What if your partner drives you nuts in the bedroom? 13 signs you're sleep incompatible
It seems sleep is the key to happiness, according to new research. But what if your partner drives you nuts in the bedroom, asks Shane Watson
I don't know about you, but I was excited to discover, courtesy of the UK's National Centre for Social Research, that money barely increases happiness but what does, more than anything else, is - wait for it - spending time in the bedroom.
I know what you're thinking. One word, beginning with 's', the cure for everything. It's just as our mothers have told us since we were knee high - if you're getting enough of it, your eyes look brighter, your skin glows, your mood is improved, you'll probably live longer. It's better for you than jogging, yoga, clean eating etc - providing you don't overdo it. (You wouldn't want to spend a whole weekend in bed, for example).
And let's face it, what could be easier? You just have to lie back, close your eyes, put in your ear plugs and Bob's your uncle. Sleep - you literally can't beat it for making you feel good.
Well, actually, sex and sleep, equally, was the official finding, but it's good to know that the highest scorers are both bed-centric. Result! Then again, what if your partner is responsible for ruining your sleep most nights, thereby halving your chances of happiness? What if your bedroom time is spent with someone with whom you are sleep incompatible?
Let me list some of the ways in which my husband scuppers my sleep (joint number one requirement for wellbeing) on a daily basis...
1. The obvious one: snoring
Snoring and then tensing up like a statue if you attempt to encourage him to roll over on to his side while protesting: "I am on my side already, thank you. And I was NOT asleep."
Snoring and then leaping off the bed, taking the duvet with him, and attempting to 'net' an imaginary intruder. Snoring and then waking up with a start and saying, "What? What?", then going into the bathroom and rummaging around looking for the Rennies.
2. Waking with a start from a dream...
Recurring and involving him having to take over the controls of a rescue helicopter during a storm, in spite of having no flying experience (I think we all know what that one means).
3. The illuminated face of his wristwatch
When you are, say, in the cinema, it's impossible to read the time on this watch, but it really comes into its own at night, in bed. Often I will be woken up by its glowing bright green numerals and hands, inches from my face.
4. Pillow confusion
Wondering, half way through the night, if our pillows have got mixed up, because his feels "weird" and would I mind swapping? Changing his mind 15 minutes later and asking for a re-swap.
5. Wondering, half way through the night
...if I bought any more Rennies. Then wondering what's happening on his phone and giving it a quick check, the equivalent to lighting a hurricane lamp and hoping no one notices.
6. Leaving his phone on ping
7. Sleep talking
Louder sleep talking with his arms really tightly folded, in the manner of a politician on the front bench, so that I am obliged to wake him up and encourage him to undo them before he loses the sensation in his hands.
8. Reaching blindly for the water
...on his bedside table, spilling the lot and then swearing and sighing and finally getting up and mopping it up with a shirt, (which, in the morning, turns out to be mine).
9. Asking if the window is open.
10. Asking if the window is closed
...saying "Is it really stuffy in here? Oof. I might go and find the fan" (...meanwhile, when there is an incident outside on the street, sleeping blissfully the whole way through it while yours truly stomps outside and asks them to keep it down).
11. Leaving a hairbrush/book/tube of shaving gel in bed
...which you suddenly come up against at 4am.
12. Somehow getting sand in the bed
13. Somehow getting nuts in the bed
Anyway. All of this leaves an awful lot of time for the other happiness-enhancing activity. So that's a win-win then.