You go to sleep too early—or late
Is one of you a night owl and the other an early bird? While at first it might seem like a mere personal preference, it’s actually a genetic predisposition. “We have this genetic propensity for sleep drive and timing from the PER3gene, which can have an effect on when you go to bed, eat meals, and even when you want to have sex,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of the bestseller GOOD NIGHT. While it’s completely natural that partners don’t always have the same sleep schedule, forcing one to adhere to another’s schedule isn’t the best solution. For example, if you need more sleep than your spouse, forcing yourself to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time might lead to sleep issues. To reduce awakenings while the night owl prepares for bed, use “low-blue-light night lights.” These night lights have lower levels of the blue wave spectrum of light and don’t disturb sleep as much as traditional light. White noise machines are also helpful in reducing disturbance due to noise. Check out the things good sleepers have in their bedrooms.
You like the room too hot or too cold
Some people like to snuggle up under a mountain of covers, while others like it cool, and may even prefer different blankets or bedding. Since your body temperature isn’t something you can regulate—you either run hot or cold or somewhere in between—your best plan of action is to have separate sheets or one that consists of two different types of textiles. “There are comforters you can buy made of half warm material and half cool, as well as devices that are made of cool or warm water running through, like an electric blanket,” says Dr. Breus. “That way you can just have the cool side going for one person and extra blankets for the other.” If one person is experiencing changes in temperature, for example when a woman is going through menopause, it’s best to keep the room at a cold temperature, according to Dr. Robert Oexman, a chiropractor and director of The Sleep to Live Institute. “Research has shown that decreasing room temperature can reduce the number of hot flashes (below 68 degrees), so in that case, you can use extra blankets to stay warm,” he says. Experiment with sleeping without pajamas to stay comfortable.