When you share the bed with someone else, you are not only sharing physical space, but also emotional and mental space. Throughout the night, people's emotional and mental states can come alive through their sleep - whether that be a lack of sleep, too much sleeping, really light sleeping, nightmares, etc.
As you both bring your bodies to the bed, you are also bringing your day's stress, worries, excitement, and other feelings as well. This mix of emotions and high stress can cause an unwelcoming sleeping environment. Here we will talk about how you can connect with your partner before bed, so you both an unwind together and have a great night of sleep.
Why it's important to wind down before bed
When discussing sleep hygiene, or your pre-bedtime routine and sleeping environment, we always talk about winding down. The day can be busy, stressful, emotional, adrenaline pumping, etc. All of these are really antagonistic towards sleep efforts. Therefore, it's really important that you are able to wind down before bed so you can get a good night's sleep.
Winding down can consist of taking warm baths or showers, meditating, reading, journaling, or spending quiet time with family. However, none of this does any good if you are the only one winding down, while your partner is wound up and their stress ruins your sleep.
This is why it's important to wind down together. Both of you can enter the room and bed with a relaxed mind that is prepared to lay down the stressors of today and tomorrow for 8-hours of peaceful rest. Here are some ways to wind down with your partner and reconnect before bed.
Sometimes, just talking is the best way for both of you to wind down. Our days can be so complicated, that by the time we get home, we just want to be quiet. However, this can lead to us harboring the stressors from our day. They only build up and have the potential to disrupt our sleep.
By sitting down with your partner and talking before bed, you both may be able to unload some things from your minds. This may actually be a weight lifted off of eacher's chests as you connect with your partner and support them through the hardships of their day.
These conversations don't have to be super heavy to where both of you are going to bed even more stressed out. However, just a time to say, hey, how was your day? And then share the good and the bad and learn to table them until the next day can help you both get a good night's rest, while also building connection and intimacy between both of you.
If talking is not really your style, then something else you can do with your partner is meditate. Meditation can help you relax and unwind individually, but together. Find a type of meditation that you both really enjoy and try doing it together.
It may be weird and uncomfortable the first few times. But once you get past this patch of awkwardness, you may find comfort in the quiet as you learn to slow your mind down and focus on the topic at hand. This may help unload some of the stress before you both go to bed, as well as slow your heart down and lower your blood pressure for optimal sleep.
Reading can be a really fun activity to do with your partner before bed. You can avoid the blue light that comes with watching TV or being on your phones, which can hinder hormonal release for good sleep.
Reading, on the other hand, provides you with an activity that generates the same imagination or entertainment that shows and movies can give you, but in a format that is optimal for falling asleep shortly thereafter.
You and your partner can read the same book, or different books. Either way, doing the activity gives you something to talk about, and also gives you some quiet alone time where you can escape from the stressors of reality and enter a more calming mental place before bed.
Board or card game are also non-screen time activities you can participate in with your partner. Although the competition can get heated, games are a fun way to connect with one another in a calm environment that can get you ready for bed.
The games don't even have to be anything as intense as Uno or monopoly. Even completing a wordcross puzzle, or a Sudoku together can help create some intimacy while helping you both unwind from the stressors of your day.
Preparing for the next day
Another easy activity the both of you can do is get ready for the next day. Meal prepping, cleaning up, and laying out your outfits can not only help you have a successful morning, but can provide you some quiet, organizing time together.
Dedicating the small amount of time together is three-fold. You get to organize. You get to spending together. And you get to focus on something else other than what may have affected either one of you throughout the day. It also provides a time for talking, if that's what you're interested in doing.
If you're short on time, or you and your partner are on different schedules, this may be a great activity for both of you to do together.
If either one of you, or both of you are having serious sleep trouble, then please click the orange button below to take the free online sleep test and talk with a sleep professional at our facilities.