence the noise, try sleeping on your side. This prevents your tongue from collapsing onto the back of your throat, so it doesn’t obstruct breathing and create a snoring sound.
If your snoring is especially heavy or your spouse can hear that you stop breathing momentarily during the night, talk to your doctor to rule out sleep apnea. Luckily, oral appliances (which look similar to retainers) may sometimes be used to treat sleep apnea, eliminating the need for the bulky, awkward—and often noisy—CPAP machines.
Get a New Mattress. If you roll over or get up to use the bathroom during the night, your tossing and turning may awaken your significant other. The fix is a mattress that helps absorb movement, such as memory foam or individually pocketed coils. This helps your mattress contain motion to your side of the bed, so that your partner’s sleep isn’t disturbed.
Maintain a Tidy Room. Strange but true: Spending a few minutes picking clothes off the floor and making the bed could benefit your spouse, since a clean bedtime environment can help encourage sounder sleep. If you want to earn extra brownie points, spritz the room or pillows with a lavender fragrance, because that scent has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night.
Keep Work Out of The Bedroom. You’re not the only one annoyed when your cell buzzes late at night with yet another email from your boss. Your significant other is probably frustrated by the disturbance, too. And it’s not just the noise that is interrupting his or her sleep: The blue light that cellphones, laptops, and tablets emit may actually disrupt your circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall back asleep. So turn off your phone at night and limit bedroom activity to sleep and sex. That way, you’ll both be happier and well-rested!