Aug. 26, 2010 -- Are you and your partner at odds over your sleeping arrangements? Does one person snore in bed and the other hog the covers?
If sleeping next to your partner is a struggle, you're not alone. One in four American couples sleep separately, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. Often the problem is not intimacy, but the seemingly simple act of sharing a bed with a spouse.
The Wall Street Journal reports that while many couples have learned to compromise in other areas of their lives, they can't find common ground on sleeping together.
Couples often have different sleeping habits and preferences -- like room temperature, watching TV in the bedroom or when to turn the lights off -- and experts say it takes communication and compromise to share the sack.
Before you move to separate beds, check out some simple solutions to common sleeping problems for couples.
Common Sleeping Problems
Snoring can be a sore point for couples, and a major cause is sleeping on one's back. Dr. Reena Mehra, who specializes in Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, recommends trying to get your partner to sleep off his or her back by either propping up a wedge or pillows behind the back. Click here for more tips to help your spouse stop snoring.
Feel Like You're Sleeping With an Insomniac?
Stress and anxiety can contribute to restlessness and insomnia. While you're spouse might not have insomnia, still try to avoid stressful conversations at the end of the day. Avoid stimulants like soda, chocolate and any kind of caffeine at least four hours before bed, according to Dr. Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School. Click here for more tips.
Are You a Night Owl Married to an Early Bird?
Set different alarm clocks, according to the experts at Revolutionhealth.com, who have put together a list of solutions for a night owl and an early riser who share a bed. Sooner or later your partner will learn to tune it out. For night owls, they suggest leaving on a small nightlight.
Children to Blame?
As much as you love them, kids can often create sleeping problems for couples. Co-sleeping, where kids prefer to sleep in their parents' bed, may seem harmless but can worsen the quality of sleep for both parents, says Jennifer Waldburger, a family sleep therapist from Sleepy Planet. Click here for expert tips to get your child to sleep in his or her own bed.
More Sleep Tips From Around the Web
Revolutionhealth.com has put together a list of solutions for sharing a bed with various sleeper types, from loud snorers to "untouchables" who like their space.
It's important to make your bedroom a restful, stress-free place. Experts at iVillage.com suggest moving electronics like televisions and computers into other rooms to make the bedroom feel like a getaway and choosing soothing colors to create a sense of calm.
Visit the ABC News On Call+ Sleep Center for expert answers to your questions about sleep and sleep disorders.