With the day of ‘lurve’ just around the corner, nothing beats finishing off Valentine’s day curling up in bed with your partner – before kicking them out to go sleep in the spare bedroom! And who said romance was dead?

According to our 2017 Great British Bedtime Report* while the majority of us (76%) still like sharing a bed with our partners, the trend for sleeping apart continues to grow.

More than one in 10 of those questioned (12% compared to 8% in 2013)) shunned snuggling up together completely. And nearly a quarter of couples (24%) now sleep apart at least some of the time.

Interestingly, while three quarters of us share a bed, 25% cited partner disturbance (snoring/talking/teeth grinding/duvet hogging etc) as a reason for keeping them awake. It was the second most popular answer after worry/stress.

The lure of a separate bed or bedroom appealed more to those who lived in the East Anglia (16%), whereas the loved up North West were more likely to share their beds with their partner every night they are at home together (79%). However around 30% of people in the North West sleep quite poorly each night.

The 18-24 age group and over 55s were least likely to snuggle up to the other halves yet they were the lowest percentage in claiming partner disturbance as a factor in keeping them awake at night. Coincidence?

If you do like sharing a bed but your other partner drives you to sleep despair here’s some top tips for creating some sleep harmony this Valentines:

• Make sure you’ve got enough duvet to go around! Duvet hogging is a common grumble amongst those sharing a bed.

• Take snoring seriously. It’s really very annoying especially if it’s a regular occurrence and one of the main reasons why couples sleep separately. See a GP for advice if you have a snoring problem.

• Buy a bigger bed. Did you know that a standard double bed only gives you and your partner the same space to sleep in as a cot? With the average person tossing and turning up to 60 times a night you’re bound to be disturbed by a restless sleeper. Not only is it investment in your sleep, it’s investment in your relationship.

• Turn off gadgets before bed – they’re a turn off for your partner too! Plus the blue light that emits from mobiles, iPads etc can unconsciously play havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms and wake you up at inopportune times.

• You’ve heard of the seven year itch but what about the seven year hitch? Unintended rolling together can be caused by too small a bed – or a mattress that’s past its best. Replace your bed at least every seven years and, if you’d be embarrassed if your neighbour saw your mattress, it’s a sure sign you need to consider getting a new one. Zip-and-link beds allow each partner different levels of mattress support.

• Try to go to bed with your partner at the same time at least three nights a week. Different body clocks mean many couples tuck up at different times – alarm bells should sound if that happens every night.

Happy Valentine’s Day – enjoy!

*The Sleep Council Great British Bedtime Report was conducted by Atomik Research, who questioned a sample of 5,002 people via an online survey. Participants in the 2017 survey, while similarly represented, were not the same as those questioned in 2013. The exact cross tabulation of questions was asked i.e. age, gender, marital status, geographical area, income etc. The survey was conducted between 27 December 2016 and 4 January 2017.

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