Beyond Pillow Talk: Couples Share The Keys To Successful Co-Sleeping

Half of Americans who live with their partner are willing to channel their inner Lucy and Desi … by sleeping in separate beds.

A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who live with a partner discovered that 49% would be willing to try sleeping in a separate bed to get better rest. That may be because the average cohabiting person receives less than four good nights of sleep a week.

However, that doesn’t mean couples don’t want their quality time together. Despite a willingness to sleep in separate beds, more than two in five people (42%) prefer going to sleep at the same time as their partner, and they use their time before closing their eyes to watch TV shows or movies together (28%), and chat about their day (24%). And, once couples are ready to sleep, 53% of those surveyed prefer to cuddle their partner.

Conducted by OnePoll for Serta Simmons Bedding timed to National Sleep Awareness Month, the survey also explored what those who co-sleep view as their biggest sleep disruptors. Those surveyed shared that their biggest annoyance is when their partner steals the covers (35%), wakes them up tossing and turning (35%), sleeps with the television on (28%), snores (28%), or sleeps with the lights on (27%).

The survey also found a divide with regard to the age-old question – do you shower before bed? Nearly two-thirds (64%) gave a resounding “yes,” and 58% confirmed they would be bothered if their partner didn’t wash up before bedtime.

Parents may also struggle with more than just their partner’s sleep habits. More than one-third reported that their child snuck into their bed two nights a week (37%), while one in five (20%) claimed they were woken up by a little one coming to their bed three nights a week.

“Great sleep is grounded in maintaining a strong sleep routine, whether you sleep on your own or co-sleep,” said JD Velilla, head of sleep experience at Serta Simmons Bedding. “For those looking to optimize co-sleeping, it’s important to work with your partner to commit to good sleep habits, including regular sleep and wake times and minimizing light before bedtime. I also suggest removing unnecessary distractions from the bedroom, transforming it into a sleep sanctuary.”

People are creatures of habit, and 40% of respondents continue to sleep on their own side of the bed when their partner is away. When sleeping away from home with their partner, 45% said the same rules apply.

Sleep habits can start during childhood. More than half of those surveyed (56%) grew up sharing their room with a family member, such as a sibling. The vast majority of these respondents (86%) credit this experience for preparing them to be more accepting of sharing a room with their partner.

And many adults haven’t let go of their blankies. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed grew up sleeping with a security blanket or stuffed animal, and 77% reported continuing to do so, even when sharing a bed with their partner.

Ultimately, when asked what could contribute to better sleep beyond sleeping in separate beds, respondents cited the following solutions: a new/better mattress (36%), new/better pillows (34%), or a bigger bed (29%).

“Many people co-sleep, and with that comes a natural set of sleep disruptors,” added Velilla. “Individuals who co-sleep can look for solutions that minimize those disruptions, from features that address motion transfer to avoid middle-of-the-night wake-ups to cooling technology that becomes that much more essential when sharing a bed.”

Survey Methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who live with their partner was commissioned by Serta Simmons Bedding between Feb. 16 and Feb. 20, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

This post was produced by Talker News and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.