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What do couples of the Scandinavian countries have that the rest of us don’t? Some might point to the long summer days and spectacular winter nights, while others might say a deeper understanding of contentment and how to make it last. However, there’s something else that many Scandinavian couples have learned – how to share peaceful sweet dreams. Unveiling the sleep strategies of Scandinavian couples and how they can be emulated could be the key to better nights for couples all over the world.
Co-habiting Without Conflict: Sleep Tips for Couples
A 2016 survey of over 8,000 people from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark found that Scandinavian couples tend to have fewer disagreements over sleep than couples from other countries. This could be attributed to their approach to sleeping together, as many couples in Scandinavia have adopted what is called ‘dynamic sleep’. This basically means that couples base their sleep patterns on changing conditions, such as work schedules or individual needs, or even the weather.
Dynamic sleep is highly adaptive and can help keep couples in sync. It also helps reduce disagreements, as the sleeping pattern is constantly evolving to suit the changing needs of both individuals. This could be because a couple will get up and go to bed at the same time when they can, but if one of them needs to stay up later or get up earlier, they can adjust the sleep schedule accordingly.
Rediscover Your Shared Sweet Dreams with These Tips
If you and your partner are looking to rekindle your shared sweet dreams, here are a few tips worth considering:
- Create a sleep sanctuary: This will help create a comfortable and relaxing environment for the two of you to share. Consider using calming colors like light blues, purples or greys for the bedroom walls and invest in comfortable bedding and pillows.
- Focus on quality, not quantity: It’s not always about the number of hours you sleep, but the quality of those hours. Aim to have both of you in bed and sleeping at the same time, even if that means shorter hours. This will help you stay in sync, and you will wake up at the same time too.
- Be mindful of bedtime routines: Establish a nightly routine that works for both of you: maybe that means you both read for 15 minutes before bed, or you both watch an episode of your favorite show before turning in for the night. This will help both of you relax and drift off to sleep at the same time.
- Limit technology: This is especially true for the hour before bed, as the blue light from phones, tablets, and TVs can disrupt your natural sleep patterns. Put aside all gadgets and devices a good while before bedtime and focus on activities that will help you both relax and wind down.
How to Overcome Sleep Disparities in a Relationship
Of course, it’s not always easy to share sweet dreams. Many couples today are struggling to keep their sleep patterns in sync due to different lifestyles, ages, and responsibilities. If you and your partner are dealing with sleep disparities, here are some tips on how to get on the same page:
- Understand your individual needs: Start by talking about your sleep needs. Everyone is different, so it’s important to understand what works for each of you. This might include different bedtimes, wake up times, or even naps during the day.
- Look for common ground: Look for points of agreement, such as regular bedtimes or waking up at the same time every day. This will help keep you both in sync and give you a sense of structure and consistency.
- Respect personal space: This may sound counterintuitive, but allowing each other some personal space and time can be beneficial. If one of you needs more time to sleep, don’t try to force them to adjust to the other’s schedule.
It’s clear that couples in the Scandinavian countries have found a way to make sleep work for them. By emulating their approach to dynamic sleep, couples around the world can enjoy more peaceful sweet dreams together. By taking the time to talk about individual needs, look for common ground, and create a sleep sanctuary for both individuals, couples can rediscover their shared sweet dreams.
The success of Scandinavian couples in sharing sweet dreams can be a lesson for couples all over the world. By taking the time to talk about their individual needs, look for common ground, and by creating a sleep sanctuary, couples can improve their sleep quality and be better in sync with their partner. With a little understanding and effort, couples can work together to create a sleep pattern that works for both individuals.
- Verheyden, S., & Allegaert, K. (2019). Sleep patterns of couples in Scandinavia compared to couples from other countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(15), 2512.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Sleep better together. Harvard Health.
- Edelman, E. (2020). 10 tips for couples to sleep better together. Ingrid’s Sleep Solutions.
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