Snorers, Starfishers and Cover Stealers: Which Annoying Bedroom Habits Ruin Your Rest?
Do you love sharing your bed with your partner? Or do you wish you could stretch out on your own? It seems more and more of us are ditching the double bed for a single, with 36% of couples regularly choosing to sleep alone and one in ten of us permanently sleeping apart from our other half.
With research revealing that by the time they reach their 70th birthday, the average Brit will have spent 220,000 hours in bed, it might be time to consider buying that extra mattress! No one wants 220,000 hours of annoyance and disturbed sleep.
But which habits do we find the most annoying in our partners? Tossing and turning annoys 15% of Brits, while 9% are infuriated by our partners taking up too much space in the bed, also known as starfishing. Meanwhile, 13% of Brits hate it when their partner steals the covers at night.
9% of Brits hate that their partner scrolls through social media in bed.
The dreaded snoring
Snoring is one of the worst bedroom habits, with 48% of Brits finding the noise infuriating. At least if you find yourself staring at the ceiling while your partner enjoys a blissful yet noisy slumber, you know you’re not alone!
Almost one in five Brits aren’t getting enough sleep, and if your partner’s snoring keeps you up at night, you could become part of this statistic. If you don’t wake in the mornings feeling well-rested, you’re more likely to make mistakes at work, feel less able to manage daily stress and open yourself up to colds and other illnesses. So perhaps a snoring partner is grounds for a breakup after all!
Fight the habit
Around 40% of the UK population snores, with 30 million of us affected by snoring every night. While snoring may be nothing to worry about, it can be a common sign of sleep apnoea – a condition affecting your breathing when you’re sleeping. Between 70–95% of snorers are thought to have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). It’s a good idea to see your doctor if you think you or a loved one might have OSA, and they may refer you to a sleep clinic.
There are also several things you can try at home to relieve snoring. You can buy nasal strips, which use tension to widen the nasal passages, or decongestants, which can reduce swelling in the blood vessels in your nose, over the counter. Anti-snoring mouthpieces are also available over the counter and fit around your teeth to either re-align your jaw or hold your tongue in place, thereby reducing snoring.
If these remedies don’t work for you or your partner, consider investing in a quality pair of earplugs to block the noise. Much more effective than putting a pillow over your head, high-quality earplugs will sit comfortably in your ear and limit disturbances during the night.
If you find you, your partner or your child is snoring consistently or seems to be having trouble breathing easily while sleeping, always consult your doctor.
Terrible tossing and turning
15% of us complain about how much our partners move about during the night. This kind of disturbance to your sleep can be extremely frustrating, especially if they start to move around just as you are about to fall asleep, jolting you out of your relaxed state.
If your partner naturally tends to move around a lot in their sleep, you might want to consider getting separate beds or free up a spare bed or sofa where you can take refuge on particularly bad nights!
However, if your partner suddenly starts to toss and turn a lot more than normal, it might be better to have a conversation with them about it. A shocking one in ten of us are only getting between two and four hours of sleep per night, contributing to concentration issues, irritability and increased anxiety.
Chances are that your partner is also struggling to sleep and might be experiencing worries about mental health. Lack of sleep could be causing you anxiety, trapping you in a vicious cycle of negative mental health and bad sleep patterns, with 35% of people in the UK admitting that poor quality sleep makes them anxious. Talking to your other half about their nighttime tossing and turning and helping them through their worries could help you both get more shut-eye.
Give me a bit of space!
Starfishing cover hogs are nightmare bedfellows. None of us want to share a mattress with someone who sleeps in the middle of the bed with their arms and legs stretched out, pushing us ever closer to the edge. It gets even worse when they pull the covers off you in the middle of the night!
The fact most people will perform this behaviour while sound asleep is sometimes even more annoying – knowing that they are completely unconscious of their actions means you can’t get too angry at them.
Fight the habit
A great way to get around the habits of a cover-stealer is to add an extra duvet or blanket to your bed so you each have your own covers. This way, it doesn’t matter if your partner’s duvet suddenly disappears to the other side of the bed in the middle of the night.
Research shows that those who sleep in the starfish position are likely to be open, friendship-oriented people. They’re also supposed to be great listeners, so instead of stewing in annoyance the next time your partner starts starfishing, try talking to them. Chances are, they’ll be happy to listen and come up with a solution so you can both get a great night’s sleep.
If you’re still struggling to get comfy, it might be worth investing in a larger queen or king-size bed – this will give your partner space to spread out without annoying you (as much)! King-size mattresses provide you with an extra 15cm of space from one another, as well as a further 10cm in length, making them the perfect choice if you or your partner love to sleep with your legs stretched out.
With 71% of smartphone users admitting to sleeping next to or actually with their phone, it’s not surprising that 9% of those surveyed find a partner scrolling through social media when they’re trying to sleep annoying.
The majority of us see our smartphones as essential in our digital-focused world. Still, some of us have become so reliant on our devices that 6.3% of the British population now has a diagnosable smartphone addiction. This obsession with our phones has a noticeably negative effect on our sleep, with the blue light emitted by phone screens inhibiting sleep and rest by suppressing your body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that encourages sleep.
It’s not just social media scrolling that can annoy the bedroom. Abbey Clancy recently revealed that her husband, ex-footballer Peter Crouch, hates that she reads in bed and won’t put her book down to sleep! The fact she allows their puppy to sleep in the bed with them is also a source of annoyance.
While these concerns are currently a source of humour for the happily married couple, if you find yourself getting overly irritated with your partner exhibiting similar habits, you might want to address the issue now. Otherwise, you could end up like the countless celebrity couples who sleep in separate beds or rooms, like the now-divorced Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter.
Fight the habit
There are many habits you can ask your partner to start practising to minimise the time they spend on their phone, from placing their phone on Do Not Disturb through the night to downloading an app like Freedom, which helps people manage their screen time.
You could also make your bedroom a phone-free zone, encouraging both of you to be more emotionally and physically connected rather than spending your time together staring at separate screens. If necessary, you could extend this rule to reading, listening to music or podcasts and the time a pet spends in your bed.
Research shows that around 15% of us spend over an hour every week watching TV in bed, either on our phones or via TVs in the bedroom. In contrast, only around 10% of us spend this amount of time talking to our partner, and an even smaller 7% are intimate with their partner for the same amount per week. Try talking to and being tactile with your partner when you’re in bed together, and watch your sleep quality improve.
Whether your partner is a serial starfisher, disturbs your sleep with loud snoring or won’t stop scrolling to talk to you, it’s time to break the habit. Speak to your partner and try implementing some of our top tips to help you sleep better. And don’t be afraid to try sleeping in separate beds; you’re not the only one!
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