You just moved in with your significant other, and it's a dream come true! Que all the blissful rom-com moments: cooking together, dancing in the living room, brushing your teeth - super cute. Except for one thing: sleeping. Many American couples report that sleeping in bed with their partner causes a less than ideal sleep. Maybe you're a very light sleeper and your partner is constantly tossing, or worse, a loud snorer. Perhaps they hate the fan, but you need it. Every couple is going to have their thing. Thankfully, we're here to uncover what actually works! For this article, we are leaning on PRVNT LA’s brilliant CEO and founder, Reema Ukani to offer up her best tips and tricks.
Marissa: Thanks for lending your wisdom, Reema! Personally, I am a very light sleeper, and my partner can sleep through an actual earthquake. Do you or your partner suffer from light sleeping and how do you overcome it?
Reema: Let me just start by saying we take getting good sleep very seriously. I’ve learned recently that I am extremely light-sensitive. Even if I don’t fully wake up, my partner tells me I’ll toss and turn when there’s light, so I doubt I will get into REM sleep. A sleep mask is essential for me these days. My partner, on the other hand, can sleep soundly with the TV on, but any construction noise will deter him from falling asleep, so now we know as we’re apartment hunting that we have to be strategic about where we rent.
Marissa: Lots of people have bedtime routines, whether it's reading, journaling, meditation, maybe a few yoga poses. These routines are sacred for some people. How do you recommend couples handle this? Should each person do their own thing before bed, or should they try and do it together?
Reema: Since for now we sleep at different times, we tend to have separate bedtime routines. My partner also tends to not need a routine as much as I do. It is fun when we try new things together from time to time, but routines are sacred and so specific to a person that we’re totally fine and respectful doing our own thing.
Marissa: Sweat: ok, there’s just no way around this very unsexy sleep time element. Many people already struggle with finding the right temperature for sleep when alone, so it’s 10x more difficult with someone else’s body heat in the mix. Can you suggest anything that works?!
Reema: Just keep the room really cold - you can’t turn off body temperature and with a dog sneaking up in the middle of the night to the bed and two humans, it gets really hot. We have the Dyson fan (sometimes two) on throughout the night.
Marissa: Two fans! I might need to try that. Have you tried the elusive two blanket trick? Does it work?
Reema: Haha! We have not. I think it would probably work fairly well if someone snatches the blanket throughout the night, but we don’t usually have that issue, and I always have some body part touching him while I sleep so I feel safe, like my foot to his. Is that weird?
Marissa: Nope, not weird! If you prefer to be close, do you and your partner go to bed at the same time, or do you have separate bedtimes?
Reema: This has been a huge point of contention. My partner sleeps late, and I mean really late, and I sleep fairly early for a twenty-something year old. He’s really productive late at night, and since I like him around while I’m falling asleep, I will have my eye mask on to block out the computer screen light, and he will wear his headphones so that there is no noise bothering me. On the days I sneak him a CBD gummy, we both fall asleep at the same time, and that’s been great (with his permission of course).
Marissa: Smart. Cuddling is great and has known health benefits. But the way I view it is time and place - like maybe during a lazy weekend morning or while reading in bed. But when it is time to sleep: leave me alone. Seriously. Do you and your partner feel the same? Do you think cuddling during sleep works?
Reema: At the beginning of our relationship, he would literally hold me throughout the night, or we would stay cuddled some other way. I’m not sure why we thought that was a good idea, but we were fresh in our relationship, and it was what we liked at the time. Three and a half years later and we cuddle profusely, but no, not throughout the whole night.
Marissa: Ah yes, the honeymoon phase! A moment of silence for how much precious sleep I lost to uncomfortable cuddling in that phase. Another contentious one: What are your thoughts on phones in the bedroom?
Reema: Horrible. Not as horrible as TVs in the bedroom. We still have both.
Marissa: Snoring: those that don't deal with this, count your blessings! What do you suggest?
Reema: I am certainly the snorer in the relationship. I have sleep apnea, and he just kind of deals… If he’s snoring on an odd occasion, I’ll flip him from his back to his side. Don’t worry, it’s not that mean because he never remembers.
Marissa: Guilty! Okay, earplugs: yay or nay?
Reema: I have a pack for my bedside table, but I never reach for them. They feel very uncomfortable and always fall out anyway. Once my girlfriend Courtney spent the night in my San Francisco apartment and she was very grateful that I had them so she could shut out the construction noise. Van Ness..
Marissa: What are your thoughts on different alarms?!
Reema: This is a common one that can really interrupt the sleep of one of the partners. If I’m getting up earlier for a Barry's class or something, I set just one alarm. First of all, I know that I won’t be able to count on a backup alarm, so I have to get up, and second, it’s less annoying for him.
Marissa: Any tips for bed arrangements? IE - being able to get in/out of bed without jumping over the other? Does bed size matter?
Reema: We’re moving from a queen to a king because yes, size matters. We have a mattress that doesn’t make too much commotion if one person is getting in and out of the bed. Spring mattresses are horrible, they don’t absorb any movement, so you can feel if a phone is thrown on the bed on the complete opposite side. If you have a choice, opt for something that is a little firmer.
How sleep is your love
While living in your cute apartment with your partner is a dream, it can impact the quality of ZZZ’s you’re catching every night. Compromise and discuss what’s working and what isn’t. Then, be sure to check out PRVNT LA’s first sleep collection drop, full of incredible items that will help you fall asleep easier, deeper, and longer. Have a go at a good eye mask as per Reema’s suggestion or try the elusive two blanket trick with a Gravity blanket – but be sure to report back! Your turn, what guarantees you and your partner's perfect slumber?!
Huge thank you to Reema Ukani, PRVNT LA Founder and CEO. If you aren't already, follow her for more tips on Instagram @reemaukani.